One day, baby, we’ll be old…
Oh baby, we’ll be old and think about the stories that we could’ve told.
I have the words of this song stuck in my head. Was hoping to hear it via our iPod playlist during a get together we had yesterday but it didn’t play.
The song, along with a disgusting concoction of other things, reminds me of the unfairness of life really. Everybody should be given the opportunity to be old. Some of us cock it up. We smoke too much or drink until our livers fail and that’s our own fault. But to be fair, we should all live long enough to become burdens on our kids and, to be really fair, all children should be given the opportunity to cock it up for themselves and they shouldn’t be denied this basic right.
People die. And the older you are when you do, the fairer life has been to you.
One of the conversations that happen around the grieving on a regular basis is the “At least he…” conversation. Oh, you at least had four months – my friend’s baby was born sleeping. Or, at least you got to know your child. It’s all bullshit and people from who these thoughtless words drip like honey should count their lucky stars they aren’t smacked more.
You fall in love with someone, it doesn’t matter how long they were here, when they die, you hurt.
However, (and here’s where I risk getting smacked myself) when it’s a baby, it is different. I’ve decided. When it’s a baby, it hurts, but it’s also not right and you can never find the “rightness” in it. It’s just not right, in any way. There’s no reasoning the death of a child. There’s no “he had a good innings”. There’s no “he lived a good life”. There’s no “he died doing what he loved”.
A baby dies and with it dies potential and anticipation and expectation and dreams. With it, dies a life story – a story that could’ve been anything and everything. You only have your imagination. There wasn’t enough time for anything real to happen.
If I died today, people might be pissed or upset but they’ll acknowledge that I lived, that I laughed, that I did stuff and made something happen once, that I had opinions and fights and moments of insanity and that some might think to themselves that going at thirty odd years was better than going at twenty like that girl they knew from school who drove into a wall on her 21st birthday – or whatever.
But babies shouldn’t die. Babies shouldn’t be born with broken hearts and they shouldn’t get cancer or be born with AIDS.
Babies shouldn’t die.