In my mere twenty-one years, I have been to a dozen funerals and two weddings. This hasn’t set me up for a pessimistic outlook on life, but in fact has rewarded me with a bright perspective on humanity’s ability to deal and recover from loss.
Death is a natural part of life. The Mexicans are onto something with The Day of the Dead as death is what contextualises life. Without it, life lacks both meaning and context.
A Short Story
There once was a story of a man who craved immortality. He lived his life with a great sense of right and wrong. He always did what was admirable in order to be a good person. Amidst the faintest of hopes he would be rewarded with a life that he could live forever, he inevitably met his demise. It was when he found God at the end of the tunnel that he yelled out in despair, “Did I not live my life perfectly enough for you? Did I not do everything that you instructed of me?” His God was calm in his reply as He stated, “Why, of course you did… After conducting yourself with such stature in this life, I was hardly going to punish you by making it never ending.” This story paints a really nice picture for me. If we lived forever we wouldn’t be living and enjoying this present moment.
Although it may sound lovely to imagine my lost family looking down at me from somewhere magical, I take more comfort in thinking that perhaps their energy was just borrowed.
Making A Difference
In the grand scale of things, we want to feel as if part of us will live on and that we will make a difference. This becomes a large factor of what drives our desire for children, success or perhaps fame. I remember my grandmothers all consuming hugs that seemed to envelop me in a pool full of warmth, but have no recollection of what her laugh sounded like. I have some baking recipes with her elaborately cursive handwriting, but that is about as close to her as I can reach. This won’t be an issue for future generations. It’s frightening to think of the Internet creating possibilities for anyone being able to make an imprint on the world so effortlessly. These imprints can’t fade like an outdated photograph. My words on this measly little webpage will remain forever dwindling amidst the cyberspace atmosphere. We have the greatest opportunity to leave our mark on the world.
We shouldn’t be scared of death, yet we should embrace our mortality. It is what makes us know we are alive in order to live to our greatest capacity. In saying this, we all want to make an impact, otherwise why else are we here? I merely hope that my collection of letters, formed into words and sentences may serve to trigger some form of emotion in any singular being. To instigate one new thought in a person is to create a positive difference. Without death, life is meaningless. It is a novel that can never be written; a conversation that can never be had; a story that can never be told, and a song that can never be sung. The reason being, how on Earth would a person ever finish it?
Thank you Millie,
I have often thought we in western civilisation view death entirely wrong! We see it as something terrible and horrible, something to be avoided at all costs, and we teach this to our children!
It is heartening to know other people are realising this is most certainly not the case with death.
Hopefully our voices can 'demystify' and remove the enormous fear surrounding death and enable us to truly live a full life while we are here :)