Friday, 9 May 2014

My obituary.

Recently, I read about a 92-years old swede who wrote his own obituary while still alive. It consisted of just three words, "I am dead." Then, in our local obituary page about the same time, an optometrist unfortunately passed away and his name was truly uncanny. My name is "Michael Han Hean Juan" and his was "Michael Han Heng Juan." Stringing these beads of coincidences together
 has kept me thinking and asking, "How will my obituary read?

Maybe I should consider a preview of it here. It's kind of a self-indulgent exercise of a hybrid between a wordy self-eulogy and a brief obituary. So, here goes and please pass the tissue.
Yes, today I am dead. That's a fact we can all agree on. Because if there's any doubt about it, then the last feather that broke this old camel's back would be that darn mortician who definitely did me 
in with the chemically toxic dead man's fluid called formaldehyde. But if all is in agreement, then I am really dead. Gone with the wind, some may say. And this is actually quite ironical because my family never failed to complain about my ever-present flatulence, especially in the morning. I break wind like a flood would break the levee. 
So, I guess with my passing (pun unintended), it is really gone with the wind for good. I just hope that I don't go too smelly into the night. 

Anyway, levity aside, let's
 go back to that man in the box. Or me in that ghostly or ghastly makeup. I hope I look good in rouge. I guess I can't complain since this is the one and only time that I can't be the personal judge of this awkwardly pretty me. And it is not as if I am going to open my eyes midway and say, "sorry ma'am, I think you miss a spot."
I am dead for goodness' sake and I have this feeling that the makeup is not actually meant for me but for the living. I mean, who wants their dead loved ones to pull a long face when they can
 spruce it up with a fake one. And I can't imagine anyone telling his loved ones that they must ensure that he (or she) looks presentable, or even beautiful, while lying stone cold in that box. I guess even Lady Gaga would have resisted that thought with this dirge-like refrain, "I am born this way, so let me die the same way."
It's funny how different we look when we are born as compared to when we die. During birth, we are a picture of anxiety. Recall the scream, the blood, the placenta mucus, the scrounged-up wrinkled 
face, and the violent protest. It is as if we are raising hell for being awakened from a lifeless slumber.
And how about when we are dead then? It is actually a picture-perfect, Kodak moment. Recall the serenity, the calm composure, the smile across the face, the whitewashed makeup, the cushy bed well padded, and the mood-lifting background music (there is even a buffet spread nearby). They all conspire to project to the world that when death becomes us, peace becomes us.
If you really think about it, maybe our
 default position is to return to the place just before we came to this earth to be born. And this is obvious because of our reaction at two bookend markers of mortality: birth and death. Our hostility at birth and our tranquility at death hint to the Beatle's hit song, "Let it be."
Maybe death is a sign that we should just let things be. Let go and let God. Let go of the pain. Let go of the hurt. Let go of the life we once treasured and loved. And for me in that box, the message is equally clear: Let me
 go. The memories of me will of course live on. And they should be no less uplifting upon my passing, I hope. But the maker of them is gone. I am gone. I have stopped production. I have closed down the factory. My lease on earth has expired. My work is done (even if it seems incomplete or way too early). I am now one with my Maker and I am finally home away from my temporary one on earth.
Death is the final rite of passage for each and everyone of us. And if birth is life welcoming, if not overcoming, then death is really the ultimate homecoming. I have
 therefore return to the place especially made for me and I await the final reunion of all the people I have ever loved. In the meantime, life goes on as the sorrow slowly peels off like old wound giving way to new skin.
So, I rest quietly in that box. A box that is tailored just for me. It has my name on it. It fits me snugly. It is a box delivered just in time; not too early or too late. I am also glad that it is not as cramped as the birth canal (no offence to my mum). No doubt this time, the experience is a tad
different. On birth, a life comes out of a life. On death, a life returns to the Life. If ashes is to ashes, and dust is to dust, then I guess this empty shell has served its purpose and it's time for a new wardrobe that will last.
If I can speak from the grave, just a few choice words, then this is the love note that I will leave behind for my loved ones and friends:-

It is a privilege to be born.

To this family of mine.

The memories will be fond.

Don't worry, I am fine.

The life that I've lived.

Is the life I've chosen.

Indeed, the truth in the myth.

Is what He has interwoven.

Thank you for your love. 

For your hand of friendship. 

Trailing behind my hearse.

I’m blessed by your courtship.

I am in a better place now.

I was lost but now found.

Both my heart and soul sing.

Trust me, I no longer break wind.

So, till we meet again.

Don't forget to live fully. 

Neither for money nor fame.

But for love and family.

Wow, that was indeed surreal or weird. And it seriously put a new spin on living and living for what really matters. Maybe there is some truth in the saying, "Begin living from the ending." Cheerz.

* Image from ""

No comments:

Post a Comment