Talking about dying is really considered taboo amongst many people whom I meet on a daily basis. I often wonder why.
To me the meaning of birth is death. You are born and one day you are definitely going to die and that’s the way things are. I accept death. I don’t fear it but I also don’t actively go out looking to be killed!
Many years of my life were spent wishing to end it but then things turned around, life started getting more positive and I started getting stronger emotions and thoughts where the need to die was suddenly not the answer to any of my problems. I appreciate the life I have been gifted even though sometimes I feel sad and dejected, but it’s never enough to allow me to feel that I would be better off if life ended. I don’t want it to end as yet, even though I know it’s not up to me really, but yes, it would be nice to achieve milestones in life as I keep aging, hopefully gracefully!
I have chosen a song that I would like to be played when my final rites are being carried out. A lot of people gasp at me and yell at me to shut up and not speak ill but to me it’s pretty normal to talk about death. Not talking about it won’t make it go away when the time comes will it? And neither will it occur if I just talk about it. I’m not really the superstitious sort so I don’t heed the telling off when it happens, though I do tend to shut up because it seems to offend people.
The song is from an Indian film soundtrack, in fact it is the title track of the Bollywood movie Kal Ho Na Ho, which loosely translates to, and I mean really loose, Whether There’s Tomorrow Or Not.
The song lyrics have been penned by Javed Akhtar whose work I really admire and enjoy and the music is by the trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy voiced by Sonu Nigam whose voice can give me goose-bumps at best of times.
I love this song I feel it sums my life up completely and have even told my kids that this is going to be Mummy’s funeral song. I’ve often been told I traumatise my kids by talking about my death but it’s not a daily subject and if I don’t talk about life and death to my kids who will? People come and go from life, and death takes away many loved ones from us. Having experienced this very closely I have had to explain it all to my kids and they, in their nonchalant way, accept that it’s part of life. I’m not instilling fear or any ideals in them. All I’m trying to tell them is to live life to the fullest, enjoy it, have no regrets, hurt no one, be the first to apologise, don’t hold grudges, forgive quickly and learn to move on because who knows…. Kal Ho Na Ho.
Sometimes I feel people don’t like to talk about death because they fear it. They are scared of it ending and when someone else talks about it, they are forced to question their own mortality. When my Grandma passed away we always knew where we would find everything for her final rites. From the clothes to the money for the logs for her funeral pyre, from the sheet for her body right down to the comb for her hair after she had been bathed, it was all there in a small bag in her cupboard. We all knew about it and exactly where to find it.
So you see I don’t fear death. I know it has to come one day and talking about it is not going to make the Big Guy Up There strike me with lightning. I just want my life to be celebrated after I’m gone. I wouldn’t want anyone to cry over me though it would be nice to know I’m being missed!
Life is an occasion. Celebrate it.