The Presence of Absence

Fried chicken is not-so delicious.

No, I’m not just saying that to stand in stark contrast from my fella whom is so infatuated with the highly-greased, breaded meat that he rarely goes a day without mentioning one of its many providers (Zaxby’s, Chick-fil-a, etc.) – I truly just do not enjoy this particular “southern delicacy”.

That is until I am separated from it for a considerable amount of time.

Then it plagues my taste buds with desires I cannot control, and I often times indulge my senses with this guilty pleasure.

It always peaks my interest, however, that though I vow to never touch fried chicken again during all points of the ingestion and digestive processes, as soon as the crispy, breaded chicken becomes a void in my life, I am drawn to it yet again with a passion even stronger than before.

This makes me think there is something distinctly endearing about the absence of something from our human existence.

Perhaps of someone, even.

I lost my precious grandfather last April. Losing him was a strange experience and one that I still have yet to fully grieve.

It is interesting to me that death is the most sure thing to the human race, but there is no true way to prepare oneself for the experience of losing someone dear to you. That you can watch an individual live in writhing pain for several years or survive multiple close calls in the hospital or even get a phone call explaining that their time may be near, but as soon as you find out that they are tangibly gone – heartbreak and misunderstanding become infections to your being and the world seems to shatter in front of you.

Though there truly is no comparison between the beautiful life of my grandfather and a greasy piece of meat, and the notion that there could be is absurd, perhaps there is a correlation in how we are affected with the absence of each.

See, when people hear the word ‘absence’ it is typically interpreted immediately with a negative connotation.

But I am going to step outside of that original understanding and introduce the idea that absence can have a positive affect on the human life.

A particularly endearing one, if you will.

After the news of my grandfather’s passing, I sat distraught on the floor of my apartment with a constant flow of tears.

Daddy B was one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He always had a smile on his face if his family was near and he loved all people vigorously with a gentle, caring heart.

He never let a visit end without asking how even the smallest details of your life were going or without sharing how proud he was of the person you were becoming.

His death is felt with a resonating pain, but it is met with the sweetest of memories.

And those memories are what drives the absence of his presence to shift into becoming the presence of his absence.

Such a simple nuance in the order of words can alter our perspective completely and help understand what death can ultimately mean for our good.

It is no longer the mourning of absence; it is the knowing that absence is inescapable. It is accepting that that absence is present with you always because the one you lost will live with you through memory for the rest of your days.

Just because they are no longer living on earth in a tangible way, their life lives on in the hearts of those who knew them.

Absence – Presence

Perhaps they have now escaped their existence as antonyms and now coincide with one another in a harmonious dissonance.

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1 thought on “The Presence of Absence”

  1. Well spoken and so true, speaking to the deep crevices of my heart. The memories of his presence are never absent in my life. It is an impact we can all have on those who are near and dear to our heart.

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