30 September 2005

Friday Non-Random 10: Sorrow And Regret

I got friends who are in prison
Friends who are dead
I'm gonna tell you something that I've often said
You know these things that happen
That's just the way it's supposed to be
And I can't help but wonder
Don't you know it coulda been me

-- Social Distortion, "It Coulda Been Me"
Sorry for such a depressing post. I was going to do Friday Random 10 this week, but instead I'm going to post 10 not-so-random songs I'm listening to in my usual way of coming to terms with shocking news. I won't insist on boring you with the details, but the words quoted from the song above are accurate. I'm just going to ramble a bit, probably incoherently, so feel free to ignore me here.
Oh well, things crumble to an end
Hell, we all die in the end

-- Dead Kennedys, "Dead End"
Beyond the sorrow of finding out that someone you know is gone, even if you haven't had contact with them in years, the surreal shock of it is overwhelming. It may be numbing at first, but once the reality sinks in, every bit of unrelated regret comes to the surface with it. You really do realize that it could have been you, and with that remember - no, feel - every choice you ever made that you would have done differently. Maybe the feeling is so strong simply because no-one is supposed to die so young. Maybe it's because I realize that this is all there is. No-one 'goes on to a better place', nor do they get a second chance; for them, it's like they never existed. It certainly isn't because I've never had to come to terms with something like this before - I have, though in the past it's left me just plain numb. But still, it's a forceful reminder that you have to make the best of each and every day, because you never know when your time will be up.
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it's all
Right where it belongs

-- Nine Inch Nails, "Right Where It Belongs"
Of course, I know I am far from alone in this experience, and far from being the most affected. A while back, paperwight noted that "understanding that your grief and loss is the same grief and loss that every other person feels is one of the truths at the heart of real morality." I hate to make this at all political, and really, it shouldn't be that such an observation is controversial, but this really brings home the enormity of the loss experienced by so many over the last few years. Hundreds of soldiers just as young have died, leaving behind friends and family; probably tens of thousands of others still younger have had their lives cut short, no less real simply because they aren't American. Who knows how many have died just because they were poor, something that happens so frequently one must be desensitized to it simply to remain sane - a desensitization that endangers one's humanity. I actually feel guilty now listing all of these individuals as numbers. Even pictures of the fallen quickly blend together, while each and every one was an individual with hopes and dreams and plans for the future, with friends and family and even long-estranged acquaintances who are deeply affected by their loss.
We see you try
We see you fail
Some things never change
We hear you cry
We hear you wail
We steal that smile from your face

-- Soundgarden, "Head Down"
Anyway, I'm sure nobody is interested in reading more of my self-indulgent existentialist angst, so here's the non-random 10:
  1. Social Distortion - "It Coulda Been Me"
  2. Dead Kennedys - "Dead End"
  3. Bad Religion - "To Another Abyss"
  4. Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - "No Leaf Clover"
  5. Pearl Jam - "Deep"
  6. Soundgarden - "Head Down"
  7. Pink Floyd - "Sorrow"
  8. Nine Inch Nails - "Right Where It Belongs"
  9. Soundgarden - "The Day I Tried To Live"
  10. Bad Religion - "Slumber"
I'm not good at giving morals
And I don't fear the consequence
If life makes you scared and bitter
At least it's not for very long

-- Bad Religion, "Slumber"

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