When Life and Age Doesn’t Mean Much Anymore

Footprints in the sand, an endless journey.

This morning I was attending my grandmother’s sister’s funeral. She was brought to hospital at Friday because of stroke attack, just hours after Japan Earthquake. I’m personally not very close with her, but I did have chance once or two to talk with her occasionally. Overall she’s a nice woman, and likes to talk about anything. When I first heard about her sickness after she’s vomiting, and she’s brought to hospital, I didn’t take very top priority to visit her in the hospital, because at Saturday and Sunday, it’s the day I become pretty busy. So I plan to visit her on Monday. But suddenly, at Sunday, I heard that she had passed away. Well, it gives me some shock, because I never got a chance to met her for the last time.

In these past few days, I’m thinking and thinking over, when life and age doesn’t mean much anymore, then what this life means? A mother at Japan seeing her son off to school, she said “Itterasai!” (have a safe trip!) while her son said “Ittekimasu!” (I’m off!). And that would be her very last chance to see her son walking to the school, because 4 hours later, without further warning, her son’s school is suddenly flooded by tsunami. She may thinks that her son’s future is still far away, and will be a bright, successful future. But in just a snap, it all gone. Moreover, there will be a greater regret if she has those “unfinished business” with her son. “Why I didn’t forgiving my son immediately after yesterday I scold him very badly after getting bad mark?” or “Why I never give a chance of saying that I love you to him? Now I will never get those chance back.”

What is life, exactly? Is it a journey to achieve mankind’s greatness, or a parody to see that we are all born just only to experience death? A hello knowing that there will be a goodbye in the end? What will be use of age, when knowing that at a certain point of age, you will eventually die?

When I was not doing anything, I often let my mind flowing. I often imagine walking in the beach on a small island, where there was my footprint I left behind me. I walking through various scene, some are bright, some are hidden behind mountain’s shadow. But then as I walk, I realized that sooner or later I’m gonna find my own footprints in front of me, because I walk in circular path. Whatever that I do, I will never be able to escape the fate that someday I will meet end in my beginning, I will touch down the very first step I make on this earth, and that would be the day that I die. It very bothers me that we are like sitting duck in a very long sofa couch, laughing and talking happily, when the other end of the sofa is a crematorium where the sofa is moving into, bit by bit.

Sometimes I feel awfully sad when realizing that there is nothing I can do to prevent what would happened. You know, my most favorite movie themes are between “time travelling” and “eternal life”. I guess that means I have so many regrets about many past things in my life that I want to fix at that time, or I want to change and fix those regrets in an indefinitely long time. It’s so tempting that I really do wish that time travelling or eternal life are really exist! The resistance is futile, I often heard. Oh God, I really hate times when I over-thinking about life and death like this.

But then again, when resistance is really futile, I think there are no other option as to accept it. It felt very gloomy when thinking about it, but it also means that we have to use our remaining life as meaningful as possible. Instead of just walking over the sand, we should dance over the sand, or create magnificent sand art with our footsteps, as we march our life to the death gate. Yes, watching the unavoidable death gate in front of us is a depressing picture, but the point is can we die without any regret? Have you done your best to your work, your loved ones, people around you who’s in need, your life, anything? When we have no regrets in this life, we can be so sure to leave this world at anytime. Person who can be so sure to leaving this world at anytime, can live his life to its fullest, because his eyes in not fixed on the death gate, but on dancing in the sand, while lead other people way to save haven. He leave footprints on the sand, for other people to follow it. In that way, the life and age number doesn’t mean much anymore for him, because what means to him is making the fullest out of it.

You just can begin to think about meaning of this life, after you started to think about God.

— An Atheist


4 comments on “When Life and Age Doesn’t Mean Much Anymore

  1. Hello.

    I was very touched by your writing. I believe life is very much like those footprints in the sand. We lose loved ones and we realize that are time together seems so short lived. It makes you appreciate, and to realize, that we should make every single moment matter.

    Life and love are precious. I believe they are eternal. While we are with loved ones but a short time here in this existence of earth. They leave us but they are not truly gone. Perhaps they have moved on along the path to an existence we have yet to reach.

    Perhaps it is like those “footprints in the sand”, our loved ones leave footprints to follow even if only in the memory of our hearts. Perhaps some day we will meet and be with our loved ones once again. Thank you for the thoughts written. They touched my heart.


    I have found these writings to, for me, hold truth, understanding and comfort. It is my most sincere wish that they might for you as well.


    • Your point of view was really great too. For making every single moment matter, we just have to live with commitment and hope in our heart. I hope that I can reach the same enlightenment as you are. Thanks for your share! 😀

  2. I hope you don’t mind, I might use some of your words when I speak for youth leadership workshops. Your piece was really heartfelt; your words pierced through me.

    Thinking more about it, death is not really the goal. It’s the concrete reminder that life is borrowed so everyday must be so worthwhile that you’d be happy even if it’s your last. I think every time I take my morning strolls in the beach, I’d remember that. I do hope too that while I’m leaving my footprints, I’m also imprinting my memory in others so that when the time comes for my body to say farewell to this world, my memory will live on and will help others continue walking and making their won footprints.

    Looking forward to reading more of your writing… 🙂
    — Arcci

    • Yeah, sure. I would be very honored to be able to contribute something to the community. 🙂
      And, like in an old Indonesian parabel: Tiger died and left its stripes. Human died and left his legacy. It’s through our legacy for the generation to come that our memory will still live. Of course we know what people remember, valued, and passed through generation about Thomas Alfa Edison, Mother Teresa, or Billy Graham. The question is what people will remember about us long after we died? I do hope it’s about the example that we left for other people to follow, the example of truth, love, humble, and integrity. 😀 Thanks for your share. It really means something. 🙂

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