Bet you know – that you can say, hand on heart – that life’s not fair.
I’ve been parroting it for years. Knowing and saying without feeling.
There’s a tipping point in every life. And I’ve passed it.
I realise now that life, living – it’s the process of accretion; gain; growth. Followed by loss.
Some of us live with loss from an early age. That was not me. So my tipping point comes now.
My son’s friend – his closest friend for a long time – was diagnosed with Leukaemia three days after Iain died. She is a bright beautiful girl. Interesting and interested. Loving to talk. Always smiling and laughing. And with a large and very close family who will carry her along on their human tide of sheer determination and love. They are full of energy. They – and our community – have generated a tsunami of good intent. Unable to cure her themselves they have chosen action – their incomprehension has raised over £17k already for Teenage Cancer Trust.
I have tried to make sense of it all. I can’t. Aside from knowing there’s a science behind illness and that we all die. I can’t answer Why.
I think it might be easier if I had faith. I don’t.
It makes sense – to me – that I believe there is no more sense in me looking for sense in what is ‘the senseless’ than it is for me to think there is a God.
We live. We are weak. Fragile. Prone to venality and cruelties and obscenities. And also greatness. Wisdom. Compassion. Insight. Achievement in the name of the greater good.
As for ‘what it’s all for’?
Nothing. Or nothing more than the continuation of ‘us’. We are neither moral or immoral. We just are. Morality – the rules – all the laws – they are what we create in order to optimise our chance of survival and continuation. We form communities and societies to give ourselves the greatest chance of survival. We invent God because we need things to make sense and we need sense, reasons if we are to continue to live. And surely only God ensures the fact of us makes sense.
We are a strange soup; detritus from the cosmic Petri dish. Just an accident. Inevitable, really, given infinity. A certainty to arrive at some point. A twist of the universal kaleidoscope – and suddenly all the conditions are right. Bingo. Here we are. Killing and healing and judging and loving one another.
There is no sense in that girl getting leukaemia. None. There is no ‘deserving’. No ‘rightness’. Just as there was no sense in my Gran dying of throat and lung cancer or my father having a heart attack at 40 or my mother’s malignant uterus. There was no sense in my husband losing his mother when he was 12. No sense in his father’s early catastrophic stroke. And then there’s Ebola, Aids, wars and famine – these four the piss-froth of senselessness.
Paris tonight a fresh apex of senseless.
Surely, surely, it is because there is no ‘Why’ that we have the biggest reason to live life to the full. Not to kill. Not to hurt. But to nurture. Because if this is it – if this is all there is – then we have a duty to one another to make this as good as it can be.
- The fund-raiser for Erin can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/Nicole-McCafferty/