Upon facing the grim reality of death, alongside a sense of sorrow, one discovers the hidden treasures concealed by its dark veil. In the past year, death has been an unwelcome yet regular visitor. From time to time, I found myself consoling others for their losses. It was only after I lost my own grandmother that this incessant visitor became one of the most valuable teachers in my life.

For my grieving mind, a shoreline where water meets land served as a metaphor for the boundary between life and death. The beach was my world and the ocean was the great beyond. The spirit of my lost loved one remained on the shore in the form of fond memories. As the sands of time slipped by, so did the memories. I scrambled to hold onto them but, before I knew it, they had slipped through my fingers. After grieving and praying for my grandmother, my heart finally found peace and I returned to everyday life. With my acceptance, the spirit on the seashore disappeared into the sea, leaving me behind. Upon contemplation, I realized that my loss did not leave me empty-handed, as a treasure box washed up on the shore. 

The first treasure I discovered is the value of loved ones. It was very difficult to move on from the loss of my beloved grandmother but I realized how lucky I am to have experienced such a profound relationship with her. We often take this blessing for granted without seeing the light it brings to our lives. This became very clear to me, not only because of my loss but because of the emotional support my family received from friends and relatives alike. Even severed ties were reconnected, as we received condolences from previously estranged people. 

  The second treasure is understanding the meagre space we occupy in this world. Among countless souls, one individual occupies a single, small spot. It is unlikely that generations to come will even know our names. We believe our world revolves around us, but in reality, we are just another drop in the ocean. 

The last treasure is a reminder of this life’s temporary nature. One day, we will all remain only as memories before our loved ones let us go. In the end, everything is left on the shore; it is our good deeds that help us swim in our eternal realm. 

A few nights ago, I dreamt of my grandmother watering some flowers. She looked up at me and her eyes sparkled as she gave me a warm smile. I miss her dearly and often remember her in my prayers, but I find peace in knowing that she is afloat in the wonderful sea of the afterlife.