Life must go on.. Pictured: Phindy

06 January 2021 | 18H52

Life Goes On – The timeless yet profound statement resonates with a gloomy heart after realizing how quickly life indeed goes on.

Currently, all talk is about the pandemic, death, the second wave, Corona Virus, the uncertainties of life and it’s all been about doom and gloom. When South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation at his most recent address on December 28, he urged the country to celebrate the new year differently. Instead of lighting fireworks, he encouraged citizens to light candles as a form of empathy towards those who lost their lives to the unprecedented virus. With the clarion call came tighter restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Many celebrated the festive season differently, following protocols to ensure their physical wellbeing, while others who were healthy enough to celebrate thought the request to be imposing. Only those who have lost loved ones and those living with vulnerable individuals truly understand the extent of the virus and are making a plea to the rest of the country to live cautiously.

Regarding the statement “life goes on”, it’s heartbreaking to see how quickly a human’s life can end. Like vapour, it disappears into thin air, forgotten soon by acquaintances but never erased from the hearts and lives of close relatives. For instance, when you witness a c accident on the road, you’ll notice emergency service vehicles attending to the scene with nearby observers who stop to assist or watch from afar. Others drive past and look away in fear of watching a horrific site. If there are deceased people, quick investigations are conducted surrounding the cause of death on the scene, following which everything is swiftly stabilized to bring the flow of traffic back to normal as soon as possible. Commuters passing the same spot moments later will find minimal traces of the accident, and a few hours later, the road will look normal as if nothing happened. Those driving or walking past the scene won’t even know what took place, and the pattern continues for every other soul who loses their life – they are quickly gone, with life carrying on like they never existed, how sad. After the funeral, congregants undisturbedly return to their everyday lives, and they episodically share sprinkles of remorse at the remembrance of the deceased. For the immediately affected, a new way of life must be established and only then does the lifelong trajectory to healing begin. Healing could take years before establishing a new way of life. The affected go through years of pain that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Years of pain in contrast to the quick, swift circumstances surrounding the initial death.

After the president requested that we light candles, I internalized the clarion call and chose to honour it. Our family who’d wanted us to spend New Year’s with them were upset that we wouldn’t be present, especially since it was our first New Year’s together in a long time – they wanted it to be unique, but my inner convictions didn’t allow it. The following day when the family reconvened, my sister said: “Yes, people have lost their lives, but that doesn’t mean you must stop living. You’re still alive, you’re still here, and you must live”. These words were unexpected but made an impact at the moment. Looking beyond New Year’s celebrations, I started to understand why people move on so quickly. Not that I’m excusing the insensitive yet necessary gesture, but we’ve been designed to move on, it’s a way of life, and most importantly, moving on is innate. Imagine what would happen if we didn’t move on? What would happen if mourners gathered at an accident scene for hours and days on end to stare, mourn, and express their remorse? Not even the sun would come out on that day! No one would be able to move on. The quicker we move on, the faster we can heal. Life must go on, just like the wildebeest must migrate and cross dangerous streams to pursue greener pastures. It is for our good that we must move on, life must go on…

 

 

Lot’s of Love, Phindy xxx