One of the ladies that I follow on twitter passed away from cancer on Saturday evening. I woke up to the news on Sunday morning.
I’m not sure what cancer she had. I do know that she was younger than me.
Being the person that I am, I have been thinking about her the last few days. I have been thinking about life in general and death. Some part of me has always been fascinated by death.
I have been thinking about the unfairness of it all; a young girl with her whole life ahead of her, possibly love and children; snuffed out like a candle. Gone in a breathe.
And then I think about what legacy she left behind. And I begin to think…
How many of the people that she interacted with on social media know that she is dead? How many people have given her more than a fleeting thought? How many people, other than her family, actually feel her absence and miss her? Do they take her death in their stride, just another day, another tragedy, another life cut short?
How long will her memory live on? What will be the one thing that people will always remember her by?
I started writing this post on Wednesday evening with no idea as to what Thursday would hold in store for me.
I received a call to say an old neighbour had passed away and that the police were on their way to my office in the hope that I could assist them with details regarding his family.
According to the garden boy, my neighbour had drafted a new will in front of him and another neighbour and told them that if anything ever happened to him, I was to be contacted, that I would know what to do. He told them where he put the will.
The neighbour used to drink a lot and the last time anyone saw him alive was Monday evening. The garden boy went passed his house every morning as the neighbour would usually send him to the shop first thing in the morning. When he didn’t see the neighbour Tuesday, and after calling for him, he thought he was drunk and sleeping.
On Wednesday, the same thing happened. He looked throught the window this time and saw the bed slightly messed up.When he called again, and there was no response, he again thought that maybe the neighbour was in the bathroom or had fallen asleep drunk on the couch. By yesterday, when the garden boy again called, had no response and saw the bed in exactly the same condition it was the day before, he knew something was wrong. He went to call two neighbours and they found his body.
I have seen dead bodies before but usually after they had been in the morgue a while. His body was contorted and it looks like he had fallen. He hands were black. The smell will remain with me forever.
I spent the afternoon trying to find some paperwork in the lounge to indicate whether he had a funeral policy or the will that they were talking about. I could find nothing and eventually the police removed his body after six last night. I did not want to go through any paperwork in the bedroom as the smell was just awful.
I tried to find someone to contact and got hold of one of his friends. The neighbour had all but five contacts on his phone. I am told he has a sister in the States somewhere.
I called the contacts on the phone and got hold of his aunt; 86 years old; who probably spoke to him about once a year. She only knows the sister’s name and has no other details. All his other family is dead. He never had any children. When I asked the aunt whether she would like to be involved in the funeral plans, she again declined and I also need not tell her about the plans as she is 86 years old and in an old age home.
The one other contact was his managing agent and I have yet to be able to get hold of the other two contacts.
Again I am left wandering about what the neighbour left behind; his funeral is left in the hands of a stranger; I barely knew him. Who will mourn him? Who will miss him? Who will give him a fleeting thought?
What legacy has he left behind?
*let me not forget to tell you that my day started off being peed on by one of my client’s daughters who sat on my lap during a consult and just happened to be soaked right through*