All ends are ignominious. Not just Mickey Rooney who died a mess, very old & bitter & unloved by any of his remaining family; or Judy Garland who was a drugged wreck when she took off; or Alan Watts who died pretty much from alcoholic wear-out. Nobody leaves gracefully. I won't share the details of what my mother looked like when I walked into the room and found her lifeless in the dawn of July 7, 2003. But the utterness of it had no truck with what had been her great sense of propriety when she was alive.
We all will go in the ways that we do. And those ways will not 'care' what we think about them.
And here's the blooming understanding for me about this -- ever more vivid somehow, recently, not sure why. How to say it w/o it seeming foregone or banal? Dissolution & 'defeat' are as central to the patterns that determine existence as eruptive birth. We cannot sweeten this business. In fact to try to sentimentalize it is to rob it of its deepest grandeur & meaning. Why "grandeur" or "meaning"? Why not just dismiss the whole thing as a mistake? Alan Watts has enlivened a kind of faith in me which now burns to a certainty. He suggests that we embrace what's behind our eyes. What color is it? What form? Is it dark or light? Can we see it at all? No. But we feel it. Its immensity & its matter-of-factness. It gives us -- gives me, anyway -- the most extraordinarily intimate experience of boundlessness, of eternity. Mr. Watts says to trust it. He says it's God. (When I texted this suggestion to my hilariously wonderful companion-in-kickass-metaphysics Andy he texted back: "oh is that what it is.") (Which seems to me exactly the right response. Not least because I can't stop laughing at it.)
We have intimate access to the infinite. Right behind our eyes. (Right in front of them, too, of course.)
(pics of the extraordinary souls I've mentioned here, in order of my mention of them: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Alan Watts and my mother.)