In the past three weeks, Callum, Simon’s youngest son has been mentioning death more than 3 times to me including today.
He said “you die” then I replied “not today” or “I die when I die”.
I guess, he is in this phase where he is curious about the concept of death. I don’t want to parent him and tell him what death means as my comprehension about death might be different than his parents’.
One day he asked me: “what happen when you die?” I can easily reply to that question with this answer:
“Death is the situation when our body stopped to function. You know, like when you turn off your iPad, it’s off. So is your body, when you are dead, it’s shut down and no one can turn you on like you can turn on iPad because once your body shut down, you are off forever. Then people will have to bury your body or burn it as the body will get rotten. Stinky yucky.”
But no, I didn’t reply to him with that answer. Instead, I said: “ask your dad. He knows better.”
There is no comfort in that answer I had in mind. A cold-harsh answer to anyone who understands relations and emotions are real and also a brutal answer for those who have experienced the pain of losing someone.
Although that is what it is. When someone died, that is what technically happen. Death isn’t something foul to talk about. It’s a normal thing to happen, just like sleeping and sneezing.
I grew up in a family who believe that soul does exist. My mum is a firm believer of anything superstitious. I have been taught that when we die, our soul stays around the family, the soul still with them until the family bury the dead body. Then the soul will stay in a different dimension. The angels will ask them questions.. The soul will stay in the sky… And so on, and so on.
I gave up that belief since long ago. It gives me a different approach toward grief.
So how am I going to do when someone I love died? I will grief. Like everyone else. I will regret things we never had a chance of doing it together. I will feel the loss. But I will also continue my life and do what is right in life, until my time to depart from this world comes.
How do I find comfort as I experience the pain of loss? I celebrate the good and sweet memories I had with that person, I will celebrate the impact they made in my life. I will miss them and want them back alive. But I am aware it’s not up to me that they are dead or alive. It’s just that it’s their time to finish their journey at that particular moment. So be it.
Where do I go after I die? Nowhere. The journey stops there. That’s it. We mortals tend to have this desire to live forever. Maybe it’s a part of the coping mechanism to face the reality that we are all will die. Oh well, if the afterlife does exist, it’s a bonus. Another journey to rock!
But so far, for all I know, nothing will last forever. No one will live forever. Valar morghulis.