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16 June 2014


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Life is sacred. Yet this life given to all must be lived once only. Then a life ends and the ghost is given up.

All consciousness cease, and the only reminder of that loved one are in the things that he/she created or gave us including the memories.

We can only vow that from now one our relationships with our loved ones will be peaceful and cordial; and that we will make efforts to mend the ones that have been broken for whatever reason.

It is pointless to do so when one is gone. That is why every moment lived must be every moment of treasure.

For the ones who have gone before us, we carry on their legacies. We have learned from them and these will serve us well.

So that when old age catches up with us, and we can no more give to others, our communities and our country or even ourselves, then we can know that what mattered most in life was that we have learned to live well and we have loved well while living.

All this can be summed up something like: Give your very very best in whatever calling, vocation or station in life you find yourself. Then when we reach old age and we are asked: Have you lived well, and did you love well? We can say yes and be free!

Free from all obligations and penance because we can be sure that we have given our all. That is all that is asked of each one of us.

And that will be a life worth living!

A very fine piece of writing Gary. It succeeds in being specific to PNG yet at the same time being universal in its theme.

These little vignettes of village life seem to me to be a very good way to illustrate the PNG experience of life.

Australians now live in a world where the average citizen's experience of death is so sanitised, deodorised and medicalised that it seems an unnatural event rather than an inevitable consequence of life.

I am not sure that this is a good thing, as death helps put life's other trials and tribulations into their proper perspective, i.e. mostly trivial, rarely so terrible that death looks a better plan.

Patrick Lindsay is right; there is a book in you I think.

Great story, I can take a leaf out of this story for myself too. I can connect it to my short story "The Old Man".

Beautifully evocative piece Gary.
It's a universal theme that transcends nations and places and you've captured it wonderfully.
We need to talk about the book you have in you.

Thank you, Gary, for this very moving story. It reminds us that death comes to all of us one day.

The love between a young boy and his grandparents is very precious and reminds us that the more you love the greater your sadness when the loved one dies.

But the love leaves a lasting impression on your life. The love you were given has to be passed on to others.

I firmly believe that it is love which is needed to heal the wounds in PNG society today.

Those who know love can recognize it in others. I have been having a wonderful time contributing to the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum on Facebook as my love for the Sepiks is still there.

They showed their love to me when I lived with them. I still care about them and many, who are lovingly concerned about the Sepik today, have been "talking" with me on Facebook.

Some are my old students, some are their children, but others are just men and women who love their province and care for their people.

I have shared your moving story about love and death with them. God bless you.

Like it, Gary. As your childhood memories were nurtured by loving family, so this is transferring to your influence upon your family, peers, and countrymen and women.

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