i read about 35 pages of ‘the picture of dorian gray’ this afternoon and an interesting theme came up - aging.
aging. well, the thought of it hits close to my heart. i fear it immensely. just last month i experienced my grandfather pass away at 95. it’s touched my heart ever since and as weird and empty as i’ve felt lately, i think it’s due largely in part to the loss of such a major figure in my life.
at times i’d simply stare into my grandfather’s eyes and see myself. it was almost as peering into a distant future, which is so close yet so far, and see myself in his exact state…at least physically, maybe not mentally.
i loved and will always love my abuelito dearly. he was always there for me…even if he wasn’t the most talkative, his few words were words of extreme wisdom, and of course the wisdom came with age.
but with age comes decay…i saw my abuelito decay, physically…never mentally…but the inevitable misfortune of aging; how time withers and rots a person physically away. i find it absolutely frightening.
‘jodido’ he would tell me when i asked him how he was. in other words, fucked. but at the same time, he still had enough energy to throw a smile my way. his last few months he could barely walk but he still made it to my parents house even only a couple months before he weakened and passed away.
it’s an unfortunate truth, we’re all going to perish one day…perhaps not live until the last possible minute, like my grandpa did.
but to face death in the eye, like he did. he knew it was coming. the day before he passed away, tears were dropping from his eyes…he looked slightly frightened. i heard rumors he told my grandma (his wife), that he didn’t want to die yet. imagine that, not wanting to die at the age of 95. fuck.
in dorian gray, the young lad is at his prime age, has looks like he was blessed from the gods. when an older person injects a sense of awareness into him that he will one day become withered, wrinkled, cheeks sunken in…dorian freaks out and says he doesn’t want to experience that.
it’s a similar feeling i relate with at times. not wanting to age, frightened of the inevitable fact of biology. the fact i will get old.
the only solution seems to accept it.
i think with the case of my grandfather, he must have felt some fulfilment at least. the fact that he had 5 children, i think 9 grandchildren (my cousins) and 3 great grandchildren must be some sort of feeling that at least your seed will live on. i think in my case, if i can touch people in that way, either whether it be biologically or maybe simply through influencing peoples lives…perhaps through my work, or art or whatever else bullshit…maybe you’ll feel a sense of fullfillment.
Will i ever know if my grandpa had a sense of completeness, fullfilment, closure? I honestly can’t say I will…
he was oldschool, he had a different mentality…he was a simple man…perhaps these thoughts never actually concerned him. but you know what…he lived them. him showing up to everything and anything that had to with the family, always there…showed family was the most important thing to him. i know all though he didn’t want to die just yet, he died with a pure heart, with the family that loved him and the family he loved.
physically, my grandfathers heart may have aged, but his soul will always remain beautiful and youthful.
un vino tinto para ti abuelito.