The Absence of Presence

Mia B

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It’s quite sad really


And you’d think that I would be above such emotions at this point 


But I can’t help it.


 It is sad.   


 


I do the same thing, day in, day out. 


I go wherever I am called, only ever taking what’s due. 


I’m often met with resigned sadness, 


But sometimes there is anger and bitterness, tainting the love left behind.  


 


If you haven’t guessed who I am yet, 


Don’t worry, 


We will meet one day. 


For I am Death, and everyone must pay my price.   


 


After someone goes, the lives of those they loved…stop.


Sometimes, it’s a gentle stop, the kind that sways your body with the slowing of the car. 


You know it’s coming,


 But that doesn’t mean you don’t still feel the halt.  


 


Other times, the stop is as abrupt as slamming into a telephone pole. 


One moment you’re driving and the next 


KABLAM!!


That kind of stop breaks people.


 


 


 


 But what does it matter, right? 


This won’t be you or your family, 


You can easily multitask, 


Only you are the master of your universe 


Once you focus your attention on a task, there’s nothing that can stop you. 


People see this confidence and potential. 


They want a piece of it, a lesson on how to be more like you 


You tell your friends you’re in the car, you’ll be there as soon as-  


 


 


That’s always how it ends.  


 


Without warning, suddenly, in the prime of youth 


Those who come away are never the same, 


While those who don’t are remembered only for their final moments. 


A whole life, simplified into a single act.   


 


That’s part of the problem, 


People have become so focused on efficiency, doing all they can to maximize, optimize, capitalize, 


That they forget the most fundamental understanding humanity has: 


Life is priceless.  


 


 


And I’ve learned over the millennia that what makes life so priceless is it’s fragility. 


A life can be changed in an instant, 


And once changed, it never goes back. 


The people that truly know this savor life’s every moment.


 


And that’s the beauty of life, 


It teaches that while things may not last, 


The impact one has before the end and the love one creates in that time, 


Is what lasts after you’re gone.  


 


 


Which is why I find these events as frustrating as they are sad, 


Because I am reminded how deeply the instinct to live life has been buried. 


People are so absorbed in their own worlds, 


They forget the dangers of the world around them.   


 


This world is a chaotic place, 


People make decisions and live with the consequences of these choices. 


But people forget the debts inherent with the gamble of certain actions… 


Debts that are paid by those they love most after they’re gone.   


 


And I see it time and time again, 


The devastation of loss, the frustration at stupidity, 


The bitterness of being left to suffer consequences that are not their own.


 All this could have been avoided if they had just kept their eyes on what was ahead of them, instead of what was around them.   


 


But at the same time, even I cannot deny the sadness of those taken too soon 


The kid wasn’t supposed to be gone. 


They just looked away for a second… 


….and paid with their lives.   


 


But as I am Death, I can’t complain too much about it. 


If humans want to risk the one thing they should cherish above all else, 


Whether it be for a phone, a backwards glance, or a bad habit 


Who am I to stop you?