My Aunty Mary spent her last Mother’s Day with all her beloveds.
Later that evening, she died, peacefully.
It was a perfect death. The kind I’d like to have…one day…
And yet, I felt devastated by the news of her passing.
This deep grief rose up and out of me – it was unexpected.
Why such despair when I very much believe in an afterlife?
Because…another fragment of my culture was leaving this earthly space.
Nothing is ever lost to our soul, but the human part of me is attached to people, places, traditions, and memories.
Feeling sad and contemplative in the days following her death, the thought arose, What’s the point of it all? To live, to die.
Soon after, my dearly departed Aunt’s reply came to me, and yes, it was rather unexpected. (Magic really is in the timing…)
I was driving myself to her Holy Rosary along a long stretch of road when I noticed a lone car on the road, driving in front of me.
My car’s lights were beaming on its registration plate, which distinctly read: Life O Life. Only those words illuminated in the darkness.
When I arrived home later that night, I searched the words on the internet and the poem O Me! O Life! by Walt Whitman appeared, and this:
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Thank you, dear Aunty xx