Let’s start with the main character of our story. A man on his deathbed. Thirty-three and succumbing to cancer. What a shame, isn’t it? For you maybe. But for him, dying a slow peaceful death is like a relief, like the effusive feeling you have when your snarky cat chooses not to yeet their litter box away onto every carpet you own. He had long grown tired of fearing death, drained from waiting for the end to come. Now he only wants his soul to be carried away by Death, cradled in its arms. In his final moments, the corners of his chapped lips crunched upwards, eyes widened in awe, and with his last breath, we could hear him whisper. “Beautiful”.
The man left his widowed wife one gift; the gift of life. She was due to give birth in less than six months…or so she thought. The antagonist of this tale, our old friend, the Grim Reaper became greedy in their job and chose to pay the unborn child an early visit. Not the best employee of the month I guess. All her in-laws were distraught by the news of the wife’s loss, weeping and cursing the “unjust” balance of life and death, gritting their teeth in anger and disgust at the “ugliness” of Death. The wife’s chest was swelling with ecstasy though. She never wanted that child and always thought of herself as a monster for it. Now she marveled at the beauty of Death, how Death in itself promises nothing but grief and hollow emptiness but for her! For her, it opened new doors of hope.
The doctor of the widowed wife, albeit years of delivering bad news, wasn’t able to recover from this one. It reminded her of her own parents’ divorce, the reason being her sister passing away after getting to look at the world for a mere one year. She found Death neither relieving nor hopeful. She for one was afraid of Death. Silly goose. Her time hadn’t come yet since her services were still something we could use. Doctors are like a freight train you know, delivering both good and bad news and leading their passengers to two destinations: either Life or Death. We sincerely believed in the beauty of marking someone’s death in our notebook (despite how gruesome this ebony slit-eyed creature, that’s resting on my lap, made the pages … by clawing her nails and ripping them into half and shuffling the lists of names of all the to-be-captured souls I had prepared, that ungrateful little pussy ca-).
Back to narrating the story of another restless soul. A teenager. Seventeen and a drug addict already, tsk tsk tsk. We always judged humans together, me grooming my midnight sultry black fur while rolling my eyes at how idiotic they are as Death silently watches them, waiting for the right moment to pounce. This time, however, we both sympathized with the emaciated high-schooler who kept laughing like a maniac with each pinch of the needle grazing his skin. He found life meaninglessly hilarious and death menacingly beautiful that’s for sure. We pitied his lot, always so miserable and unheard. People like him yearned to be taken away, to get rid of their unjust hideous life. Though Death found their longing to embrace it flattering but still … they were wronged by those who they loved in their life before finding solace in drugs. At least we gave them eternal solace and that, my friends, is the beauty of death.
Isn’t this whole concept funny? You are born only to end up dying. From being wrapped up in comfortable sheets and in the arms of your mother at birth to having yourself in the embrace of nature, six feet underground, and covered again in clean clothes at death. Alone and helpless as a baby as well as a corpse. Some admire the beauty of life but only a few understand that the real beauty unfolds once you die. The body suddenly becomes lighter, the soul gets freed at last like that of a caged bird finally getting to spread its wings to fly, skin loses blood, and gets to reveal its real color. Mind and heart, at last, get to rest from functioning 24/7. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the true beauty of death.
Death and Black Cat
PS: I swear to God if that cat tears off this page from my diary I’m going to throw a small schoolgirl tantrum.
PS: (Cat) Bro really went for the small school girl drama.
Author: Shanzay Sameen
"Just your ordinary friend who occasionally writes about dark stuff but makes it quirky in her own way. Writing has never been as fun as reading but I sure am not a quitter. Fear of death in people always amuses me so these are my thoughts on it. And I am a toxic cat person."
Find the author on Instagram @sanguineshanzay