I want to learn to embrace death.I would love to unlearn fearing death.
But as for now, I am afraid of death. Both mine and that of the people close to me. I attribute part my fear to how society generally treats the phenomena. With such heaviness and sacredness. As children we would just hear people bursting with tears in the house. The next thing, the grown ups would either pack their bags, tell us that a relative had passed on . Or the sofas would be taken outside the house as a symbol of mourning. As children we were not allowed at funerals. That on its own left a lot to the imagination. But I wondered what that meant for the children who had lost their loved ones. Did the same rule apply? Could they pay their respects to their loved ones who had departed if they wanted to ? Were they allowed? Personally, I had a million questions like what would a dead person looks like. And if their soul or spirit was watching from another dimension? And what was this dimension called? I would ask myself why they did not fight hard enough? Or if they could somehow communicate with the living but we were just not paying enough attention. As I became older, I realized that death is not only inevitable, but it happens. Ndoo nzira yedu tose. For centuries, many have tried to predict what lies ahead but, the truth is, noone really knows. We dodge the bullet everyday by the choices we make. Perhaps by postponing our journeys, choosing to take the train over our own cars, or by choosing to not walk on the left or right side of the side-way.The problem is that you can never know which choice is the best.
First things first – I have acknowledged my fear. I don’t really know if it is possible to completely get rid of it, but I would love to. Years ago I watched a video about a family that worked together in trying to embrace death. The mother passed on, leaving behind her husband and her children who were quite grown. Together they bathed the body, dressed and adorned it. They stayed with her for some days before contacting their funeral home. When asked why, they simply answered that it was according to the deceased’s will and that it was the family’s way of embracing the inevitable phenomena.
Culture, race, sex, gender and many other factors influence our relationship with death. But at the end, life goes on as we await our own death.
This is a dedication to all who lost their loved ones. May their dear souls rest in eternal peace. And also to my Grandmother Mhurai Chomunorwa who passed on on the 1st of July, 2018. Rest beautifully.