Steve Jobs once said that death is “Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.”
I’ve always perceived life as the art of letting go…gracefully. Every second, we say goodbye to something. At the end of each smile, we bid farewell to a sweet memory. There are just some goodbyes more pressing and painful than others like a break-up or a death of a loved one. Sometimes, the harder challenge does not even lie in saying goodbye but in moving forward.
I used to harbor so much bitterness after a break-up. But I guess it’s true when they say that with age comes maturity. Through the years, I have learned to handle break-ups with as much grace and dignity as possible. I still get upset but I have learned to accept things as they are and charge everything to experience. No more pointing fingers. I am now quick to remember that bumps in the road make my life story more interesting. And a major life detour could be just what I need.
In my life, I have probably encountered only 4 major deaths in the family. And my reaction was the same for all–calm and collected. For some reason, I become systematic and organized upon hearing the passing of a loved one. Where is the wake going to be held? What else do we need to prepare?
When my lola (grandma) died for instance, I was the one left alone in the room waiting for her casket to be delivered. When my auntie passed away in America, I immediately took on the “Ate (big sister)” role and booked tickets for the family. It might be my training in Advertising. During crunch time, like an efficient account manager, I disregard all emotions and get the job done. But while everything is happening, I repeat a fervent prayer in my head and hope against all hope that we would all pull through.
PEACE OF MIND
Death, if you would be logical about it, should rather be liberating. For the dying, death should signify the completion of a life and freedom from all worldly responsibilities. But somehow, death scares even the dying because we worry for those we would leave behind. Sometimes, we cry not just because love or life ends but because our hearts and minds are filled with regrets and what ifs. Knowing this, the most we could do, I guess, is to be prepared. Enrich our lives. Design it as beautifully as possible so that when we reach that one last second, we would look back at a life maximized to its potential.
When you’re a parent, you must find comfort in knowing that you have taught your children well. And you’ve prepared them for the worst.
When you’re someone’s partner, find refuge in the thought that you have given it your all. You have loved with all of your heart. You have tried your best to remain honest and faithful.
I guess it all boils down to three words: peace of mind. Although nothing in this world is certain, in the end, what will give you peace is the thought that you have given it your best shot and that you have prepared well for the inevitable.
This talk about death was brought about by this touching video I chanced upon on my Facebook News Feed. My blogger friend Tara Cabullo works for insurance company Sun Life. For the past few weeks, she has been uploading videos of short films or “Sun Shorts” created by several directors commissioned by their company to showcase the beauty of life and the importance of planning for it.
One film caught my attention and made me realize that indeed, what matters in this life is to mean something to another and to always always always give it your best shot. You’ll find that when a life is well lived, when it ends, tears are cried not out of regret but because of the sweetness of remembering amazing and meaningful memories.
Please watch this video, A Day in a Life, as directed by Jolly Feliciano.
Before you take your last breath, what do you think will give you eternal peace?
Contemplating at 4 in the morning,