Let’s quote dear Charles, shall we? Let’s start by using one of his beginnings, and let us tell, in brief, the tale of two men who died.
They were, as you should know, born in the times that could be considered the best, and could be considered the worst. They were born in a time that the country was one, and they were born in a time when two communities were one.
They were born in a time that their country was not ruled by men of their country. They were born in a time, when events were unfolding – events that would change things forever. It was a complex time, when simple solutions were called for, but egos and tempers ruled the day. Their youth was spent in the times that would see them become citizens of a free country. Yet, these were the times, when communities would be torn apart; when neighbours would kill neighbours, and hate replaced love and companionship.
They lived through times when they travelled hundred of kilometres to find a new home in their new country, in a city where the citizens regarded them as interlopers and not fellow companions in a new and free land.
They left their ancestry behind, their shared history, their culture, their home and their friends of old. Yet, they brought some of that into their new home.
It was the worst of times, yes, to be free.
Yet, it was the best of times as well, and the air was filled with optimism, and a desire to serve their country well, and to see it grow.
They gave their land all they had, their heart, their soul, their lives. They served their country well. They both lived long lives and went on to be respected men in their chosen walks of life.
Yet, time passes on. Early sacrifices are forgotten as a country shapes itself, and allows strange forces to shape it beyond recognition.
The two men changed. One continued to live well. He retired, found new and productive ways of spending his time. He lived well. He continued to live with dignity, optimism, and was well respected. He did not have much money, but he had respect.
One day, he walked into hospital. The next day, he was dead. People came to mourn, and to pay their respect. They said – ah this was a life to lead. This was a death to be had.
The other, disappointed by some of the events that shaped his country, started to become bitter. As age caught up with him, he went into a shell. His friends loved him, but he was gradually forgotten by many. His companion of years died, and the shock was too much for him. He continued to burrow deeper and deeper into his shell, and found refuge in the wells of silence.
He sits, and waits. He waits, and sits. For what does he wait? For death to take him? Yet, is he not dead already, in a sense?
When did he die? No one knows. No one cared to know.