Roughly one year ago I stood behind a lectern in church and gave the eulogy at my Dad’s funeral. I suppose I thought I had another 25 years before facing such an endeavor.
My last article here was posted the week prior to Dad being killed. I kept thinking the next time I wrote it needed to be about him. That the power of words and how I combined them could make up for such a loss and grant his life and death more meaning. Thinking along that impossible line it’s easy to see why a year’s gone by since I pressed publish.
Instead, I’d like to share just one little part of my speech then as it relates to now…
What I learned most from my Dad is the importance of human connection and conversation. Not just towards family and friends but anyone and everyone. Dad could (and would!) talk to any person — no matter who or what they were — and make them feel like his best friend.
I personally live by what I spoke nervously into the microphone then: In a world which is ever increasingly lived facing a screen, my wish is that we would all take a page from Dad and try harder to focus and talk to one another in person.
Looking at the world virtually, communicating with each other through a device, I see a tremendous distance in play beyond literally how far the ones and zeroes are traveling over wire and radio waves. It is not the same. It is no replacement. The energy, subtly, richness, and unseen vibrations from real life are all missing.
Communicating with each other through a device, I see a tremendous distance in play beyond literally how far the ones and zeroes are traveling over wire and radio waves. It is not the same.
The bad dream I’ve woken up to over the past month, bleak reality which feels like it will never go away, is one of physical isolation and wearing masks the rare moment we are not. To have already lamented the degree to which relationships exist behind a glassy glowing display, now they exclusively and entirely are.
Yes, we’re lucky to have this technology holding together communication. My livelihood is in tech after all and I owe so much to it. However, I’m dreaming and hoping with every fiber of my being we can ever so slightly hit the un-pause on ‘IRL’ in weeks rather than months. I miss trying to follow my Dad’s lesson — opening up to that stranger who turns out to be a fascinating person with a wealth of stories and experiences to share.
I’ve been trying to think of the world right now as ‘situational.’ When you have situational depression, it resolves with time and as the circumstances causing it change or relent.
The opposite in this mental health analogy is faulty brain chemistry, which is a more fundamental defect. This one is much more difficult to solve, and maybe it can’t be.
No matter how dire our world is at the moment, I see it like the former. Everything is not flawed and broken, we just have to get past a very tough ‘situation.’
Talk to you in person when it ends.