Her Stance on Life

Her Stance on Life

Which items would you pick to tell the story of someone’s life? A wedding ring, a bible, or a trunk? Let’s open Emma’s memory box — her trunk.

It was a wooden, metal-covered trunk decorated with gold crystals.

One trunk went through multiple transitions. As a little girl Emma stored her dolls in it. After starting school, her books, school supplies, and letters from friends and family, all made their way into the trunk. Her precious possessions piled up inside it. For several years, the trunk remained her bosom friend.

As a tradition, when Emma got married, her father gifted her that trunk as a hope box. Just as a father walking a bride to her departure car has a sexist connotation, so did the trunk. For Emma, it represented hope for a bright future full of love. It brought Emma a sense of history, comfort, and security. 

Filled up with household necessities and luxuries the trunk turned out to be a lifesaver to Emma in her new home with her husband. 

In a few years, the trunk became an opulent possession with several purposes: it was a side seat next to the sofa, a grain storage box, and a hiding spot for Emma’s small children. Grain stored in the trunk had more value than silver locked in a treasure chest.

The humble trunk kept evolving. Legs and extensions were added to create boarded chairs. 

Years later Emma’s husband died. Her nest turned empty. There wasn’t a need to store grain anymore. Her trunk became her arcanum, where she kept her life’s most precious memories — her husband’s letters and children’s toys. These ordinary things were infused with metaphysical significance by something called pondering.

***

“Where is Emma?” Her friend enquired in surprise. 

Emma’s children were informed of her disappearance. They came back home and wondered why a refined woman should have found it necessary to steal away from her home town like a thief, without giving her children any hint of her plans. 

While searching in the cellar for wood to kindle a fire, Emma’s daughter’s hand touched in a heap of rubbish something, that felt like human flesh. She held the lantern closer and was horrified to see a nose protruding from the old trunk. It was her mother’s body!

Turns out Emma never left her home. She clad her body in all the finery that brides love, sat in a worship posture, and jammed herself into the trunk closing the lid on top of her head. It was a self-chosen death. Emma died of slow suffocation. She had become mummified, instead of decomposing. Her face and head retained a remarkable semblance to life. She wore no shoes. Her hair was arranged with all the care a woman would take for the crowning of her life. She wore her wedding ring.

***

The trunk which once stored Emma’s dolls, ended up storing Emma and her memories.

Extreme social and emotional isolation and loneliness broke Emma’s spirit.
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Note: In the walks of our life, most of the time we forget our aging parents and their loneliness. They are just left with their old trunk and the memories. They wish to live with their children, but their life stances don’t match. Some people who turn 70 years or older (mean age of 82), want to die because they consider their lives complete and no longer worth living. All of these ideators have age-related debilitation, but none have a terminal disease. They consider their death wish to be reasonable and want to have the same ability as those with terminal illnesses to choose death. Please don’t abandon your parents.

If you want to know more about this issue please read the link:- https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e009895
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4 thoughts on “Her Stance on Life

  1. OMG. My heart stopped for a minute when I read about Emma’s final resting place. This is such a hard hitting and poignant piece . Senior citizens were badly hit by the pandemic when they had to isolate. Well done on this piece !

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