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DEATH IS DEVASTATINGLY FINAL

Updated: Nov 21, 2023


Returning to our family's rural home doesn't embrace the same excitement it once did, particularly since both mom and dad left us. The joy of our large family gatherings has shifted, becoming more centered around weddings and, regrettably, funerals. Just a few weeks ago, during our annual "Brother Bonding Retreat" in Montego Bay, my brothers and I were gripped by a wave of fear, sadness, distress, helplessness and heartbreak upon receiving the devastating news of the tragic death of our beloved niece, Sharon.

 

Farewell to Sharon

 

As we set out to enjoy our retreat amidst a backdrop of enchanting beaches, captivating sunsets, and vibrant nightlife of Montego Bay, our delight was abruptly overshadowed by the shocking news of the passing of Sharon. A massive stroke during her church worship led to her admission to an intensive care unit, followed by an unsuccessful emergency brain surgery that left her in a comatose state.


The most heart-wrenching decision then fell upon my eldest sister, Nunce. She rushed to Canada with Symone, her daughter, to be at Sharon’s bedside. The doctors sought Nunce’s permission to disconnect the ventilator that was preserving Sharon's brain function. Sharon had already passed a mere five minutes before they arrived. Symone was given the painful burden of informing Nunce of Sharon’s demise. Nunce broke down right there - weeping and bawling like her soul was stolen.

 

Brother Bonding Retreat

 

The loss of a loved one is undeniably final and devastating. Such tragic events serve as distressing moments for us to reflect on and reassess how we choose to live our lives.

 

Death has consistently served as a pivotal moment in my life, prompting constructive shifts in my path. When my dad passed away, I made a solemn commitment to myself: dedicating my life to providing for my family, pursuing the highest levels of education, and upholding his legacy as an entrepreneur. Beyond personal commitments, death acts as a stark reminder of our mortality. It underscores the universal truth that we all enter this world with the inevitable certainty of departing from it—we all live with the knowledge that life ultimately leads to death.

 

Sharon's Burial

 

Sharon’s Burial

 

In the expansive Springfield Moravian church, constructed in 1712 by the hands of slaves, I was enveloped by the profound connection to my ancestors, among them my parents, who were sent home to their eternal rest within these historic walls and now, it was Sharon's moment. As each speaker stepped forward to memorialize her, my tears streamed uncontrollably, like a breached levee. The words uttered were poignant, acting as miniature knife cuts, echoing the undeniable truths about the kindness of her heart, the limitless love she extended to others, and the selfless generosity she exhibited even amid her personal challenges.

 

As I sat, my eyes fixed on Sharon's casket, then they wandered to the majestic antique water font where I was christened. In my mind, I could vividly imagine Reverend Craig pouring cold water onto my face, and the boisterous screams I let out as a child. Now, my screams echoed silently within me. Even with midnight dark glasses on my face, my tears and sadness were impossible to conceal. My gaze lingered on the water font in distant memories, until the stark reality of Sharon's casket brought me back to the present.

 

Sharon’s Casket

 

Sharon was only six months my senior, we acted like we were twins. We were fortunate to share the same experiences as rural kids: walking through the hills and valleys to school, carrying food to and from my dad’s farm, playing running games in the street and living in our loving home surrounded by numerous brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles. This unhappy occasion marked our final shared memory. As I reflected on her life, I committed to becoming a better person by emulating her life of generosity and service.


Sharon and Donald - Twins (front-left)

 

I stood, reflective and motionless watching the mason as he closed the door on the house that Sharon's friend built for her final and last resting place. While the design and colour may not align with my personal taste, I recognized that love transcends preferences.


The solemn words, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” emphasize the transient nature of our existence. Our physical bodies, mere flesh and bone, will decompose and return to the very earth from which we came. Sharon's departure served as a poignant confirmation that death is inevitable and an ultimate certainty.

 

Sharon’s Final Resting Place

 

Death is Devastating

 

Death is an intensely personal and isolating experience. The support one receives, no matter how substantial, sometimes falls short of alleviating the profound grief that accompanies mourning the loss of a loved one. Consider the harrowing experiences of Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell and the other family members affected by the recent abduction, killing, and burning of his infant baby and her mother. These brutal murders have left the nation in shock, sparking contentious discussions and drawing various conclusions. As a father myself, I can't fathom the depth of pain permeating the souls of those grieving such loss. The sentencing of their killer to 30 years of imprisonment offers little consolation in the face of such tragedy.

 

Dead Mother and Daughter

 

The world has been witnessing the brutality of the Ukraine-Russia war, resulting in more than 30,000 combat and non-combat deaths since February 2022. Recently in Israel, the savage terrorist actions, including rape, burning, killings, and abductions by Hamas, particularly targeting children and the elderly, have shocked everyone. The barbaric acts, such as killing young people at a party and pulling innocent civilians from their homes for execution, have left many, including myself, horrified and traumatized by the loss of innocent lives.

 

Following this, Israel unleashed its military power, leading to the displacement of one million Palestinians. The death toll, exceeding 12,000 people with over 45% being children, adds another layer of distress to this tragic situation.

 

Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Gaza

 

Death, whether caused by illness or violence, induces a comparable sense of loss and trauma. While I would hope for a peaceful passing in the comfort of my own bed, the reality is that we often lack control over the circumstances of our death. Although adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding conflicts can delay the onset of illness, the inevitability of death remains. In any manifestation, the experience of death is undeniably devastating.


Kids of War

 

Dr. DF Views

 

While I sat in the church, absorbing the heartfelt tributes in Sharon’s honour, I made a solemn promise to her that my life would be guided by the following:


  1.  Giving my life to God. My parents would not be very proud of me for straying from their biblical teachings. I am a believer. I am committed to living and abiding by the teachings of the scriptures given by God.

  2. Provide a helping hand. I am committed to assisting my nephews and nieces on their journey. Additionally, I will continue to offer my services to build my country and lend my support to help the poor and less fortunate.

  3. Focus on loving me. I will continue living my best life by exploring the world through travel, prioritizing health and wellness, and dedicating quality time to the people I hold dearest in this world.

  4. Plan for death. I will continue to maintain my health, life and death insurance policies. I will liquidate all of my liabilities. I will continuously update my Will, purchase a burial plot, and prepare a program for my thanksgiving service.

  5. Establish an electronic record. I will create an available electronic footprint that secures all my passwords for bank accounts, social media accounts and copies of important documents.

  6. Own my moods and mental state. I will eliminate my stressors and worries. I will eliminate persons from my inner circle who cause me anxiety and aggression. I will eliminate all the negative triggers that change my mood and mental state. 

  7. Embrace the inevitability of aging and sickness. Aging, sickness, and mortality are universal occurrences. I will approach ill health with optimism and gratitude. When my time comes, I will depart this world without lingering regrets.

  8. Save a little and spend a lot. The cash and fixed-asset that I accept that are temporarily in my care, all of which I will leave when I go. I will deliberately spend some of my hard earnings on building better health, creating smiles and happiness and seeing more of this world.

  9. Reconnect with old friends and rediscover roots. I will visit my hometown more frequently to immerse myself in the place I spent my formative years. I will rekindle connections with my childhood friends and relive some of our cherished memories.

  10. Pursue my many dreams. I will no longer tell myself, "I can't afford it or I can’t do it." I will dedicate myself to running my business, making love with happiness and travelling the continents of the world.

 

Conclusion

 

Losing someone you love is a heart-wrenching experience. Sadly, death is part of the unavoidable journey we will all take. The agony and sorrow experienced when we lose a loved one will remain a persistent challenge for everyone. Given the unpredictability of life, it's essential for us all to strive to live our best lives always, as we cannot foresee when our time will come. Also, like Sharon, let us all plan for leaving this world. Love while you can and leave as much light into the lives of those you met along the journey.


Read more of my blogs at http://www.donaldfarquharson.com/blog. After, make sure you subscribe to my email listing and share this article with a friend on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. If you want to engage with me more, book my services at www.donaldfarquharson.com/book-online to discuss my blogs and other services.


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5 Comments


Noris Haye
Noris Haye
Nov 25, 2023

My sincere condolences sir Farquharson. I truly appreciate you openness in sharing your thoughts and feelings. Indeed, we would do well to be mindful of and embrace our mortality and live more deliberately. Thanks for your insightful words. May God continue to comfort you.

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Deepest condolences to you and the family. The acceptance of the inevitability of death can help us to live our lives to the fullest while inspiring others along life's journey. It gives us the opportunity to cherish everything and everyone who brings a smile to our faces. It allows us to appreciate the positive energy and exuberance we see in our kids and the young ones. So just keep living, appreciating and sharing as we seek to leave a legacy of love 🙏❤️❤️

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My condolences 💐 Donald . As I read your article it broght me back to a sad place but I’m thankful to you for penning these words that we sometimes fail to express . Continue on this journey of helping others as you use your own experiences while giving great advice . Blessings.

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nataliec
nataliec
Nov 20, 2023

My condolences Doc! These are very special and deeply painful moments you have shared with us. It reminds me of the inherent impermanence of life. Personal loss has caused me to strive for meaningful connections and living life fully. Thank you for the courage to share glimpses into the vows of your heart.

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Casan Cohall
Casan Cohall
Nov 20, 2023

My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved niece, Sharon. Your heartfelt reflections on life and the commitments you’ve made in her honor are truly inspiring!

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