Today is All Soul’s Day.
I went to the cemetery yesterday morning with my family. We went to visit my husband’s relatives on his father’s side that have passed on.
As I looked around, I saw how much effort we Filipinos put into remembering our dead. I could see tents with people who have stayed the night before, a few people burning incense and others cleaning their beloved’s stone tablet .
I begun to think about death. Was I afraid to die? Certainly. But I think it is more of having a lot of regrets when I die or leaving people behind versus actual dying. I’m afraid of not reaching my potential before I die. I fear being separated from my loved ones. I am afraid for my husband and child not having me in their lives, of my child growing up without a mother. I fear being a burden to my family if I were gravely ill. Those are scarier thoughts than death to me.
A few years back, I read Covey’s book entitled 7 Habits of Highly effective people. The first habit was “ Begin with the End in Mind”. In an exercise, the author encouraged his reader to imagine his or her own funeral. What would people say about you? What would your spouse say in the eulogy? Your friend? Your co-worker? Your neighbor?
I also remember a question I had to answer back in call center training. The question was, “If you were to die tomorrow, why not today?” I said, “Because today I get to say goodbye to my family. I get to spend a day with them. I get to hug them close and kiss them”
As we pay tribute to the lives of those who have gone before us, let us not forget that today is a gift. We are living in borrowed time and today we get to love more, be more compassionate, more giving and live more. Hopefully, one day, people will also remember the good in us.