Tuesday, February 23

I can't fathom this

Just came back from a memorial service, don't do that stuff very often. Played violin on a song called "Cowgirls don't cry" - kind of pathetic song, last minute call, practiced 40 minutes tops, much too little.
Why a country song at a memorial? Well I asked that myself as well. So I thought this would be a nostalgic tribute to a farmer who died naturally in his 80's, that's how it sounded at first when I got the call to play there yesterday. I was wrong.
In this case, as I found out about two hours before the ceremony started, it was all about a young lady who would have turned 19 next May. She just simply died in her sleep, no drugs, no brain seizures, no heart attack, no poisoning. Kind of a mystery really.
In any case - she loved horses, (hence the cow-girl song) she could "die for them", and maybe she did...

"Cowgirls don't cry -ride baby ride, when you fall get yourself up from the mud, it's just a lesson for  life."
(or something of that nature...)

I was going to do a recording of this gig, but in the last moment decided: No go! I don't know, it just didn't seem right and I was very moved by this transitional experience.
Sometimes I wonder if there are people out there who "depart" to the spiritual realm by choice or by will - simply  without using any assistance from drugs or any other substances. 
I really do... 
(this is a picture of her, not by me)

The coffin was transported on a horse-wagon to the fire department's locality because the chapel was too small to accommodate three or for-hundred people.
Cowgirls don't cry - I sometimes wonder why.   


The Rambling Taoist said...

Many American Indian traditions believe that some people can know when it's time to leave this existence.

Don't know if you've ever seen the movie, Little Big Man. Near the end of the flick, the old Indian (I believe he was played by Chief Dan George) tells Jack (Dustin Hoffman), "Today is a good day to die." Of course, it turned out he was wrong. Maybe, for this young woman, she was right.

Zee said...

By nature I am not a cry-baby, but this time I got quite emotional.
You see, Rambling Taoist, all came too sudden, the phone call the day before the service, hadn't touched my fiddle for months, needed to repair the bridge first, put up a new e-string, etc ... etc.
A friend called me up, the one who ended up playing the guitar and was also singing the song. I hadn't seen him for a year or so.
It is strange to rebuilt friendship on the cause of a girls premature death.

Oh - I faintly remember that I saw this movie, but I can not recall it in my memory:) I will have to rent it one of these days

The Rambling Taoist said...

I can imagine it would be quite emotional...even if you hadn't reconnected with an old friend. When the young die, it reminds each of us of our own mortality. It also causes us to reflect on the many milestones the deceased will never have the opportunity to experience (things like marriage, parenthood, new personal discoveries, etc.) And, of course, it's hard for our hearts not to go out to the deceased one's family and friends. They are the ones that must live with a sadness and pain that is raw and bleeding.

Zee said...

Hmmmh, maybe you are right Taoist about the "opportunities" ...
In any case, I believe Karma can play also tricks on us. To put it bluntly, this girl is prematurely dead, but she chose her way - no maternal experiences, there must be a reason for that - believe me.
There were some people who joined the First World War, by choice. Franz Mark was one of them, the one with the blue horses, he died in is twenties or early thirties, much too early. And there are much more less glamorous stories of people, on and on. I am just mystified by this particular case, it bothers me that I don't understand the details,
But maybe, sometimes I need to be more humble to see the light

Mercutio said...

Ah, Zee, my friend, you are a good and decent man; and this is why your heart would be moved by this-- the soul of an artist at every step.

I want to share with you something very personal, and perhaps you will be able to see more clearly afterward.

I had a nephew that died at the age of five. He had an earache, and then he was dead. I was a pall-bearer. The casket was surprisingly light. I did what was asked of me. I didn't know what else to do.
Less than a year later, his mother took her life. I had spent much time with her, because I knew she was stricken with grief, and I feared for the worst. But she went out to a place apart from me, and there she died.
My brother was a broken man after that. He was never he same. He had left our little corner of the desert to find a better life for his family, and then sent for them. He was doing well on his job, and then this. He threw himself into his work after the death of his son, but after his wife was gone, he disappeared for about a year. He turned to alcohol. It took its toll on him, and he died of a heart attack at the age of 43.

What I am telling you is this:
While it is well that we are moved by this tragedy, this little one is gone. It is out of our hands.
As for what tragedy lies before us, we still yet have time.
What you do with that time is your decision. Let your grief be turned to a purpose.
I have lived long enough that I have learned to not see such tragedies as an event, but as a sequence. I am less surprised by such things these days, although I have no objective evidence of prudence.
I wish you well.

jozien said...

That is a lot of interesting reading here. Thanks Zee.
About choosing to die... i like to think that, that it's possible. But why when there is a choice. why would a young person, when there is a choice, not choose to live. that to me, is so sad. -Why?-
We know so very little.

Zee said...

Thank you Mercutio for sharing your thoughts and Jozien for your insight.

lindsaylobe said...

The questions raised by you about this early death go to the very heart of our existence so there are no easy answers.

All we can do is to attempt to give that meaning and definition to concepts from our own perspective and experiences that rationally make sense to us.

To that extent I think it is very good that the previous comments give examples of real life situations and insights gained as you also confirm.

Personally I have waxed and waned over free will and determinism but I do think there is a definite causality due to the notion of time within a predetermined path. That is to say for all of our conscious decisions we can choose freely at any time but within a predetermined life path, so that as rational beings we are free (barring mental disease etc) to make our own decisions.

That is to say I take refuge in the concept of time over eternity so that in human terms a gift of life and time bestowed upon us allow us to share in that creation to choose our time to do what was known we would do from outside of that time whether it be considered good or bad.This is not a very satisfactory explanation but the best way I can come up with something that makes sense of it for me and hopefully is something for you to muse upon.

Best wishes

gfid said...

big stuff. the death of someone so young is like an unexpected punch in the stomach.... it leaves us disoriented and out of breath. and that question of 'why' is one we may never know the answer to. Mercurio's story is a familiar one. sometimes when a loved one dies, particularly a child, those close to them give up on life. but i think life is gift that we can never cherish too much. even if it often isn't easy, it is always good, and to treat such a gift with disregard is as tragic and heart breaking as the death of a child.

music heals. don't put that fiddle down.

Seraphine said...

the song was obviously important. the unexpected loss of a daughter is profoundly life changing to the surviving members of the family. it is so tragic.
i don't think someone that young dies without a physical cause. nobody dies of a broken heart at 18 years old, though one might feel like dying. i don't think you can will your heart to stop, or hold your breath until you stop breathing.
but what do i know?
like you said, it's kind of a mystery.
violins can sound so sad.