Death Becomes You
There is nothing worse than having to listen to the post-mortem of a grief-stricken spouse or family member. To see the tears, the gasping for breathe and hearing the little anecdotes, which are told as a consolation to their open wounds. Fortunately, I have only attended three funerals, in my short life span. Since they were very dear to me, naturally the effects of their deaths will differ.
My first encounter, my dad. I was four years old, when he died from a malignant brain tumour. I was told that he was going with little angels to a magical place, how was I to know that he was not returning. As the day of the funeral progressed, I remember immaturely blurting, ‘don’t cry mum, the angels will bring daddy back’. At the time, that was cute, now when I think about it, what was I thinking? Years passed and he never returned all that surfaced was mum’s bitter memories of the horrible ordeal. I was not given a chance to grieve as I was shielded from the truth, too young to understand death. Soon after I stopped believing in Santa, the tooth fairy or anything fictitious as it was ruined by the story of the angels of death.
Years passed before the sudden death of my grandma. The Cancer had eaten at her stomach, causing her insides to decade, we were told. It was unbelievable, yet tragic for the family as they had no idea she smoked which apparently had a little to do with her death. The doctors refused to let us in the hospital room, to pay our last respects, as her appearance was ghastly. The time that we should have spent mourning her death was fuelled with resentment and unfairness of the doctors. Seeing her on her deathbed would have been easier to bring closure to the grieving.
Surprisingly enough the last death was due to an accident, my mum’s brother. He was in a terrible car crash. On the day of the funeral, performing the rituals we noticed blood oozing out the coffin. It was dripping all around the coffin and splashing on us. Several nights after the funeral, I started to have nightmares of the death of my uncle. I was acting out his death; I could feel his pain, the crushing of his ribs, the sound of his spine snapping. Touch the blood escaping through my ears, mouth and nostrils. The heartbeat becoming feint. It was the most awful feeling. It eventually stopped, when I accidentally cut my finger and the blood escaped down my palm. Imagine if every experience tormented your subconscious, you’d wish yourself dead…