Celebrating Life

Branka ValcicMy Journey2 Comments

“If you need to get news about you dying [every moment of your life] from someone else, how firmly planted in the life are you?” ~Stephen Jenkinson

The mind imagines that it has time. Snap out of it mind! Do you really need to be surprised when you finally realize that time has passed? Each moment of this deception is a moment of life wasted.

Our house is a couple of hundred yards away from a path that takes a funeral procession from church to the graveyard. I do not see the procession well because of the houses that stand between the procession and me but I can hear its song. Through the trees I see people lining up the path to pay their respects. Most join the procession. Snippets of one reed after another, a beautifully decorated coffin, a river of people. The village comes together touched by the ending of a life of a person who they thought was bigger than life itself. I bow my head in silence paying my own respect to the man I did not know but whose time has come to pass.

My son wants to wave and say hello to people coming back from the graveyard after the funeral.

“Sweetie, they are coming from a funeral and they are sad. They may not want to wave at you,” I whisper to him.

“Why did he die?” he asks, now whispering too.

“He was old and ill,” I reply.

He nods. He gets it. The memory of our beloved dog passing away last year is surprisingly fresh in his mind.

Later, he runs around the yard taking a moment to touch a dead caterpillar we have found in the house the day before and he carried it out to the garden. Then he swiftly disappears behind the corner of the house.

“I am peeing mummy,” he yells.

I laugh as I imagine neighbors stopping in their tracks upon hearing this announcement, their jaws hanging lose.

On a day when most people stay home, my son, our puppy and I go for a walk. Dark clouds adorn the sky. Shortly into our walk, it starts to rain. Large, sweet drops of rain fall upon us. Wrapped in my raingear, I look up at the sky and smile. While every cell in my body shouts “I am alive!” I dance and sing from the top of my lungs. My son, his face lit up, joins in. My heart leaps with joy. Our puppy runs around us in a dance of his own. The rain washes my face; my voice fills the sky.

At night, moon shins bright and stars twinkle above my head in the deep dark sky. The Bura wind has chased away the clouds; its frozen breath permeates everything. I wrap myself in layers and wind gear and step outside. The crisp air engulfs me. Surprised, I feel the frost crackling underneath my feet. I inhale deeply.

This morning, a storm surge flooded my village. Groceries shop is closed as water reaches above its door. People huddle around warm cups of coffee. Hammered by ferocious wind I struggle to tie up a sail that has come lose on our catamaran.

When it is my time to pass, be it five minutes from now, tomorrow, or in a hundred years, I want to be able to say:

“Thank you very much. I have no complaints.”

2 Comments on “Celebrating Life”

  1. I laughed out loud at the thought your wee boy having a pee outside and gaily informing the neighbours whilst doing it. The innocence of youth is such a wonderful thing. It is so lovely that he wants to wave at the funeral goers – I’m sure they appreciate his exuberance and friendly gesture even in their troubled times.

    1. You would be surprised by how unfriendly some have been. If only we could all remain as open as the youth are. Thanks for your comment. I am glad I made you laugh 🙂

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