Friday, March 2, 2012

Mortality

Yesterday, we received a jolt to our run-of-the-mill morning -- a stark, blunt, no beating-about-the-bush, no-fluff-no-frills kind of reminder of our mortality, our state of being human, that we will face death. Whether it's sooner or later, we don't know for sure, until it happens.

A cousin of ours, from E's side of the family, left us unexpectedly the night before, leaving his beloved wife and two sons, the eldest being the same age as C. He was in his early forties, and generally healthy. It was a stroke that took him.

We are saddened, C included, as she knows this uncle. But we have faith that he has gone to a better place and is resting in peace. We, especially E, will cherish the memories of him, the time they spent together with all the other cousins since their childhood days. We trust that his family and loved ones will remain strong and find comfort and support with each other and the extended family.

When something like this happens, especially when it involves people close to our hearts, we feel a deeper realisation of how fragile and precious life is. It makes us think again. Is toiling so hard while making compromises with our health and family time, collecting a string of A's and certificates, trying to be 'supermom'  or 'super careerperson', and making our kids take up a zillion 'enrichment' activities as we call them, all really worth the time, money and energy spent? How 'enriched' are with all these?

In this day and age, many of us, whether we realise it or not, are trying to pile too much on our plate, or plates! For the achievement-oriented types among us, we are over-zealous in wanting to be the best, to have the best, in the name of self-improvement, self-fulfillment, self-actualisation (hehe, I remember my Psychology 101!). And as parents, we do want the ultimate best for our kids. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with all these. It's only wrong when we go to the extremes.

I had said in an earlier post that I need to stop and smell the roses more. I'm still working on that. We, especially those who live in urban, competitive, fast-paced cities, need to do that. It does not mean we have to drop everything and do a 'Eat, Pray, Love' ala Elizabeth Gilbert, although I do wish sometimes I could do just that. Finding the middle ground may be hard but I believe we can do it. We may not want or be able to do what others did in finding their Ground Middle, but we can surely clear a path of our own to get there. I'm writing this to remind and motivate myself!

Meanwhile, the weekend is nigh. We shall bid farewell to cousin Eric tomorrow. Bon voyage and rest in peace, Eric.

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