To be or not to be - Shakespeare To do is to be - Nietzsche To be is to do - Sartre Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra
Once upon a time a friend asked me if I was a “human being or a human doing.” At the time I didn’t think about it much, but over the years I realized that I tended more towards the doing side. Only through a lot of hard work in concert with my relationship with Michele did I manage to reach “being” status.
In the months since Michele’s death I think I have reverted to merely doing. Going through the motions, as it were. There’s a certain comfort in just living by remote control. You don’t have to make decisions or worry about feeling. You just exist. You just do.
I’m now at the threshold of wanting to be again. And yet I am afraid of leaving my cocoon of isolation. Returning to the world of the living, the world of the being, forces me to take another step away from what was and towards what will be. It is a step away from Michele. Like forging new friendships, or experiencing new activities, I feel like my return to being moves me away her even further still.
There’s no timeline, no schedule to maintain in grief. I fully understand that I will cycle in and out of denial, anger, acceptance, doing, and being. I just don’t always have to like it.