The Final Goodbye (2nd Place)
Best of all she loved this place… The plaque proclaims. Its misty green hills and windswept campus… Now she is part of them forever. It is but one brick-red plaque set in an oblong stone. It is but a simple matter of death.
I doubt very many people have truly stood out here in this circle of remembrance, and took some time to think. Why on Earth did she love this place? What was so special that she is tied to this place in death, that she has been subsumed into the years and barely recognized except as gray stone, webbed all over from the rain and wind she loved so?
I don’t fully understand her. Heck, I don’t even know her name. But as I read these words, weathered by the sands of time, I see a spirit that lives on. I see wings, huge and spotted with the harshness of life itself, stretching outwards as if comforting us, reassuring us that yes, death is real. Death is here, even in our tender, youthful greenery.
To me, death is not something to be feared. In a physical manner, death is the constant recycling of materials, putting atoms and molecules into other forms, conserving matter and energy. In a more spiritual way, which is where I struggle most, I tend to lean towards the idea that we become part of the endless oblivion. It’s a nice idea: no more thinking and overthinking, waiting and awaiting. We just become nothingness, no concept of anything. Life simply shuts off. The lights dim, and we become immortal in our darkness.