Wednesday, October 08, 2008

triumph of life

everyday that death doesn't consume us is a triumph over life.

today is the "pasyam" (ninth day) of the death of ate jenny's sister, reva (eternal rest grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. may she rest in peace). yesterday, i went to the cemetery in petit-saconnex. i always wanted to go inside ever since i discovered it on one of my walks. it was beautiful from the outside which beckoned me and it was even more beautiful when i came in. it was a park where the living could be with the dead. french-shaped pine trees, resting places dotted with brightly coloured flowers, a well-manicured lawn and a soft wind - indeed, it is a place to rest - both for the living and the dead. i walked around and was at peace with the dead. i spoke to some, read some of the head stones: beloved father, beloved mother ... i wanted to clean some of the places that seemed to have been neglected or are not remembered but it might not be my place to do so ... there was a caretaker but i didn't see him/her.

we experience certain types of death. there's the physical death which is the separation of body and soul. there's spiritual death which is the death of our spirit while the body lives. there's also the living dead. those who walk around as if there's nothing worth living for. then there's the sacrificial death to ourselves in order to give life to another. that's what Jesus did for us. He didn't do it figuratively, but in reality. we are called to do it figuratively so that we not focus on our own needs but on the needs of those that need our love and care.

one of my friends on one of the first days of the nine days of prayer said: God takes you when you have fulfilled your purpose in your life. in the Old Testament, death was a curse. it was something that God instituted to punish us. But since the New Testament and the coming of Christ, God has become a loving God, not full of wrath and promises us eternal life. although we are citizens of heaven, we still have a temporal home.

we live in an ephemeral world. we tend to look at our life on earth as the only life we have. and for that, we should celebrate every second that God gives us to do something worthwhile as we tread the path of life.

"that you would be pleased to have mercy on those of whom no special remembrance is made on earth."

that phrase is taken from the book of prayers for the dead. it has been tugging at me that i should write about it because i was concerned about those people that aren't remembered much. (at my own death, i think of it.) i'm sure that they were loved by their families but were not famous and without big monuments erected in their honour. or maybe they were orphans of life - those that seem to have taken on life's cruelty in their life. i would like to pray for them because i believe that we can impact each other's lives in the simplest way. an encounter in the street, just a mere look, a mere smile. just by being there. (i have been touched by people that i don't know ... just by seeing them on the street, observing them being themselves ... they didn't need to say anything ... but i remember all of them.)

i asked a friend how she was yesterday. she said "enjoying every second of my life". i was amazed and thankful for her answer. it was a blessing to be alive. it is a blessing to wake up each day to a new morning when we can continue to be the labourers in the vineyard of God.

i hope that you will also celebrate every second of your earthly life and live a life that is worth remembering ... not by the masses but by the ones you love and the people that need your love.

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