By Olivier N. Olinken
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Do you think of death sometimes? I do… quite often actually… especially when I’m attending a funeral of somebody I know (Duh! you must be thinking). I get lost in my thinking, but still it seems to be a mystery. We never get used to it even though we all know there is no way to avoid it.

That’s not the focus of my thinking though… My imagination takes me beyond that fact of not being around any longer… I try to get answers and understand the meaning of our existence… I mean, when we’re still around and when we’re not…

In our human nature, we strive to win “the race” by all means… We want to be heard and understood and sometimes we want more – to have a control over other all things. I do not have anything against all that, but let us remember that we should not miss the very essential things in life, because our existence is limited with time. We all know none is immortal. Before us, there have always been others around, but now they are not. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it will always be.

Some say death is a natural way of telling people to slow down, and others say it is life’s way of telling one they’re ‘fired’… Well, I would say that we are warned every time death visits people around us. It leaves us in mourning and cries, with shock and hurt…but still, we move on and forget about it all. But it should remind us of ‘our’ time. I believe there are people who once passed away, really rest in peace for they have lived a worthy life that their family, friends, community and the world will always remember them for. But others, they are just gone…gone forever with nothing ‘positive’ left behind.

The good news is that we still have the possibility to make a choice, because we are still around. Yes, I believe one can choose his passing: to leave the good memories, or just to be gone. We know or have heard of remarkable people who have chosen to make a difference; we come from the same family, community or country. These people are just like any of us, but they knew life is worth living positively. And remember, a worthy and humble life is rewarded by an Eternal life – when the time comes, they die like a hero going home.

Enjoy life and make a good choice to leave something great and worthwhile in your existence. Give the best of yourselves to your family, and leave memorable memories in your community… so that you may be like a hero going home when the time comes.

Have a great day!

Olivier lives and works in Burundi