If I Die Young

“Your casket slowly went down; the deeper it went, the more distant it felt. It happened in two different worlds, separated only by a thin veil that waved back and forth with the wind like slipping in and out of consciousness. They cried, of course, your mother most especially. She was drowned by her own tears; they had to call an ambulance. Your father, (you weren’t very close were you?), went to the car the moment you were lowered. Don’t worry, he cried there.”

If I die young, I would cry for the boy who rests six feet under the ground. The earth would not only swallow a mass of lifeless flesh, but beside him would also rest his hopes and dreams and the future. As the flesh decays, so would the core of his existence; the thing that makes him, him; the thing that made him live.

Live. Life.

Lived.

Fleeting moments, that’s what life’s made of; fleeting moments that come to us in waves of nauseating euphoria, sweeping us into a land of mistakes and lessons and what ifs and existential questions. We’re in a highway of moments that pass by us in blurry fragments; one day we’re children crying over bruised knees then we’d find ourselves crying over failed relationships and the next thing we know, people are crying over us.

“There’s no point in trying to comfort them. You can’t, not anymore. You don’t get it do you? They live in the now. You, you live in the then. They are present, you are past. Yesterday and today might seem so near but there are great distances between them, not even numbers can measure it. There’s a big difference between 11:59 and 12:01. Separated by seconds, but even a second is great enough to save a person’s life. Sometimes, a second is enough, if not, more than enough. You of all people should know that.”

If I die young, I would cry for the boy who rests six feet under the ground. All the love that he could have given and received would remain a mystery; a mystery written in a thousand year old papyrus, soaked in vinegar, and to assure it’s complete disappearance, incinerated to the point where not even a single ash remained. Because his love, it’s the greatest secret the world would never know.

Love.    

Diseases. Accidents. Alcohols. Cigarettes. Drugs. Problems. Heartaches. Love. We are all slowly killing ourselves, unconsciously doing it in our own simple ways. Walking time bombs, that’s what we are, ticking our way down to the last second of our existence where a millisecond is all that separates life from death.

Death.

Unlike yin and yang, death is not completely the opposite of life. It’s not some heavenly phenomena that exists only to balance out the harmony in the world. It’s something that comes with life, they are not separate, they are not opposite but death is life and life is death. From the day we were born, death was already written in our body, it coexists with life; as we grow, it grows. We are all but a stage where life and death dance to the divine beat of the cosmos, a ballad where balance is at stake; when one of them goes out of rhythm, it would be devoured by the other.

“Do you have any regrets? Something you wish you could have done? Things you wish you could have said? It’s too late now, there’s nothing you can do. That’s what makes me scary; I am the permanent goodbye everyone dreads. Everyone fears me for that but people are naïve. If there was something you wanted to say, something you wish you could have done, things you wanted to change then you should’ve done all of it. That’s why immortality does not exist because people could just put things off again and again and not worry about a deadline; imagine if you had endless tomorrows. Life is important because of me; I give you limited days to do countless of things. I make you think of your deadline and push you to do the things you want to do. But people don’t see that, do they? They just see me as an ender of things, a selfish bastard who takes away people they love. The tears that people shed during funerals aren’t tears for the dead, but they are tears for themselves. They cry because of all opportunities they missed to show their love to the one lying in the casket. They are not tears of sorrow, they are tears of regret.”

If I die young, I would cry for the boy who rests six feet under the ground. I would listen to the great things people say about him, decorated with words that would make him seem like a perfect human being favored by the gods. I would listen as people recall memories of him and say great things about him. How come you never say those things up front, while he was alive? And I’d laugh as they say things they wished they could’ve told him or things that they wished they had done with him and things they wished they had done to him. You had all the years with him to do them, but you didn’t.

But what about the bad things about him? How come people never talk about how cruel and bad the dead person was when he was still alive? Maybe that’s the thing about life and death; in life, people condemn you for the bad things you have done and disregard the good but in death, they crown you for the good that you’ve done and forget about the bad. How come it’s easier to praise the dead for the good they have done and so hard to do it to the living who need it the most?

“It’s time to go; this is no longer a place for you. There’s a time and place for everything and right now, yours ends here. You have to let go now and start accepting the fact that you now live in their past. It’s not unfair, it’s just how it’s supposed to be.”

If I die young, I’d be forgotten early.

“Time will heal them and it may seem like they’ve forgotten about you but they won’t; they’ll just learn to live with the hollow feeling in their chest. They’ll learn to live without you in their usual routine and that’s okay because the dead remains in the dead and the living, in the living. But it doesn’t mean they love you any less in fact they love you enough to learn to let go. You want them to still be happy, right?

If I die young, I would do everything I can in my young years to leave a mark – a legacy that will live for me when I am gone, a tattoo in the history of man. Something that will celebrate my life for the people I have left behind.

If I die young, continue to live. Always remember, never forget.

“It was a beautiful ceremony but it has ended, everything does. Let’s go. It’s time.”

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