Our Self-Written Obituaries – Vivien, Manipur
The 235th death.
[Text and photo sent by Vivien]
when my breath has stopped and my heart has worked enough
And i lay still,
bury me and not cremate me because I’ve polluted the world enough
bury me not because I’m a christian and my body ought to be buried
to be turned into earth just like the scripture says
‘for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’
sorry i don’t do religion.
bury me with the intention that
my body decomposes and shares in giving new life,
giving back to earth a lil of what I’ve taken.
don’t cement my grave or don’t need any fancies, let the grass and wildflowers grow on me,
if you really wish to, you can plant a tree? i would love flowers, but that’s fine,
because i understand you can’t come to nurture them many a time.
bury me not with all my belongings cramping me up in the coffin,
but just with the clothes im already wearing, or maybe perhaps a jacket
because I’ve heard stories of the dead feeling cold,
my impudent self doesn’t want to believe that but what if it’s the truth?
give away my belongings to people who need it,
i don’t need them now, so don’t crush them near my body.
bury me in the mountains with a view, I’ve always wanted to live there
to devour the sunrise, the afternoon sun entwining with the movements of the mountains and coming to terms with the sunsets.
you might get a hike when you come to visit me someday, and hey I’m doing you a favor!
to my parents,
if you’ve outlived me,
don’t be in sorrow
because I’ve always asked for this- to let you live longer than my life
and I’m happy, reluctantly happy,
to be leaving earlier than you
because i cannot imagine you not being in my life
but you have lived the first 24 years of your life without me
and you’ve prepared yourself to be leaving before me.
I’m sorry if i have left before making you the happiest and proudest,
but till now, I’ve given my best.
Don’t regret, don’t detest yourself
live for yourself as well, not only for your children, as you say.
all i ever ask for in my prayers if i ever pray,
is for you to be happy
and leave me be.