অটোয়া, শনিবার ২১ মে, ২০২২
The certainty of death - Anton Fernando

About three weeks ago, I was at a friendly chess tournament, the coordinator was a woman of Indian decent, perhaps around 55 to 60, she had a broad smile and readily made us feel invited and welcome. You could tell she is a people's person, easily mingling with everyone and getting things done. 

The following weekend, at the same location I met her for the second time, there she told me that she had retired from the government and now enjoying her life to the fullest, doing yoga, photography, volunteering at community services etc; though our time for chatting was limited, and subjects were rather causal, you could still tell she was real and showed real interest, not talking just to waste idle time, so as I left I told her, "thank you for the chitchat", and she sincerely reciprocated. Who would have thought that it would be our last meeting.

Last night I was shocked to read that she had suddenly passed away, leaving a big void in the community and obviously devastating news for her friends and family. I only met her very briefly, and I can feel the loss.  

The certainty of death is no stranger, it shall visit every living thing, yet we live in the forgetfulness of death, caught up in the struggles of life and human ego. 
Life is here to be lived to the fullest, being active, engaged, involved, caring, contributing, sharing, creating, growing, exploring, learning etc, etc and when your time is up, you leave. Perhaps you didn't change the world, but certainly you can be a living example; living in a way that's best for you and best for all. 
RIP #Yasmin Asgarali, thank you for being real, you were a living example. 

Anton Fernando
2020/02/23
Ottawa, Canada