On Sunday, I attended the interment of the ashes of one of my grand-uncles. It was at the St. George’s Cathedral Cemetry, and there was a small group of family members present.
As I stood in the cemetry, I could hear the squirrels squeaking and chattering as they scampered about the branches of the big trees. Parakeets squeaked loudly as they streaked between the treetops and noisily settled down into their cubbyholes. Everywhere, life was highly visible, noisily, gaily and in blazing, vivid colour. I couldn’t but help wonder about what impression I got when I visited a hospital, that place where most human life originates. The feeling of death hovers, ever visible in its lesser manifestations; lurking just below the surface, waiting to happen, to take away the vacillating.
What struck me was the irony of the whole situation – the cemetry, the place we give our dead, was so filled with life, while the hospital, the gateway through which the living enter our world, is so drenched with death.