I just came from a wake of a work colleague’s Dad. It was the second time that I attended a wake after my own Dad’s passing. I couldn’t feel anything when I went to the Funeral Chapel with some of my work colleagues. It was just like one of those deaths that happen that is part of the circle of life.
I sat there, looking at the white flowers surrounding the casket, watching people chatter and laugh. It didn’t feel like a wake to me. So I looked for my colleague instead and had a small chat with him. Asked how old his Dad was, how it happened, when the burial will be and all those small talks you do during wakes. We talked a little about my Dad as well and he was so surprised how young my Dad was when he passed away.
One thing that we had in common, though, was that, we think it is best that they have now passed rather than watch them helplessly suffer more. You see, his Dad was first diagnosed and qualified for a heart bypass in 2008. According to him, his Dad refused operation and other medical assistance needed to cure him. He only took maintenance meds that were prescribed. And with that, he survived three more strokes prior to his passing early this week. He was already having hard time breathing and he cannot lie down so he slept in a reclining position.
And while we were talking, small things that I remember when my Dad was still alive crept back into the recesses of my tired brain. How hard he breathed during the last few weeks of his life (and those were one of the things that I don’t really want to remember), how weak he had become and how helpless he looked, and yet, despite all that, he smiled a lot, chattered as much as he can, and he became a whole lot lighter in so many ways that I have ever seen him during my younger years.
Maybe death does that to you. Makes you remember the smallest things about your own dearly departed that makes you smile fondly no matter how painful it gets sometimes. And at the same moment, it makes you value the time that you have on this world more than ever.
I really don’t know what I am trying to say here. Maybe I just wanted to say that we take our lives for granted. We complain of what we don’t have, we envy others for having what we have always wanted, we spend a lot more time making our sorry lives more miserable than it should be. But when it comes to that point when our lives begin to fade, we realize that what really matters are the simple pleasures – spending time with family and friends, being thankful for another day to start all over, finding joy in small achievements and all that.