A reminder

Last week, I was reminded of my mortality twice.

I was answering a questionnaire for work and this one came up: “What are 5 things that are in your bucket list? Mark the ones that you have already done/achieved.”

At first, I couldn’t think of a single answer. Am I really that boring that I don’t intend to do anything magnanimous before I die? But after a few minutes, I realized 5 was too limiting, because I have hundreds of things that I have yet to do. So I eventually drew up my 5 goals and marked one which I have reached.

That was when I realized that I still have enough time to do the other stuff on my list. And of course, I intend to reach complete them in the near future.

I was still in that contemplative mood when my phone rang, and the person on the other line gave me one of worst news I’ve ever heard recently – a workmate of mine, whom I have only met a few days before, was shot dead. I hurriedly caught a cab to the hospital where he was taken and saw tearful eyes and shocked faces as everyone tried to cope with the tragedy.

While listening to the discussions that surrounded me, I learned that the victim was only 24, married, with a 4-year-old kid. My heart bled for that little family, whose future momentarily went on a stand-still because of a crime that nobody could comprehend. And it dawned on me, a young man, who still had a lot to offer  lay lifeless in the morgue, whose ambitions and plans came to a halt without any warning.

Did he have his own bucket list? How many was he able to mark as done?

If the cliché, “good men die young” is true, does this mean that he was able to live a complete life at a very young age?

In the end, I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that I am still alive, and I could still live the life that I am supposed to live.

But a little part of me felt reflective… here was this 24-year-old guy who may have had a life worth living and who may have been prepared for the end to come…

…while here I am, 33 years old, with all my senses intact… still pondering over bucket lists.

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