Embracing the Inevitable When I Die

Embracing the Inevitable When I Die

by Mary Essiet                                                            Nigeria                  29.04.2024     

As I sat on the pews of the church that day listening to the words of the final commendation said by the priest, I could not help but reflect once again on how I would love my death to be.

For me, an ideal death would be one where I am surrounded by loved ones, drinking coffee and sharing laughter and stories of our beautiful memories. I imagine looking through the window from my bed to admire the dark and deep sky adorned with glittering stars and appreciating God’s creative works. But this may turn out to be just a beautiful vision and not what my death will be because the Lord gives and takes and decides what is ideal for everyone. Which is why, regardless of when or how, I want my loved ones to receive the news of my death with joy too.

No! I do not mean to police their emotions. They can express their sadness but I hope that their joy is even greater, for death is really just another natural part of life-a gift from God.

I love to think about my death from time to time. I do not find discussions about death taboo; rather, reflecting on it helps in shaping my life in many ways. For if I want the news of my death received not just with sadness but joy too, then I must live well.

I believe and agree with Rabinderanath Tagore that “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come”. Oh, how much it will please me to have my loved ones see my death from this light! Yeah, I want them to find comfort in the kind of life I lived. That of love, purpose and meaning. I wish that they find solace in the memories we created and are pushed to do even more when my dawn comes. I hope that it avails them of another opportunity to reflect on their own lives and what death means to them.

Overall, I hope that I die with a smile on my face, knowing that the heavens are proud of how much I loved myself and extended the same to my neighbors. When I die, Ii envision it to be a celebration of a life well lived.

Mary Essiet is a native of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, and a medical student who heals through writing.