23 Mar 2004
At the moment
Song: If We Hold On Together - Diana Ross on Land Before Time OST
What I had last: Breakfast
My brain is saying: Wow.
Wishlist: Someone to teach me play guitar.
Girl, 18, dressing up and thinking what’s for lunch in college. She wonders if she’ll bump into the hunk she spotted in the library last week.
Boy, 15, attends PMR seminar and vows to score straight Aces.
Boy, 19, trudges to a part-time job he hates, wondering if he can quit end of this month. He hangs on to the thought of his next paycheck.
Girl, 17, boards a plane for the first time and flying off to UK, elated and in high spirits.
Me, idles over breakfast, mops floor, hangs washing, joking with mom over potty people we met.
Friend, 18, receives news – 4 college mates in car accident, 2 died.
All these scenarios, happening all at once. The sort of things life offer.
Everyone moves on the paths set for their lives, sort of like their own undulating course. So many things happen around the world, and it doesn’t affect you. One day you’re here alive and kicking, the next, you’re gone. And all the things left in your wake – a half-finished group assignment, your clothes waiting to be ironed in the laundry basket, a saved PC game you’re trying out, a promise for dinner with friends this weekend...you won’t be around to take care of them. Anymore.
I’m just sobered by the news. I don’t know them from the accident; but I know my friend, the one who’s shocked and devastated. I’m confused, too. These are people my age. I lucked out. All my years in school, I never knew anyone who had...I saw in another school yearbook recently. Pages dedicated to their late students. I was jolted.
What’s this? We’re supposed to be invincible. We’re supposed to go to college, graduate, get a job, start a family, take care of our parents. Not two ways about it. And when the roles reverse...and parents arrange for their children’s last rites...
Just cannot, cannot imagine knowing any of my friends and enemies alike die. Maybe I will. Hey. Maybe it’ll be me. Who’ll remember us, then? Tomorrow, yes. What about a year later? Two? Ten? Memories fade with the sands of time. It takes only 3 short generations – how many people truly knew who their great-grandparents were? What can they know about people who left without meeting them? Those who left without saying goodbye? A eulogy. A memorial. And then, life goes on.
That’s what history lessons are for. It’s esthetic; for young people to know and appreciate. But we who’re born in the fast-paced world, the ungrateful generation, how many truly understand? If nobody invented the television, what will sit in our living rooms today? If no one made a ball pen, do we still use feathers and ink? If no culture created alphabets, can you read what I typed and trying to tell you? These people left their marks. But do we know their names? I don’t.
In an abstract way, I’m trying to ask, if we die tomorrow, who will remember us, us who didn’t leave an impact to the society?
Death is the ultimate end of every living creature. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Then, why do people try so hard and fought to their deaths to better themselves? Does it matter if you’re a poor farmer or an influential politician, if you end the same way anyway? Will it be superficial if you manage to insert your name in an obscure wall of fame, another faceless name for another countless achievement?
Is dying young more tragic than dying old?
--Oh he had a good life, wife and children and comforts of old age. His heart weakened years ago. Maybe it’s time.
--What a pity. His life just begun. He could have done great things. Now we never know.
If so, why do so many young men and women commit suicide, believing it’s the only solution?
An episode from Third Watch: 4 drunk teens who had just attend their prom and on the way home crash their car and died when the car blew up. The paramedics, police and firefighters can only watch their pounding hands and their ghastly end. They felt immense guilt, they had stood by and let 4 people die. When their shift ended, they go off in different groups, trying to comprehend. Each of these 4 teens ‘came back’, asking the groups to take them home and making them understand, it’s okay, it’s not their fault. Their time’s up, that’s all there is to it.
Feels like extremes of the same season. One moment you’re speechless at the knowledge of a friend’s loss, and the next, you’re just as speechless over another friend’s excitement of flying for the first time to UK. Felt like a cruel joke, two things that can happen to two people at the same time, and you’re in the middle.
So, what about my own self? I have a list of things I want to do before I go. I will never reveal it to anyone, ever. It’s tucked somewhere, I don’t remember. But I know I can cross off some things off that list. Others may remain undone. I fear for my unfinished business. College fees, article I still haven’t written, promises I made and uncompleted chores.
And then...how will it end? Swiftly? Slow and pain-ridden? Can I say goodbye? What if there’s no finality? Will it be a dark abyss or will I see heaven?
Rhetorical questions, simply because no one can answer them.
Mortality is a fearsome subject. Youngsters don’t discuss it. We don’t want to understand it. It’s too complicated. We’re supposed to be frivolous. Reckless. Having the time of our lives.
I’m sorry. For them. For the driver who survived. For lives cut short.
Do I fear death?
Jun Hoe made this comment,
I can sort of relate to how you feel, when I found out about a the death of my friends' dad (who was still young and unexpected). Makes you look at life from a whole different perspective, and whether we're missing a vital part in the big picture.
Me, yes I was saddened and confused for a few days too. After some thinking, I've come to accept life as it is. The main thing is - NO REGRETS. No matter what I did. Whenever I make any decisions or do anything, I silently point out to myself that I won't regret this no matter what happens. Me, I have lots of things I want to do and thing I've never done.
'Carpe Diem'. That's the advice from people who lost a loved one. You know it well enough from those forwarded emails. But I find it hard to follow, everyday. So I just go on with my life, with no regrets.
ichimei made this comment,
We all fear death. Strange it would seem how reading your blog made me think back to two days ago when my ex said that he lost a friend, got drunk and start mouthing hurtful stuff at me. I suppose it is at this time in life that we start thinking to ourselves that somehow, nothing is for sure - your life today, the love you seek, the happiness you have...nothing lasts forever.
And yet, why do people continue to trudge on?...I would like to think that it is for hope. We all hope that our lives would be longer, even if it's just for one day. We all hope that at the end of it all, we would never have any regrets, any unfulfilled dreams, any 'mistakes'...if anything, hope is sometimes the only thing that keeps people alive these days.
Do not fear death. For fear of death would mean death itself.
Alvin Choong made this comment,
Among the most tragic things in life is for a child passing on before a parent. Though fact is, there's nothing much we can do about it, save for crossing the road carefully, stay away from STD, and well, that's about it.
Who's to know when the Reaper emerges at your doorstep? Who's to know when your time is up? When a friend passes on, it puts your life in perspective. Suddenly a college degree isn't all that golden anymore is it. Suddenly that girl you've been longing after doesn't seem so heavenly anymore.
There is a consoling fact, whether you believe in the afterlife. If you do, well, enough said. If you don't, at least you won't feel the sorrow of your own death and unfulfilled targets in life. Which is why, I do fear death, but much more I fear than that is death of a loved one.
Alvin Choong made this comment,
Oh and hoping that this won't break the mundane and serious mood here, just wanted to say that I can't access your blog-site from Taylor's library. Only yours. Apparently they said I was accessing a pornographic site. Consecutive letters in the word 'stardancejive' has something dirty in it. Can't really figure out which letters and what the word is.
A visitor made this comment,
u sure broke the mood like a shard of glass shattering in a perfunctory economics class. dono if its a malapropism. juz wanted to use the word perfunctory. hahha
Ganaesh made this comment,
hey you. how's life? you fear death. that is normal. what's kinda funny is that society tends to think that teenagers always think of themselves as invincible. sad to say, but that notion is quite outdated. the issue of mortality can suddenly creep up on you and just grab you and throat until you're begging for mercy.
"it" grabbed me by the throat the day my grandma dies. seeing her cold, dead body there, the icy cold feeling that suddenly came into my head, that feeling of dread, people crying, garlands of flowers on her coffin... it just took me by surprise. then everything went blank.
suddenly, what we perceive to be important just doesn't seem so important anymore. what you used to take for granted, you suddenly see it in a whole new light. it's a pradigm shift. when someone you know and love just disappears, then you start thinking about what you're gonna leave behind when you disappear.
purpose. it all boils down to that, i suppose.
sorry if it looks like i'm crapping. just a two-cents' worth. nothing much. ^ ^
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