I lie quietly on the bed. Fan whirring over my head. Leaves rustling outside the window. My ailing wife feebly groaning by my side. I can still hear them all, clear and crisp. I can still feel that I am ageing. Seconds being added to me and time pushing me slowly towards what they call the “End of life”. Yeah, life surely would end. But would I cease to exist? How can I not live when I relinquish life? Because it’s life that ends. Not I.
My heart is pounding. Heat starts leaving me and blood vessels slowly stop carrying blood to my feet. I feel a coldness creeping into me, crawling its way upwards clinging to my arteries, leaving numbness behind. I am almost there. Nobody is noticing perhaps. I fast forward through my entire life in a flash. Sweet-bitter memories. Loving and hating people. Smiling and crying faces. Kids growing up. Their angelic faces. I feel contentment.
I take a whiff of air one last time. My heart pumps out blood one last time. One last time, my muscle twitches as I try to smile. Moments later I wouldn’t need these elements to LIVE. Then, in a sudden jerk I detach myself from the body. I stop ageing. Time stands motionless in my still body. Seconds don’t add up anymore. It’s strange. I can’t move my body even if I want to. I can still hear all those sounds, but can’t utter a word. It is nostalgic. Disowning what carried you through all these years. 85 years, to be precise. But nothing much really has changed. Except that I don’t feel burdened by the weight of my flesh. I don’t feel fettered by gravity. I don’t need anything but myself to survive.
People gather around my body. Familiar faces. Some whom I nurtured. Some who nursed me. Some who wanted me to die. And some who can’t help but cry. Finally some, who have to.
I have been loved. I have been hated. I accept my mistakes. Not that it matters anymore. Just that it’s cathartic to think about it now that I have plenty of time to “Think”. Something perhaps I didn’t get much time for on the other side of my existence. Busy as I was with this rotting body. Troubled body.
I would continue to Live. Like I had lived my life so far. Because “Living” doesn’t require life. One can as well Live in death. For death is life’s counterpart. Living is having existence. And life hasn’t robbed me of that.
I won’t be reborn. Nor would I go to heaven. I would stick around here. This place that I love. I would continue to see these lovely faces. Of my kids. Of their kids. I would still be photographed with my great-grand kids. But would stop appearing in the photographs. I would still lie beside my wife as long as she is on the other side. But wouldn’t take up space anymore. I would continue to eat without needing food. I would continue to sit outside the veranda in the soft morning light. I would continue to read those crisp newspapers. I would read them first, as I always did. But no one would ever notice.