BY MICHAEL ARMIJO
One lesson in life that has stuck to me was a lesson in a psychology class. Pavlov showed his dog a ladle of meat sauce and the dog salivated. He repeated that action, eventually showing the dog the same ladle without the meat sauce. The dog continued to salivate. He called this “condition stimulus.”
I know that many times this condition has given me pleasure, and many times pain, as I’ve sought out unhealthy scenarios because I’ve been in uncomfortable but familiar situations. I did not have the opportunity to enjoy the invisible “meat sauce”.
One particular condition for which I haven’t been able to change the stimulus is the condition of death. I have unfortunately lost eight friends within the last two years, and two of those friends I had spoken to every day. I miss them both terribly.
Recently, one of my friends who had passed had a birthday. I thought about him and his family for days. I had been able to cope until someone many of us know unexpectedly lost his wife. The shock and permanency brought me back to the day my friends had passed; the horror was left for me to experience once again.
My question has to be: what does one do to forget? What’s the key to letting a piece of your life go; a piece of your daily routine? How do you forget the “meat sauce” for which you salivated with happiness and contentment?
It’s those times that were good and abandoned without reason that bring confusion. You are left to wonder, what’s next?
I know that death is a place that entertains no visitors, and answers no questions. It has no pity on any child. It steals like a thief in the night.
I will continue to seek the truth behind the confusion death leaves us with. I will try to understand why we feel the way we do. But during this quest for understanding, I will always be left with the feeling that death came and took something away. We will be left forever feeling that there is just something missing.