I wrote the skeleton of this story a couple of days before I had to euthanize my therapy dog Ani.
The question I awoke with that morning was: If you could never eat an apple again would you wish to experience it in all other forms or would you choose to have the apple disappear from all your senses?
Memory can be “madness” and awareness is sometimes the suffering. Life is basically memory and imagination if in fact there is a difference.
It seems obvious that anyone would choose to see apple trees or notice the smell of baked apple pie but the alternative might be less painful. If one is unaware do they suffer less?
The experience of missing out involves a knowledge of or expectation of something different. Being five minutes late for the bus is being fifteen minutes early for the person next to you. Both kick at the cold but the same event is grief on either side of expectation and ultimately acceptance.
Having three brothers I was accustomed to missing out on apple pie but when I was incarcerated and hospitalized I seldom experienced the depth of specific disappointment. A slight awareness and imagination was tortuous but to have been fully aware of the actual taste of my Mom’s apple pie or the feel of warm sand and rhythmic waves would have exacerbated my ‘madness.’
Reading these thoughts in light of the unexpected passing of my pet leaves me not with an answer but another question: Would you choose the experience knowing the pain that is inevitable or is Love itself an upfront acceptance of and or investment in loss?