Gene Wilder died.
I liked him, liked his movies, and understand why more avid fans are distressed at the thought that all he’s ever done is all he’ll ever do.
I also understand why some like to imagine him reunited in the afterlife with his third wife, Gilda Radner.
David Bowie died, Prince died—Man, imagine those two in the Big Sky Studio?
It’s a nice thought, that those matched or who should have been matched in the world will find each other after they’ve left it. And it comforts, in that Julian-of-Norwich sort of way: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
We shall be released, and reconciled.
A lovely thought. . .
. . . that I don’t quite believe. I don’t disbelieve it, either, exactly, but I doubt that there is any great reunion beyond the grave. We take our delights while we can, bear our sorrows as we must, and the only mercy granted is what we give to each other.
I’m not very good with holding on to delights or letting go of sorrows or harms; I may get past without quite forgiving, and mercy, well, I’m still working on Vonnegut’s admonition God dammit, you’ve got to be kind—I am so rarely kind.
So it seems too easy to think that I can be kind, later, that as a ghost I’ll get yet more chances to be human, that I can put off the something more for. . . later, after.
It’s a lovely thought, that our chances never end, but better, if harder, to hold close the wisdom of Maxine Kumin: Our ground time here will be brief.