Word of the Week #174:

Obsequies

For the longest time, I did not appreciate the concept of lengthy funerals and the ceremonial nonsense that tends to follow.

After all, it does not benefit the dead, right. They literally could not care less. If anything, it just adds more burden to the grieving, who would much rather be left alone in their grief.

Now, while I would not discard the arguments I have mentioned above, from my own recent experiences, I have learned how there is a lot more to those ceremonies.

Firstly, grief is heavy. Not everyone should be left alone with it. Some people might think they would prefer it, but dealing with it in a vacuum can get extremely unhealthy.

The second thing that can real hurt you in a situation like this is your own helplessness. You are always left wondering if you could have done something—anything—to change the outcome. Regardless of the answer, the question itself can break your soul.

So, how does one mitigate them both?

By immersing oneself in a series of activities that feel very important but cannot really go wrong.

This helps you deal with your grief slowly and in stages, surrounded by your family and friends.

It also gives you back the sense of control, as you make all the arrangements that are required. It might seem pointless to some, but just the chance to do something and have the results go according to your will can be extremely empowering.

Having burdens you can actually lift and problems you can actually solve helps you deal with the ones you cannot.

The structure provided by these ceremonies provides you with the foundation on which you can recover from your loss and rebuild your life.

It is not the end of your grief, of course, but it is a good way to conclude one chapter of your life and feel prepared enough to begin another.

Word of the Week #173:

Providence

Planning. Weirdly enough, it is one of the most important things one can do, while also one of the most futile.

Personally, I have a very weird relationship with plans. 

I love being prepared. If I’m going to a restaurant, I love knowing exactly what I’d like to order, after having meticulously examined the menus and reviews.

On the other hand, if I go there and find out that I cannot order what I had planned, because maybe they have run out of a key, or their oven is malfunctioning, or something else out of the blue that makes your plans and your expectations meaningless.

That is the problem, right? No matter how well you plan something, you cannot control the outcome because you cannot control all of the variables.

And the most unfortunate part is that any person who likes making plans would definitely not be a person who can accept having those plans destroyed by the most random of events.

It is the most infuriating.

Imagine spending your entire career preparing for an Olympic event, employing the perfect diet, the perfect work out regimen, the perfect technique, and the perfect equipment, and then slipping and falling outside the event venue and shattering your kneecap.

Yeah, that could entirely happen.

Irony, you know. Not a big fan of it.

I guess that is the curse of being a sentient mortal, right? Just enough power to think you are in control, followed by a rude awakening to the truth of your crippling impotence.

Now, realising your limitations and still continuing to persevere is what adulthood is all about, right?

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.