Sunday, May 22

on death.

mortality has always been something that has fascinated me -- and now, when it seems as though i am aging faster than i used to, i often think about how my mundane existence will eventually end.

i have heard stories of people breathing their last. anecdotes of that one final breath, whereafter everything, including your memories and consciousness, will cease to exist, and you will just be someone who used to be. until eventually, your very existence will dissipate from the collective memories of those who both loved and hated you.

i wonder how that moment of end happens -- when two realms converge for a fleeting split of a second, and thereafter the physical will accede to the finality of what happens after physical death.

my grandmother used to tell me that people see their relatives who have passed just when they too are to pass in the valley of death. and quite ironically, those were her last words before she succumbed to cancer. while in her deathbed, she smiled and told us that we were in the midst of relatives who were about to usher her into the afterlife.

my grandfather, before senility caught up with him, told me once that when death looms, the person traipses around the fine line which separates life and death. and when the constant bouts of ailments and sicknesses render their final blow, the spiritual realm becomes clearer, whereas the physical world slowly becomes a blur, its realness, like that of a dream, or a memory perhaps.

this has always made me wonder: do the two worlds co-exist, but it is our strength which makes us incapable of seeing the spirits around us? and if so, is it then our frailty which makes us see the bright white light that warps us onto the next life?

the dominant psychology theories contend that the main source of anxiety that people have over death is the possibility of being forgotten. because with this final ending, everything, including all traces of your existence, will wither away -- and even when people initially hold on to your memory, the incessant progression of days, weeks, months, years, and decades will render you insignificant and, harsh as it may seem, forgettable.

i wonder: will people remember how fickle my heart had been, or how fascinated i was with beer and politics, or how sometimes i simultaneously loved and hated the fact that my family had unflinching morals, or how passionate and reckless i had been in my early romantic exploits, and how jaded and untrusting i was to the subsequent transient souls who tried to teach me that i can fall in love again?

or if i satiate my inner narcissism: will people think of me fondly?

death, sometimes, can give us the most profound answer to all our questions about life and its real essence. we live our lives thinking about what our purpose is, and we strive so damn hard to achieve what we are set out to do -- but most times, during our lifetime, we are uncertain as to whether we had been successful or not. death, through retrospection, is ultimately the final arbiter that can tell us whether in the end, we either merely opted to live or if we chose to exist.

22 comments:

Mugen said...

They say, to accomplish immortality, three things have to be done: Write a book, plant a tree, raise a family.

Death is finality, but we could always leave a trace by following at least two, conventional wisdom laid to us.

Alter said...

ei claude, this post gave me goosebumps.

i keep telling myself that the world won't stop if i die anytime so i think of ways to be remembered -

for being forgotten is much worse than being robbed of mortality.

Eternal Wanderer... said...

is this brought about the the rapture thing? :P

claudiopoi said...

@mugen, can it be a blog instead of a book? and as a young child, i grew kamote crops with my lolo. and uhm, next please? :)

@alter, true that. i've just recently been humbled by my smallness and the vastness of the world. for it is true what mugen said: we are all transient beings.

@eternal wanderer: nah. this post has been resting on my drafts for quite some time now. i mean, death is such an interesting topic, diba? :)

RICO DE BUCO said...

i think that you have wrote this death thing because of the rapture crap yesterday...

nwei, relax.. people will fondly think of you when that day comes. sure ball un.

IAMJOROSS said...

Ive always thought that immortality was true. But the more I ponder the more I realize that death is even more permanent.

claudiopoi said...

@rico,

hindi din. i don't believe in that 'crap'. (your words, hehe) i just think that sometimes, death can be more interesting than living. :)

@joross,

yes, yes. death and taxes -- the only permanent things in this world (yuck, cliche much). :)

Peter said...

This has been the theme of your recent posts. Why?

claudiopoi said...

@peter, i honestly don't know why. :|

Louie said...

People will remember us for who we truly are and how much impact we brought to some lives once we succumb for our end.

Now, can I say that I love this post, my friend? =)

the green breaker said...

Oh my gulay! nainggit ako, haha, parang gusto ko din i-publish ang nasa drafts ko na post about Death.

I remember Death was a noun in J.K. Rowling's book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (wala lang)

Naniniwala ka sa pala sa pagpaparamdam na malapit na. But I envied the way you concluded this post, and it occure to me that there was a brief fight between the ability to please others and the urge to please yourself.

This was a good read.

Guyrony said...

Bottom line is how you make an impact.

Are you afraid of dying, claudiopoi?

claudiopoi said...

@louie

you are too kind, friend. thanks for your kind words. :)

@the green breaker

thank you for your kind words too, sir. and yes, i think we always endure the perennial conflicts against ourselves and society in general.

pero tama, in the end, it's all about impact and how we attempt to immortalize our footprints. :)

@guyrony,

apparently, i am. but i guess i am more petrified at the prospect of being forgotten. aren't you too, sir? :)

Guyrony said...

Perhaps petrify is such strong a word.

I am more worried.

But nevertheless it is premature to think about that now...

claudiopoi said...

@guyrony,

but that's the intensity of my fear, sir. i am not just worried. and i personally don't think it is premature -- you see, there are random moments when i have these recurring visions of my death. yes, it's very weird.

Guyrony said...

Dreams of death can be worrisome. Have you talked to anyone about these aside from your blog? It will be more helpful and might lighten your feeling of doom.

claudiopoi said...

you don't need to worry sir @guyrony, because that is normal in my world. :)

WINDOWLAD said...

What a nice approach to death. It's interesting how your thoughts volumes to me deeply.

~Kelvin

claudiopoi said...

@windowlad,

hey! welcome to my blog. i've read your entries, and most of them are very interesting. :)

tim said...

Whoa, dude you must that person who has dictionary in mind. Awesome!

The melody of it just crazy freaking awesome!

claudiopoi said...

hi @tim,

salamat naman sa pagkakapadpad mo sa bahay ko. :)

APE said...

Well written Claudio!

One of the things that I'm scared of when I die is:

What if they found out about my secret stash of porn?