The funeral

A few days ago I attended a funeral. I assisted in burying a man.

I assisted in carrying but not in burying truth be told. As I saw people bury the body everything in my head was in slow motion. The dust, the wrapped body, the faces, some sad and some expressionless. For a split second I felt more alive than ever. I was standing above ground. Above the dirt. I had a shot. Just one more shot to redeem myself.

I more shot to smile, feel and do. My ideal funeral is one where I’m being buried and everyone is high fiving each other, laughing, smiling and talking about how great I made them feel and how fully I lived. Usually when people are like that the harder the cries. But I’d prefer smiles and laughs. Pretty silly.

I want to attend more funerals now. They are a great reminder of how short life can be.

 

Question part 2

He asked me why? And I answered. But why? I just don’t get it.

Somethings we’re just not suppose to get it. We just do it I replied.

It got me thinking late about his questions. They were very good questions. Hard ones, the ones that leave you wondering about your whole purpose.  I wandered in the car that day thinking of nothing but the questions that were asked. But one question stood out. A very easy question that we all had a right to know, since we were all doing it.

What is the meaning of life? That was the question. Easy. Right?!

He was depressed and was looking for answers. He needed something to hold on to.  Life is….I paused. He looked at with teary puppy eyes. A lot of hope were in those eyes. How could I have not answered him.

Life means doing good. Life means purpose. Life means living for tomorrow. Life means surrounding yourself with so much good that you can’t be touched by much bad. Life means to enjoy every moment of every day and every good thing that you have in your life. Life is surrender. Like means worshipping.Life means battle. Life means survive for an even better life. Life is fighting for what’s right. Life is letting go of what doesn’t grow anymore. Life is fear and standing in the face of it. Life is pain. Life is adventure. Life is experience. Life is art and life is creation.

I just kept going and going, I was on a roll. I wanted to give him reason to believe that life is a lot more than what he’s going through. I didn’t want to sound over positively so I added in a little pain to let him know that pain is part of the process and that life is messy but it’s all about how we perceive it and that life comes in many forms. Love, pain, confusion etc.

When I look back at what I told him, I’m proud of how I phrased it all and I he made it out of the that depressed phase he was in. For a while at least.I hope someday when he is feeling down again and life took has become pain again, he can look back at this and realize that there’s so much more to life than pain and it’s all a part of the process.

At least that’s my understanding of life. There are tons of books out there with what life really means but I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve manifested.

To life *Raises half peeled banana*

How they digged their own graves

There he was. Smoking his way to the grave. A pretty good way to go if, if you ask me. If you enjoy it. Until you’re almost at the grave and then you really don’t wanna go. It’s not that you just don’t want to go anymore, cause who does? It’s what happens to you before you go. He was detoriating slowly. Deteriorate here means die slowly and painfully without you having any control over it and no amount of painkillers can stop it, but maybe deteriorate it even more ( make it slower ) which is bad news really. You’re just staying alive to be punished. Maybe that will make it easier after you’ve died already.

I asked him after his second diagnosis of confirmed cancer if it was from all the smoking, but he was quick to reply “NO”. I’ve been smoking all my life, can’t be it. If it was, it would have killed me a long time ago. But his premature aging and wrinkly cheeks were signs that this was coming sooner or later. Bless him.

This other guy I knew was convinced that he’s healthy and that his oversized gut was genetic and that it runs in the family. After a stroke he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol ( heart disease) and high blood pressure. He was later served the same food he always ate and refused to make any dietary changes or take medication because he was healthy and the stroke was just an incident that had occurred and was unavoidable. The next stroke he had numbed half his face leaving him partially blind and they had to amputate one of his legs due to poor blood circulation. He wished the stroke took him all the way to the grave instead of the emergency room.

What did these 2 stubborn but loving men ( to their families ) have in common ?

Well for one they became a damn burden to their loved ones and society as  a whole. They were living on the concept that if we have all done this for a long time then it’s perfectly fine. Their loved ones now had to take special care of them.

I like how the word “special” can mean the exact opposite depending on context. You’re a special boy, can mean you are mentally retarded ( literally and/or figuratively) and it can mean you’re wonderful ( Extraordinary). Their kind of “special” treatment led to others being handicapped by serving them in “special ways” no one had the pleasure of doing.

What does this teach me though?

It teaches me to look past culture and society. It teaches me that cultural habits can be very damaging if done long enough and it can damage myself and others around me in the long run. It teaches me that to deteriorate through cultural habits is bad. It teaches me to have an open mind when someone tries to teach me or even tell me something new and not be dogmatic about it. It teaches me also to be bare the pain of seeing dogmatic and stubborn loved ones dig a hole while I can’t do a single thing about it. That’s always the hardest part.

Good news for the diabetic dude though. The next stroke took him. Not sure if it was good or bad news for his loved ones. Maybe a little bit of both. A sort of a mixed feeling.
God rest their souls, and ours too while I’m at prayer mode.Amen.

Another death post…and the comfort of it.

death2

So when you die, will they cry for you?

Here’s an example: “what if your best friend died. and you had to…”
These are usually the examples that I give my students and they absolutely hate it. I tend to enjoy these examples because it makes you think in the worse case scenarios and how to deal with them. No, I don’t only look at the negative side of life or the dark side, but I strongly believe that the most difficult parts of our lives are the most defining moments. So when I tell somebody, “when/If  your loved one dies, how would you react?” I expect a very raw and heartfelt reply.

I expect language to come singing out of their soul, and it has happened a lot of the time. Now, most of the time I get the usual ” let’s not talk about such bad things” but really think about it. Death is defining and really makes you think and think deep.

I believe that something beautiful awaits me after death, and I have faith and I think that the more I welcome it, the better quality of life I have, I don’t welcome it in the sense that I cross the highway without looking. NO. I am a pretty sensible guy, most of the time at least and I am cautious and I do care about my health ( those of you regular readers should know this by now ).

I’d love to reach my near death and smile with a high :D…because I’ll want to meet God and because I’d want to meet him then I’m pretty sure he’ll want to meet me too. But we all hate death and death is such a hard thing, I don’t wanna die just yet, but I’ll want to be ready for it, so hope all this mental prep work helps.

To those non believers and to those who feel like what I wrote above is nonsense, well I hope you feel what I’m feeling right and that’s all I can say but I have a little something for you as well ;).A beautiful poem I came across by Chief Tecumseh that I’d like to share with you. Read till the very end.

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

Happy reading.