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.