On Death


My aunt passed away today. She was 68, and a happy, lively soul. Heart attack was the initial diagnosis. Some raw thoughts while I still feel them:

  • There is no dignity in death. The instant you die, you become a body to everybody else. “Where are they keeping the body?” People ask. When is the cremation? When are the kids coming?
  • My parents are getting old too. It’s hard to deal with your mom’s and dad’s mortality. Especially when all through they’ve been a fixture, and larger than life.
  • People really don’t know how to behave when they come over to visit. There’s a stilted awkwardness all around.
  • When your kids are so far away, your body is kept in a mortuary until they can come and attend to your last rites. This takes at least 48 hours.
  • My uncle is resigned to his new life, but his eyes brim over when he talks of her death.
  • And finally, I’m 31 now, so around 50% of my life is over. Have I really done what I wanted with my life?

  1. Photo credits: Michał Huniewicz

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