Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On Rebirth

I've written about comic book death before. It's weird, to say the least. People never really stay gone. Of course, they're missed but there is always the possibility of their return. It's a nice thought; that the people you love will be brought back by a Kryptonian regeneration chamber or Lazarus pits. I keep coming back to a Boondocks strip I saw a long time ago. Huey and his friend Caesar are talking:

Caesar: Hey man, are you ok?
Huey: A friend of mine back home just died...I never got to say goodbye, you know? I keep wishing he'll come back as a blue ghost, like Obi-Wan Kenobi. There's so much I want to say to him. [sigh] Why can't life be like Star Wars?
Caesar: Well, then Jar-Jar Binks would be real, and there'd be a bunch of Ewoks running around everywhere - nobody wants that.
Huey: A small price to pay if the people you love could come back as blue ghosts.
It's a poignant point. What would you give to live in a world where death was impermanent?

This is something that has been on my mind a lot. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer a bit back, and it is terminal. It's weird that I keep coming back to this idea. Perhaps it's a form of denial or maybe I have been reading too much Geoff Johns, but I keep wanting this to be undone by some sort of cosmic magic or mystical power. I know it's futile and probably not healthy, but damn it would be nice.

But on the other hand, the impermanence of life is what makes it valuable. The impending, resounding end is a constant reminder of how we must cherish the little time we have. In these last few months I have become closer with my grandmother than ever. I wish I had earlier, but that's life. You never have as much as you want. C'est la vie, as the French in France would say.

I'd wager I'm just ranting out of hurt or fear, but it's something I think it's hard to rationalize. In an era of instant respawns and extra lives, actual death is hard to come by in the average nineteen year-old's life. It's pretty scary. It'd be a lot easier if the people you love came back as blue ghosts.

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