Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pondering Death

With so many friends losing loved ones and even family members passing away, I just came to thinking about death and well, here's what I've thought.  Written in QC sometime in August 2014, under a drizzle of rain and all swamped in mourning.

One wonders about death, of what would be done to their remains by the people they leave behind; or how will they be honored in the final sunset by family and friends.  We ask ourselves if friends and family would remember us at all and, if they would ever visit our graves or tombs from time to time, or what they would do to our ashes in our urn.   Would it be placed in the center of their home or relegated to gather dust is a storeroom somewhere? 

Strange how we want to live on, even if we are but faltering memories in our loved-ones' equally faltering minds. Stranger yet is how we hope they would grieve for us in our passing.  Some cultures even hire crying women to shed tears when a family member is gone. 

From the moment a person is born, death becomes a certainty - an infallible end to everyone's journey and so it is strange that we ignore it and only prepare for it in the twilight of our lives. Some even don't do any preparation and are caught off-guard and in a state of shock or even denial when Death comes knocking.

I do not want to be unprepared nor do I want myself to fear Death's coming. For I'd like to be able to welcome it like a long, lost friend when my time comes. But I hope that it would be many years yet before it does come for me because I still have life and living to deal with for now. 

We cannot really plan what would happen in our death as things would all depend on the choices and decisions of those we leave behind.  We can leave them instructions as to our preferences yet, it is up to them to follow it to the letter or make a few adjustments.  It is probably easier for the rich who can leave last wills and testaments to their heirs - non compliance would cost the heirs their inheritance - ensuring their final instructions be followed to the letter.  But what of poor folks with nothing to leave behind but simple possessions or maybe even worse, loans? How will one's life be celebrated if one is not a celebrity or anyone famous?  Again the key would be the people whom you have left behind - their love for you would shape how you would be mourned, remembered, continued to be loved after you have passed. 

But then again, why worry at all?  You'll have been gone by then and free from earthly woes!  After you die, would you even care where or how you were buried?  What they made you wear?  How you hair looked like? Would you mind if no one mourned or visited you?  Being dead, would all these things still really matter?  It would be the ones we leave behind who would care.  It would be the living who will scrutinize the flowers, observe the rituals and the ceremonies and give their opinion whether our burial was to their liking.  But the dead would no longer hear or know of this.  They"d be dead.   They’d be unaffected by anything. 

So I tell my only daughter that she can do whatever she wants with me when I am gone.  Whatever would be the easiest, less stressful, most economic and efficient way for her would be the way I'd want it for myself.  In death I would not want to be a burden to anyone as I have struggled hard to do in my life.  In death all I really want is to be set free.  I know I will live on in my child and in the children she will bear, for parts of me will be in them just as parts of my ancestors are in me.  I live on in them.  That is enough for me.  

1 comment:

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