The atmosphere was filled with grief and sadness. When you listened closely, you could hear people holding back tears while others were quietly crying into a handkerchief. You stood there, head down as if in prayer as a sign of respect to the deceased. You recognised this atmosphere all too well, it is after all the 10th funeral that you have attended in the past year. The deceased was a close friend of yours, one that you had spent countless hours, night after night, talking and laughing about life and the past. You had known the deceased for almost 40 years now and to find out that he is finally gone had broken your heart… well… should have…
You seemed to have gotten used to it. Used to the deaths of your loved ones and dying in general. You know that you should feel heartbroken and destroyed but… you just don’t seem to be. Maybe, you finally realised the futility of it all. People die and it is only a matter of time. Furthermore, you thought that it might be better to die in these golden years.
You had lived your life. You had achieved all the dreams that you wanted, each period of your life represented by a ticking off of the bucket list. You had seen the world, met countless types of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. You have heard stories and told them too, sharing and exchanging knowledge. You have visited the edges of the world and done some incredibly crazy things but most importantly, the biggest goal of all, you were married to a wonderful person and had grown old together.
Slowly, the body was lowered into the ground, prayers were quietly said beneath breaths and soil was carefully placed onto the body, bit by bit filling up the grave. A final good-bye was said and the crowd of dark and grieving colours dispersed. You knelt down silent, one hand on the grave, listening to the cool breeze against the grass and taking in the flowery scent emanating from the air.
“This is it, is it?”, you spoke, talking to no one.
You closed your eyes trying to stop the tears that were threatening to roll down. You breathed in deep, forcing back the tears but… to no avail. Your mind wandered about your own mortality and how one day you would find yourself on your deathbed, clinging to life, how one day you will be 6 feet under too. You cried, tears streaming down your cheeks as you thought about how your memories, experiences and the life that you had lived will all disappear. You thought about the amount of time you had left… Your days are numbered.
However, after all of that, you began to realise that you are grateful. You are grateful for being life to enjoy this world. You are grateful to being able to meet everyone that you had learned to love. You are grateful for being able to live such a long and beautiful life…
After wiping the tears away, you stood up and walked away. As you walked away, you wondered about when will you come back to the cemetery again and in what state, in a coffin or in a crowd? Whatever it is, your mind is clear and you accept whatever comes your way, it would be selfish to want to live forever wouldn’t it?