Recently I was invited to a funeral wake. I went to see what had died. I pulled up the courage to walk towards the coffin where they kept what was dead for subsequent cremation.
Standing above the head post of the coffin, I took a peep inside. And there lying in padded velvet comfort was what was dead. It was dead alright. It did not move at all the whole time I stared at it. It laid still, motionless.
I was tempted to touch it, to feel it, and to test how far into the process of rigor mortis the dead thing had been. But I resisted that urge knowing better that what is dead is dead. I should let dead dog lie. I shouldn't stir the hornet's nest.
I came to the wake to bid farewell to the death of my friend's conscience. I came to say goodbye to his moral standing as it remained there, lying in that box all dolled up for the incinerator.
As I stared at it, at the well embalmed corpus of dead conscience, the irony was not lost on me. What a waste of formaldehyde, I muttered under my breath.
For what is there to preserve or disinfect? What is there to show to the world when death had taken over? What good is a beautified exterior all flowing in embalming fluid when what truly matters inside is rotting and decomposing? Alas, how effective are you formaldehyde to hide the true intention of man by covering the empty ethical shell with a transient sheen of deception?
Of course, I didn't expect a large crowd to attend the wake. In fact, it was a by-invitation-only crowd. I could count with both hands the number of witnesses who came.
We all took turns to pay our last respect to the corpse in the coffin and solemnly walked to our seat. The service ended with this eulogy prepared by the one who once shared an inseparable bond with the dead conscience. He is none other than my friend. There was no better person to offer the last words and rites.
Standing before us, the exclusive crowd, and looking forlorn, my friend read out his eulogy in tribute to the demise of his conscience.
"Dear friends, thanks for coming. I know this is most unfortunate. I know it is hard to witness this. But honestly, this day cannot be avoidable. It will come anyway, sooner or later.
My conscience died the way he had to die. It was a slow and unexpected death though. I hope it was a painless one because I didn't feel a thing when he left me.
While I am not proud to say this, he always get in the way of what I wanted. That sense of right and wrong always slowed me down. He clipped my wings and limited the heights of my personal happiness in this world.
I sometimes get this feeling that my conscience does not understand me. Neither I him. I detested his timing. He always came in to tell me off at the wrong time. With him, my freedom was curbed. I was unable to soar, to really enjoy life, to free myself from the chains of tradition and its many man-made values.
You see, I needed to live my life too; at least in the way I saw fit. So I knew one day we will go our separate ways. But his death was not really the departure I had in mind. It was quite unexpected.
Anyhow, I will miss him. We have been together for as long as I could remember. We had our good times. We shared much thoughts and many experiences together. We were even inseparable once. But I guess we grew up. Or at least I grew up and he didn't want to. He still had those old fashioned ways or outdated ideas about how I should live my life.
He's a stubborn one like a bull in crimson rage sometimes. He refused to change or flow with the world or reality. I guess his premature death was the price he paid for his inflexibility.
So, good bye my conscience, my friend. You will be dearly missed. The memories we had together will stay with me forever. Take care buddy, and wherever you are, I hope you find peace." Cheerz.