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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Death has a far reach

A woman lost her husband. I didn't know her. Neither did Callye, from who's blog I got the news. But the news travelled, and the blogger world is mourning with this food blogger and her family. Thousands are making the peanut butter pie that Jennie's husband loved, to celebrate his life and honour his memory. Thousands are touched by his last dance with his daughter.

The news of deaths of happy, innocent people just like yourself is a sad thing to come by, even if they were far away from you and absolutely unknown to you in  life. When I heard of Jennie's loss, I had the same sinking feeling that I would have if it were someone I knew and honoured in their lifetime. I thought of the family's immense, unthinkable sense of emptiness. Sympathy comes to me, but empathy eludes me, because I am lucky. It eludes me because I want it to: never anywhere does anyone want to have the direct experience that would acquaint them with how it really feels. But it comes. It strikes when one least expects it, leaving a giant black hole in one's life. One has to move on. Among all those who mourn, the degrees of sadness varies greatly. For some it is a parent or a child or a sibling, a family member or a friend, for some it is one close to a friend; for some it is a neighbour, or the nice person one met at the market every week and didn't know the name of. For some, it's a stranger who one somehow feels for. Everyone mourns accordingly, and take proportionate time to move on. But in spite of these differences, death leaves a mark. In spite of assurances of a better place, of immortality, of union with the divine, death is a blow. A massive blow.

I write this because he was a fellow human being -- loved, cherished, honoured and cared for, just like we all are, and will be missed deeply by those close to him; because the news of his passing brought a sudden solemnity to my day: this post was to be a celebration of my exams ending. Death, however far away, does that to me. I contemplate the nature of death whenever I hear of one. Even if predicted, it actually happens in the blink of an eye . Here last second, now here no more. How can I ignore this occurrence in the lives of a happy family, in the life of a fellow blogger? But all I can do is leave a comment on her blog, and write a post in here to show my sympathy. Rest in Peace, Mikey, and may your family have the strength to recover, and continue to keep your memory alive.


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