03 October 2009

Death, thou shalt die!

For years when I lived around my grandmother, I'd read the daily "funeral notices" to my her first thing in the morning--although most mornings the 9 a.m. newscast had gotten to her before I had. Three years after my grandmother passed away, the first thing I click on in the paper is the وفيات tab at the top of the website.

Every morning, I'd look it over to see if the list includes someone I know, then I count people who are my age or younger and keep their information in mind as I skim the pages trying to find an article that could possibly explain their deaths. Maybe there was a bad car crash, an alleged drug overdose, or perhaps a suicide?

It would seem like this morbid habit would be disturbing in the morning but it's strangely comforting. Every morning the list confirms what I already know. Death is indiscriminate, irrational. No one's exempt. We're all just waiting for our back page mention, right? This is a fact of life. A fact that's neither pleasant nor surprising.

I have never really thought anything of this ritual till this morning, when I grabbed the paper from a stand at a coffeeshop flipped it over and started reading to my friend.

She freaked.
Why would I want to know this? she asked.
I stopped reading.

It only then dawned on me that my ritual might be a little peculiar. I guess I like my morning coffee with an extra shot of mortality.


Anonymous said...

I used to read them in Kuwait, too. It always was a main topic for me, the number of young lives - mostly young men but also a sizable number of young women - who lost their lives on the Kuwait roads. It is heartbreaking, and a drain of a priceless national resource.

Rehab El-Buri said...

I actually think it's good for you to have a daily reminder of how precious our limited time here really is.

Anonymous said...

Your missives are worthy of being immortalized in a book! Put thoughts to pen and go bag a publisher! This is an awesome blog and going by what you've posted, you sure write like a pro.