Sunday, February 26, 2006

Make peace with death: What would you do if this is your last day alive?

I just got an email from a very good friend of mine whos currently residing in Australia. I, like many of my friends simply loves to hear from him mainly because it's always something inspirational. Despite the once-in-a-blue-moon frequency, at least I know that he's somewhere out there healthy and alive.

Here I want to share with everyone the message he sent:

Hello everyone,

Hah, this would be the email I'm sending out before I pack up and leave for Sydney (and while I still have a bit of free time left). How's everyone doing? Yeah, uni's starting again, and I'll be back this Friday, though not entirely sure I'm ready for it yet.

Been feeling like I'm carrying a big 'luggage' around for quite some time now, so perhaps this would be a good way to unload onto you guys (hope you don't mind the extra 'load').

Earlier this year a friend died. He was on my floor in college, literally just 2 doors down. Was bitten by a brown snake while having a jog on New Year's Eve, collapsed and misdiagnosed for sunstroke. Shortly, went into organ failure. By the time they treated him for snake bite; it was a bit too late. Received an email on new year's day, saying to pray for his safety. Thought it was a hoax until another email the next day, the life support machine shut off on that morning.

I can't say I knew him very well. But still, it shook me up, still finding it difficult to explain what I felt when I received the email. Hah, don't know where this thought came from, but maybe comparable to (accidentally) sticking your fingers on the pins of an electric plug and having electricity coming up your hand, and the feeling of numbing pain after you retracted your hand (swiftly). I guess we take things for granted (and granted that this has been said many times), that you know, nothing changes as we go on day after day, but all it takes is one real thing, a loss to sneak up on you, a reminder.

In a way, I dread this trend of 'encounters with death' that occurs in my summer holidays. More than a year ago, me and my family's serendipitous misses from the tsunami in Penang, and a hair-trigger, near drowning adventure with friends in a nature park up on the New South Wales Central Coast. And now, at the turn of the year, this. Can't say I'm very impressed. Sometimes I feel though, going though that, it really grounds you in reality. Perhaps, as the common saying goes, make peace with death, and with that, understand the limits of our time and life, prompting us to use it fully. Perhaps learning death, we learn to live.

Been reading a lot of book from psychiatry (ahem), lately also some philosophy, and Greek mythology as a side too. Also watched quite a few films (and TV series)! Don't know, perhaps lately, got a bit of carpe diem rubbing 'on me. Came back home and this would supposedly be my last long holiday, so read a lot of stuff... National Geographic mags... and that started this trend of more reading. You know that feeling? Sometimes you just wake up and feel like the world is so alive, so full of things for you to experience. (And some days I just want to curl up and stay in bed.) Hah!

"If you knew this was your last day on earth, how would you want to spend it?" was the ending to that 2 part Grey's Anatomy episode. Watched it a few days ago. (see where my line of thought comes from... TV these days!) I guess it has been said many times (and I must admit, very clichéd), but in light of these events, it does seem pretty valid. Oh wait, pardon me for maybe coming across as a bit too morbid, but still, makes one think of every new day differently.

I think I ran out of things to say...

Hah, probably should just stop here and go to sleep. Hope to see those of you in uni soon. Those back home, been really fun this holiday, and keep in touch everyone.

Seize the day.....

*** *** (I haven't manage to ask for permission)

PS: ok ok, I know I sound very clichéd to some people, so thanks for bearing with me. (I feel lighter now.)

So, what would you do if you so happen to know that this is your last day alive? Will you spend all your money? Hold a party in celebration of your last day on earth? Would you do something out of the norm? As for me, I would like to meet every single person on earth that I know one last time. I think one last chat would be brilliant.

Tags: Death, Live, Australia, Friend , Email,

No comments: