Monday 4 April 2016

Thought Picnic: At death do we close the book?

Facebook is a terror, the harbinger of tidings least expected, even of news that shocks and saddens.
Many a time, I have happened upon page and status without the need to dig or explore, for before my eyes is another flicker of light gone, the passing of someone I once knew.
With seeming regularity with premonition of proximity, I count the numbers of some with whom an intimacy was once shared and never will that be shared again, they have gone to the place of reminiscence in the lake of memory where maybe a ripple or a wave brings for thoughts, a smile, a tear or both. We meet only in dreams.
Then you wonder, what is death?
A natural process where an episode has run its course?
Yet for all that ends in death, many are not a natural cause but a sudden and abrupt pulling away of the carpet, disease, illness, murder, suicide, terrorism, courses totally unanticipated in many instances and not softening the effect of the blow.
What is death, you wonder still?
A cessation or a beginning?
A defeat or a victory?
A wall or a portal?
It is difficult to say, for if there were more to the end of life beyond the end of life, where are the souls if those be significant gone, for the total number of humanity from the very beginning of time indeterminate is in the innumerable and unnumbered billions.
Of these billions gone, their stories wherever they have gone, if there be a place, none have returned from that journey with news of exploits.
Going by the measure of earthly time, there is no time for exploits for the many we are told by legend, fame or happenstance have revived from a state of death have only been dead for days, nary a week, never a fortnight, forget a month and a year is quite impossible.
Religion with its many belief systems offers plenty a shoulder to cry on and bosom to weep to soften the shock of death with a hope, an expectation and longing placed in a time and space unreachable without passage.
Some, however, have beguiled and bemused as peeping toms and messengers between us in the living world and those who have left the living world. Are we to believe them?
It there is anything tangible left beyond the works, the legacy, the memories and the bequeaths, it is the solid tombstones and mausoleums, the deep waters, the ice show windows created by those who got lost, the rock faces before a plunge. the kindling for flames or graves, many unmarked for assuredly in death we return to earth from whence we came or completely reduced to ashes.
Whether this is the end or not is the story of man and his encounters with death.

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