Life, old age, illness, death and funeral


Of self and loved ones

For some it is grief and sorrow

Longing for living, as long as possible

For some it is relief and glad

Longing for cease living, as soon as possible

For some, life is great blessing

New birth is celebrated

Congratulation to the new born baby

Death is regretted

Sorry and regret for the loss

For some, life is great suffering

Death is anticipated

New birth is unwelcome

Long life and old age

They come side by side

For some, long life and old age is blessedness

Mobility-independent illness-free old people

Are welcome

As a bundle of joy and blessedness

For some, long life and old age is suffering

Mobility-dependent illness-bound old people

Are unwelcome

As a bundle of burden and suffering


The strength

The mobility

The sense of sight

The sense of hearing

The sense of smelling

The sense of tasting

The sense of touching

The clarity of thinking

The enjoyment of the objects of the senses

The independence


Day by day, night by night

Old person continued crouching in the same position

For years

On the same bed

In the dim light room

Of stuffiness and various smells

Of pee, shit, rotting teeth, rotting wounds, left-over food crumbs

Of old person

Of adopted street cats and dogs

In an old broken half-abandoned shop-house

Spacious yet congested

With collection of stuffs

From the past

Of accumulated memories and attachments

Occupying by dust, webs, rats, insects, flies, fleas


Once every few months

Phone rang, words spread

Old person’s dying soon

Come now, come quick

To say last goodbye

Family, relatives and friends

Gathered from all over the continent

Through airway, railway, highway

Hospital, doctors, nurses

Machines, drugs, drips, glucose, oxygen, supplements

Fed into tubes

Into the nose

Into the stomach

Into the hands and feet

Into the urinary tract

For days

But, each time

Wasn’t the time yet

Old person survived

Again, and again

In and out of the hospital emergency care

Days, weeks, months, years passed by

Unfinished suffering

For old person and young people




Of people

Of family, relatives, friends, neighbours, villagers

And doctors and nurses

They heard

They watched

They talked

Words of harshness, criticism and blames

Let them talked and continue talking


They are not the suffering ones


Old person continuing lays on the bed

Day in day out

In the same position

Crooked and stiffed

Rotting flesh spread deep into the bones

Bewildered pee and stool

Rotten teeth and swollen gums

Brittle bones

Bruises and swells

Pus and tears

In pain

Random sounds and words coming out of mouth
None understood
And yet
Feeling the pain
Of the old person

Heart still beating and pumping

Breath still coming and going

The bodily system gradually shutting down

But, wait

Still not the time yet

Young people stayed close to the old person

Continue watching

Feeding, cleaning, changing

Worrying and suffering

In pain

For the pain of the old person

All day all night

For years and years

Doctors, nurses

Family, relatives, friends

Please, please, please

Let old person goes

Old person wants to stop


Old person wants to rest

In peace


Time comes

Irregular heartbeat and temperature

Violent gasping for breath

Organs shutting down

One by one

Blood pressure dropped

Body temperature dropped

Heart gets weaker, and weaker

And finally, stops

Gasping for breath stops

Tubes removed

Machine turned-off

Life stops

Suffering ends

Death takes away life and suffering

Of the old person

And yet

Suffering doesn’t end here

For the young people


Funeral and ritual takes cash

Lots of cash

Thousands and thousands of cash

Worth tons of enjoyment could have been enjoyed by the dead old person

While living, but old person couldn’t enjoy anything

For old person had to suffer old age, immobility, illness and pain

For years and years

Now and stop living

Lots of cash spent on this lifeless body

From borrowed cash to be repaid monthly for years and years

For funeral and ongoing rituals

To be done by the young people

For the young people to remember the old person

To perform ritual daily, weekly, monthly, yearly

Offering, mourning and grieving

For years and years

After the old person stop living



In the funeral
Family, relatives, friends, neighbours, villagers
Gathered, paid respect, and talked
Talked stuffs
Of old and fresh memories
Of complaints and grievance
Talked who’s right who’s wrong
Who should who shouldn’t
Who’s selfish who’s be blamed
Who’d suffered more who’d suffered less
Who’d gave more who’d gave less
The one who feels guilty
Fear of criticism from others
Made up stories
And excuses
To cover up one’s guilt
To glorify oneself
While put blame and criticism onto the others
Blaming the old person being old and ill
For one’s difficulties
Out of ignorance and bounty selfish desires

Funeral, people, family, relatives, friends, neighbours, villagers
Talk good talk bad
Talk right talk wrong

And yet

None of these matter

For one who’s awake

Never been born and never dies

Life, birth, old age, sickness, death are just what they are

Neither good nor bad

Neither blessedness nor suffering

Mere impermanent substances

Forming and deforming


Neither was I born nor do I die

Let the fire consumes this lifeless body

Let the wind brings these ashes to where they are

Need not rituals

Need not remembering

Need not offering

Need not mourning

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