Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
It hits you.
It keeps hitting you.
You don't know when it'll end, because there's some things you simply cannot prepare for.
A loved one dies. A loved one dies suddenly. A loved one dies tragically.
You might feel numb. You might feel angry. You might be overwhelmed with so many different — and even conflicting — feelings.
They don't stop.
How can you deal with it?
A woman called Cynthia wrote to musician, writer and actor Nick Cave and asked him how he deals with the death of his son, Arthur.
Arthur died in 2015, aged 15, after a fall from a cliff.
This is how Cave replied:
This is a very beautiful question and I am grateful that you have asked it. It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.
I feel the presence of my son, all around, but he may not be there. I hear him talk to me, parent me, guide me, though he may not be there. He visits Susie in her sleep regularly, speaks to her, comforts her, but he may not be there. Dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake. These spirits are ideas, essentially. They are our stunned imaginations reawakening after the calamity. Like ideas, these spirits speak of possibility. Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them. It is their impossible and ghostly hands that draw us back to the world from which we were jettisoned; better now and unimaginably changed.
With love, Nick.
Some things in life are, as Cave says, non-negotiable.
We're such tiny specks in a vast firmament that we should try anything to keep ourselves going and give our selves meaning. As Cave implores:
Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them.
This really is the best you can do when your life has been torn apart.
Anyone who's experienced the sudden death of someone close knows that the emotions are so huge that they envelop every moment.
Creating spirits can maintain your spirit, keep it alive.
Without your spirit and your spirits, what are you?