I stumbled across an article today about Mitch Hedberg, and it made me sad. A good friend of mine introduced me to Mitch a few years back. I promptly laughed, I laughed more, and then I found out that he had passed away. This made me sad. So, now, every time I hear his simple genius (and laugh again), I am sad that he’s gone. Then, last night, I was introducing my girlfriend to a new sitcom I really liked on the Hulu. During the mandatory commercials, I saw one of the main actors in a commercial for a new show, on a different network. This got me curious, so I looked it up: cancelled. This is a brilliant time for dramas and even, one could argue, dramadies, but the sitcom is currently–with a few outstanding exceptions–trite and boring. So, it was a shame to see a show that genuinely surprised me with laughter at times, go away. But, that’s the nature of this world, isn’t it? Our grandmothers die, good books end, they stop making Ding Dongs (no, seriously, that was a thing). But those people, and things, leave an indelible mark on us.
Especially King Ding Dong
We are changed by that which we love. My grandmother passing away over ten years ago is still the most significant loss in my life. But her death has forced me to deeply consider her life. The fact that I miss her has made me gather up all the wonderful things about her and think about them more just for the simple reason that there will be no more. Do I wish she were still here to take for granted? Absolutely. But, hi, welcome to Earth.
So, that’s what I (try to) do. I mourn, but then I rejoice that I had that thing at all. I find satisfaction in the idea that I was added to by that thing that is no longer a part of my life. Whether it’s a piece of entertainment, highly processed food stuffs or a flesh and blood piece of my metaphoric heart. I am different in some fundamental way because those things existed near me. I choose to see it that way. Otherwise, I’d go mad with grief. I definitely wouldn’t want to have never had those experiences just because I can’t have them again. (I mean, I can’t imagine having rice and not thinking to myself, “I like rice. Rice is a really great when you’re hungry and you want 2,000 of something.”) Thanks, Mitch. And, thanks grandma. Thanks guy who invented ding dongs and cast of cancelled sitcom. I’m sorry you’re gone, but I’m glad I had you.