Saturday, September 09, 2006

When I´m Gone...

Picture by Brian Blaine Reynolds

What if my plane crashed down…
If on the road, I got pulled under a truck…
What If I fell asleep never to open my eyes again?

Death is something we don't think about much, or when we do… we always associate it to someone else. And then someone is taken from us… and our world comes tumbling down.

Getting killed isn't exactly the most intelligent topic to consider 24 hours before getting on a plane… but I found myself wondering; what if?

My first reflection was on my own life: have I lived a life worth dying for? Am I proud of who I am and what I've done with my twenty four years on earth? Could I have done more? Did I do enough? Simple questions with complicated answers. I didn't hesitate though, mostly because I don't regret the mistakes I've made along time… they’ve determined how far I've come and looking back objectively, there's very little I would change, I daresay, nothing at all… I am who and what I am because of the choices I've made and frankly, I like who I've become.
There would be three: The university degree that has evaded me, the man I want to love and make happy and the family I want to build and raise.
Death would be cruel to rob me of those three goals… the one's I've living for.
Other than those… I have no regrets, none that would haunt me in the afterlife.

So let's pretend that I'm at the finish line… now what? What would be of my memory? Most people reply: “What do I care after I'm gone! I won't know anyway”
And although this may or may not be true… I'm not of the same opinion.
I care about the legacy I leave behind, I care about the memory of me in each and every heart that I've lived to touch.
And how would I like to be remembered?
How else?!! As Sunshine… the girl that believed in being happy is more than a state of mind, it's a choice of spirit. The person that believed in love, even when blinded by tears of disappointment;
The friend that could be counted on;
The colleague that gave her best;
The daughter that accepted and understood;
The sister that loved truly, deeply and unconditionally;
The girl that believed…
The woman that survived, lived and rescued.
The ex-girlfriend that taught that love is an undying emotion, that gave her whole heart, that made all the difference…

I'd like to remembered for my spirit, my inner light, my courage, determination, inspiration and above all… for my belief in the good in people and all things.
I'd like to remembered for my smile… with a smile, even if accompanied with a tear.
For my adventurous spirit and initiative… for the all the times I was unpredictable, for each time I was present, for the courage of my convictions.
I've been happiest when I dance, when I sing, when I laugh so hard that my stomach hurts, when I work, when I play… all of which was made possible by those that fill my heart with joy: my family, my friends… and yes, my colleagues as well.
Leaving them behind is the only unbearable consequence of death… if there is life on the other side of life; I can't imagine it without all these people.
It hurts me even more to think of the pain my absence would cause them; it's incredibly selfish and stupid to ask someone you love not to cry for you when you're gone… wouldn't you cry for them?! Who am I to ask them to be robbed of their release…
Yet my only wish is that after the tears have dried up, that they're left with the happy memories of me. I'd like to die knowing that I've left something positive with each person I've met, that at some point in their lives they'll remember me with a smile saying “I remember a ray of Sunshine…”

I tried picturing my funeral… I avoided imagining my parent’s expressions; my little brother’s look most of all… Instead I saw my coffin and an ocean of faces that I'd met along the way trying to remember how they met me and the good times… if there were a song playing it would be Lighthouse’s: “Ain´t no sunshine when she’s gone”.
It's not the original version but it's my favourite version of the song… I know one or two souls that already associate this music to me and probably would be singing it to themselves in the back of their minds…
Wait a minute! I'm not meant to be in a coffin!! Who determined that I should be food for the worms?... Get me out of there! Rather turn my remains to ashes and set them free where my essence will forever remain.
So let's think about where I want to be scattered…
Not all at one place… that would be forgetting my entire history. I hope my parents have the sense to divide me in three and take me to three places I've so far called home. At the end of an afternoon when the sun is setting and the waves are calm… I'd like to be scattered over the oceans from South Africa, Madeira and Lisbon.
Those who know me well… know that no other place would make sense.

How morbid! To think of letting this life go… I've still got so much to do that I can't think of my time ending already… I guess I should feel privileged to already have come this far, I can't imagine being anywhere else. I believe I’ve lived the most honest life that I could… or at least I've tried my best to… so I hope God makes me an angel so that I'm allowed to come down and check up on the people I love and occasionally whisper in their ears. With a bit of luck, I'll be allowed to be a part of the small miracles in their lives… the kind that will make them wake up in the morning feeling happy to be alive.
There are things I'd like to say to every individual in my life but overall I feel that I haven't left anything to be said… I mean what I say and say what I mean therefore people have no reason to doubt the relationship I’ve had with them.
Okay so there may be one or two people I'd like to say a few extra words to (I guess there's always someone…) but if life didn't give me that chance to say what I havn't said until now, I'll trust that someone else will, or that their hearts will tell them what deep down they already know.

Are there people waiting for me on the other side? My two grandfathers’, will they fetch me when I take my last breath? Fatima… I hope she’s there with her eternal smile upon her face and her little Bambi on her shoulder. Will Dyna and Pitó be there as well? Do dogs go to heaven when they die?... I hope so, otherwise I want to go wherever they went.

What will I miss most about life?
Ice-cream! A vanilla corneto if you please!... Water, the luxurious feeling of feeling wet and of diving into a watery world. Walks on the beach, that incredible feeling of sand and the water that kisses your feet… the salty smell of the ocean, the heat in a kiss from the sun on your skin. Snow… lots of it! White, pure and thick, the product of winter’s magic! Autumn’s leaves!... Green, orange and brown that collect at my feet when the wind blows. The wind in my hair and taking deep breaths of life… Flowers! The colours, the scent… the beauty, that feeling in your stomach when someone gives you a rose. Butterflies in my stomach, when I'm ecstatically happy, when I'm in love, when I laugh so hard that it hurts… laughter, smile – happy ones, naughty ones, all of them naturally made from the soul.
Fireworks on New Years day, grandma’s pudding at Christmas, singing in the shower, dancing in my socks… Hugs and Kisses! KISSING!!! - Deeply, profoundly, intensely, lovingly…
Life is so much fun; I hope I get to stay long.

What started off as a gloomy post has resulted in my appreciation of life. We all know that life should be lived by the moment and to the maximum but most of the time we're distracted and the moment passes us by.
I don't believe that I'm anywhere near the end of my life although I'm aware that death is fate’s choice and not my own. And yet, today… the day that marks 5 years since I've left South Africa and faced life on my own, it occurs to me how responsible we really are for the way our lives turn out.
We're pawns of fate but only victims of destiny if we choose to be… destiny is our choice and even when we don't make one, that in itself is a decision made.
Evaluating the last five years, I'm satisfied with my choices – no regrets. I hope that five years from now on looking back, I'll feel this proud of my life's course.
I hope I'm old before I die… I hope I'll have lots more memories to look back on, I want the opportunity to make more people smile.

Life is a stage that permits no rehearsals therefore sing, dance, laugh and love intensely until the curtain closes without applause – William Shakespeare.


Storm said...

I think this may be your best piece yet. Not because of the dying part but because reading this you can tell exactly what kind of a person you are.
You already are an angel to your friends Carla, I´m certain that if ever you should die that a lot of people would miss you.
Stop thinking about things like that and concentrate on getting your arse to South Africa... how many hours left?

Lord of Erewhon said...

Girl, what a writer You are!
Death can be enlightment...

P. S. Querida, Sunshine... as expressões idiomáticas da língua inglesa raramente funcionam na língua de Camões!:)=

P. S. Eu nunca te disse que não perseguia a beleza... e a morte é mais funda que a vida... os mortos sabem-no! (Um certo humor negro final... JAJAJAJA!!!).

Dark kiss e vivam as bananas! :)=

Lord of Erewhon said...

a propósito de língua e de funda, também tenho uma coisa muito humida para te dizer... minha delambida.

Paulo Santos said...

vim ver-te. agradecer-te e ler-te.
Deparo-me com tres post´s rajada ... á queima-roupa!
Algo te libertou a vontade de escrever e a criatividade! Fico Feliz!
Esta subita explosão apanhou-me desprevenido! Voltarei envolto no manto da noite para com atenção ler teus post´s. e depois, se for caso disso, commentar!!!
Para já um imenso agradecimento ás tuas palavras em meu post!
Volto Breve!


Lord of Erewhon said...

NOTA IMPORTANTE: esse comment aí não foi feito por mim... anda UM FILHO DA PUTA a fazer comments em meu nome...

Configura o blog só para bloggers para que isso não seja possível.
Como poderás verificar o comment linka logo para o blog e não para o meu Perfil.