I have no idea since when, the Kuching airport has become quite a nostalgic place for me. It is so familiar, yet at the same time giving me the feeling of sadness. I travel alone most of the time, always with caution, alertness, sometimes with anxiety too, but other times, excitement.
But today, as I made my way to the departure area, I felt my heart sank. As I watched the plane took to the sky, it felt as if I was leaving Kuching behind and would not be back for a long time. Even though I was with a few friends, and we were flying to another town for a short business meeting.
Is death something like the airport too? Like the airport, it is an area souls await to be brought to their final destination? There would be those who are unwilling to leave their loved ones behind, and therefore the feeling of such a heavy heart. There would also be those who are more than ready to leave every earthly thing and look forward to go Home.
If God would give me the chance to choose how I would prefer to die — a sudden painless death (due to accident or in my sleep), or slowly fading away (due to old age), or a painful deterioration (due to sickness) — I wouldn’t know which one to choose.
As I advance in age, and as I bid goodbye to more and more people in funerals, and shared in the sorrow of friends who lost their loved ones, I began to truly realise the brevity of our lives and deeply treasure those who are close to my heart. I have to admit that I am becoming more and more afraid of losing those whom I love. I wish I could keep each and every one of them by my side so that I could care for them all, but I know that in reality, we could rarely get the best of both worlds.
So that brought me to yet another realisation: that death is never about how we are going to die, because it is not up to us. But we can definitely choose how to live our lives, by giving ourselves completely to those whom we love. We can choose to live by dying to ourselves everyday, that when the time finally comes for us to leave for Home, it will not catch us unprepared and unwilling.
To my loved ones, particularly Mom and Dad, and my fiancé Ahmos, I love you all most deeply.
(Penned on 25 February 2019; on the flight to Tawau, Sabah)