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Death Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.

A poem by John Donne.

If you ask me what scares me most, I’d say death. I think it’s the idea of being separated from someone dear to you that makes me all paranoid about it. It’s not the type of goodbye where you can say, “Until next time!” or “See you later!” because when someone passes, no one really knows when you will see that person again.

Death wasn’t a big deal before. I used to think that when it’s your time, well, it’s your time. But when I got married and had kids, things changed. My family brings so much joy to my life that just the thought of losing them makes me panic and brings me to tears. Yes, I’m that crazy.

I get paranoid when Daddy A responds to a fire incident. I have to get at least a text message from him every hour that he is there just so I’d know he’s okay.

I get paranoid when the kids are sick.

I get paranoid when we ride boats or planes or even cars!

I basically get paranoid every time I feel that something may be too dangerous and might result to death.

And I get a very heavy feeling in my heart every time we go to funerals because funerals remind me that life is unpredictable; life is short.

About a week ago, we lost our baby bird, Sasha. Her death was just too sudden. We were playing with her the night before, then we noticed the next morning that she wasn’t as active. By lunch time, Daddy A found her dead in her house. As to why that happened, we don’t know.

Sasha

So we got another bird, Nadia. She was just three weeks old. Kelly kept calling her Sasha, even though we kept telling her that Sasha flew away to look for her Mommy and Daddy. Then a few days ago, a tragedy happened.

Nadia

Nadia was inside her house, but kept calling for our attention. As much as we wanted to play with her, we decided to let her stay inside the house because the kids were both grumpy and throwing tantrums. By the time we got the kids settled, we brought Nadia out of her cage, but noticed something different. She kept bending her head back and couldn’t walk properly. Minutes later, she died in Daddy A’s palm.

I felt that heavy feeling in my heart that I feel when I go to funerals. Seeing a dead person or animal is one thing, but seeing someone/something close to your heart die in front of you is a whole different thing. We were quiet the whole day. I know, our birds are just animals, but they are family to us. Our kids love them, we love them.

Kelly kept going to Sasha’s and Nadia’s houses the whole day and asking them to come out. I wanted to cry at the sight of our little girl looking for her friends. Imagine my two-year old extending her arm and saying, “Sasha! Sasha? Sasha, please!” because when Sasha and Nadia (Sasha especially) were alive, they’d immediately go to Kelly’s arm or shoulder every time she called them.

Although I was totally against it because I was still grieving, Daddy A brought Kelly to a pet shop yesterday and got her a new bird: Tanya.

white-faced opaline african love bird

Tanya

I didn’t want to get too attached to our new family member because I didn’t want to go through the same hurt if Tanya passes too, but the joyful acceptance that Kelly showed made me realize that even if death is just around, those who are left behind must continue living even though things will no longer be the same… because life does not stop at death.

As John Donne said in his poem, when one dies, just one short sleep passes then he shall wake eternally; and death shall be no more.

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