The year 2021 is the year that gives me a roller coaster of feelings. I wanted to write about some of the themes that somewhat I learned more about that year.
In 2021, I had lost my four legs best friend, my very first dog in Bali, a day before my 31st birthday over my own naivete, and perhaps, lack of attention. When a dog is about to die, normally they will look for a warm and isolated place away from us. But she kindly let me know as she laid down by the gate as I came to see her. Deep inside, I think she knew I was tired and needed more time for myself. She decided to let herself go to ease me a bit. I carried her to her grave with my own hand, her beautiful body that I showered the day before. Her death put scars on me even until many months later. I did, took it hard on myself.
Three months later, a month-old kitten I rescued got bitten by a dog. She broke her spine, and couldn’t process food or throw her urine. We believed she couldn’t last long after. Getting her euthanasia was expensive. For five days, I let her sleep by my side. Thinking that, at least, she wouldn’t die alone. The night she died, I opened my eyes at 2 a.m for no reason. She stared at me, and with her last power, crawled from her bed, and laid next to my pillow. She died some minutes later.
I was attending a couple of Balinese funeral ceremonies for the first time after I arrived in Bali in 2019. The ceremonies are amazing and festive. One of the funerals I attended (and invited) was for my landlord’s daughter whom I talked with a lot during the lockdown. She had many illnesses causing her to had to stay at home most of her time. She also wished to have a child with her husband. She tried, and she prayed for it. My landlord often mentioned her in conversations. They cried for her even after her death.
That year also, for the first time, I was able to come home for my sick dad, as I normally lived so far away.
For the first time in my life, I’ve thought deeply about losing some things I really dear in life over impermanence, over immortality. These events, as I looked back, none are overtly painful to see. Impermanence is ended ceremoniously and with respect, because I honored the moment we have together, it just, unfortunately, has to end sooner than what we’ve expected because they decided to go early.
I finally understood what the stoic philosophy said about death: Death is a natural succession to life.