In the middle of a million ideas racing through my mind, I catch a thought about death: I’m gonna die someday. It says. It’s true, but if you tell me to explain how it makes me feel, I’d say – helpless, like a falling leaf, a passing wind, something then suddenly, nothing.
Does the thought of death ever make you feel that way?
This thought of death crumbles my pride. It shakes off every sense of self-importance in my bones to know that I will become a star silently singing, terribly aware of everything when nothing is aware of me. It is nerve racking. I lose my presence of mind, only to exist only in the past. To dream in reverse.
To ask of myself;
what did you do with this life you were given, eh? did you give it back? plant yourself in this earth as firmly as you should have? what more can you do to make the people mourn your demise, that even the earth cries when you die? that even the sun closes its eyes, for a minute, the universe stands up in silence, in honour of you? what have you done? what will you do to make your life worth its while?
btw — your life is already worth its while.
This thought of dying is a type of dying in itself, a war living in my chest. In it, my mind is brimming with casualties; all my blooming dreams wither, all my hopes in the process of breaking open close back, all my plans in sprinting motion come to abrupt halt, all my attachments to this world become the placenta after the baby is born – discarded, waiting to be buried without grief or ceremony. In this case, redemption is hard to be found if the people will not grieve for me, for when I am dead I cannot grieve for myself.
Yes, it’s true. Eniyan le ku anytime mehn. A person can die at any given time, and when a person dies, the world will pause for a second, double-over in pain, squeeze its face to reflect the pain, straighten itself.
After that, life goes on.
And so, I am querying this question in the deepest recesses of my mind:
What will they do after I’m gone?
I pause, breathe for a minute and wonder why all my life, I have always bothered about what people will do or say in relation to who I am or what I do. I’m shocked that this manner of living which has brought me nothing but death is what I think about when I think about death.
This constant worrying whether people will cry, whether people will sigh, whether they will forget everything I am or sing praises about the type of girl that I was, whether they will settle back into their bodies and leave all the imprints I labored to make on this earth to be washed away when the rain comes, whether they will let the weed overpower the flowers I planted in the garden of their souls and kill it… This constant wondering about death is the thing that will kill me before I have had my fair chance at living.
Suddenly, I am awakened to my desire for people to ache when I am gone. It is an evil desire that I must get rid of.
Death is not my enemy. It is the fear of it that kills. I think about the fear of the inevitable and what it will do to me if I don’t grow muscles and challenge it to an everyday fight. Tell it to its face that as long as I am here, I am here and that is that about that. I tell myself again;
Time is not here to go, it is here to grow me
I am life. Death isn’t an enemy of life at all. Life and death are working hand in hand. Life knows that soon, death will vomit every single thing it swallowed up. Life is not too perturbed when a person dies, because at the depth of every death, there is also life.
And so I am not afraid of death. It will not take me before I have finished my work. When it takes me, my soul will linger in the earth; in the photograph, in the poem, in the blood dripping from my Calvary heart. I will still make a mark in the air that people breathe. I will still heal their hearts. The dead is never totally dead as the living is never totally alive. We are all standing in the in-betweens with one leg inside, one leg outside. One part mortal, one part divine.
And the good news is we are more divine than mortal. We are more life than death and death is only a portal opening up to the immortal. We are the immortal – children of the cross. We hold both hands sideways-up and smile. We have been sent to conquer and we shall.
We are always alive.
How do you face the thought of death?