Is today a good day to die?
Or is there such thing as a good day to die?
Around 40 days ago on Friday a very early message blinked in my phone. A request to cancel an appointment. The sender, a friend, also wrote: My sister in law passed away a few hours ago.I knew the person. She was my cyber friend. AND she was still young. A few years older than me. She was healthier than me and was in the middle of a good life with hubby, 2 beautiful kids, and a crowd of friends. The news left me dumbfounded. Less than a month before we planned to spend a Saturday together. The plan never came true. A heavy rain cancelled it. Then now she is gone.
A few hours after that, a senior friend texted me. Asked me for a permission not to come to work. Her nephew passed away. I knew him too. And I also knew how young he was.
A week after that, I got a message in my phone. My friend’s husband passed away from kidney failure. He was too still young. The same age as Papap. I went to her house and saw her crying silently. She tried to hide her tears from her children who kept asking “Where is Daddy?”
Days after that, another name passed away. And then another. And then another.
Yesterday, my mom told me her friend’s son passed away from heart attack. I knew him. He was 2 years younger. He also worked at the same place as I did. Again I was dumbfounded.
Yes, you can never tell when God decides when your time on earth is done. God also never promises that only the old, the sick, the miserable, who have to die first. A shock when hearing such news is actually rather ironic. It’s a secret that everybody knows the answer: when you have to die, you die. The when is the secret.
A doctor once scolded me. I wouldn’t have two years, he said. I was running out of lives when I suffered from the 5th time of typhoid fever. Across the table I looked at him wondering what else would he want me to give up? I had given up almost everything my friends did routinely yet I suffered again.
“You wouldn’t have two years with this history of yours!”
I went out of the hospital feeling beaten. But then a clear blue sky welcomed the first day of my supposedly 2 years. It’s my life. Yes, I’m not as healthy as most people. Yes, I might not be able to live 30 days without a headache, or a stomach cramp, or a nosebleed. True that I cannot enjoy a lot of food. So what? If I could only have two years left, so be it.
At that time I didn’t decide when I’d die. Instead I decided when I ‘d live. And how. 12 years now and God still gives me days to live.
I’ve been to some places and done some things. Somehow with things going on around me now I need to be reminded about that day when I stepped out of the doctor’s office again. So I can still see the clear blue sky and remind myself: I have decided to live. And then when I have to die, it would be a good day to die.