If you ever bothered to read the short-stories that I wrote between June and July last year, you’d notice that I quite a few of the pieces incorporated death in them. Somebody died, or was implied to be dead or something like that.
Personally, I have never lost a loved one yet. There are the loss of distant relatives here and there, but no one I truly was close to and had an active relationship with. Which should bring about a bit of head-scratching when thinking about why I felt the need to write about death so often.
After having a think about it, maybe it’s for the very reason that I haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one yet that I explore the phenomenon through my writing. Writing about it allows me to delve into the characters’ feelings and take on their perspective of the events.
Most people who know me in real life would vouch for me when I say that I am an emotional creature, in the sense that tears come to my eyes rather easily, be it from songs, stories or sand. Okay bad joke.
But on a serious note, I can’t stand the thought of losing even one of the people that I hold dear to me. My lips would shake and I’d struggle to disguise my teary eyes as the consequence of a yawn. Even imagining not having them around makes me shudder.
But death is inevitable. It’s as natural as growing up. No one can stop it. Even if one had the capacity to, I don’t think they’d want to stay that way very long. Steve Jobs once said that death is not the end of life. It is part of it. Thus embracing death is the only logical thing to do. Understanding that we will, one day, go into our graves never to breath again is crucial for our own emotional and spiritual balance.
I like how the Malay language puts death. Sure, there’s the word “mati”, but that can also be applied for electrical appliances or car engines. The term used specifically for living organisms is “meninggal dunia”, which translates to “leaving this world”. It’s beautiful in that it does not portray death as an end of one’s journey, but rather the continuation of one’s journey, into another world we are yet to be familiar with.
It’s like that saying that says that a human on the Earth is like a horseman resting in the shade of a tree in the middle of the dessert, from which, after being rested, shall move onwards with his journey to his destination.
I try really hard to see death as just as essential as life, but I know that when the time comes when someone is taken away from me, I’ll be incredibly affected by it and be an emotional bag of tears for a very long time.
But hey, tomorrow is promised to no one, and is certainly not promised to me. Who knows, I might actually leave before I can experience people leaving me. It is all in The Almighty’s hands, and to Him we put our trust.