Da Capo Al Fine

by Bandy

Chapter 2: At a Funeral

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At a Funeral

“Some say that death is a curse. Ponies seek to avoid it, taking precautions to avoid danger and ill fortune from befalling them in an ultimately futile attempt to live. But if you take so many precautions that you don't really have a chance to live, what is the point? Death is as natural as life. If you try to deny yourself death, you deprive yourself of life.

“And perhaps death is, in some way, a blessing. A release from the lethargy and pain of mortal living. No more suffering, no more hatred, no more pain. Just... nothing.

“But if death is a blessing, it's a selfish one at that. What of the ponies you leave behind? What of your family? Your friends? In order for you to be happy, must you cause them untold grief in your passing?

“In some ways, yes. In some ways, no. It is a selfish thing to wish for death, to leave the ones you love wallowing in mourning. But it is equally depraved to go on living without a purpose to live for in the first place. There is no good death. Death is death, and no matter what there will always be that aching hole in one's chest where that pony used to be. Only memories fill that void. And memories of the dead are bittersweet at best.

“Death, even in its best form - as good as death can get, anyway - is bittersweet. We lose someone near and dear to our heart in a physical sense, that much is apparent. But in losing that physical pony, we put new value on their memories.

“Their memories become immortal. Even though we lose them in body, in spirit they are burned into our hearts in such a way that we can never forget them. So, while our bodies may wither and die, our spirits and our memories live forever. Immortal. And those memories are the most important thing she could give us. Memories won't wither. Memories won't die. They will be with us forever. Immortal. That is the most precious type of gift that we could ever hope to receive.”

Octavia took a step back from the podium, eyeing the simple black casket out of the corner of her eye. Her purple orbs came to rest on the small, intricately inlaid lyre design on the lid, the gold shimmering in the midday light. Ponies of all shapes and sizes surrounded her, some sitting, some standing. Some stoically staring ahead, some dabbing back tears.

She swallowed the ever present lump in her throat, then returned to her perch behind the podium.

"We may not have her here, but we each carry our own memories of her. Memories of the good old days. Memories that we will cherish forever. And even though she's gone... I know her memories will last forever.

“And with these memories guiding us, we must seek to emulate her life. Not by letting her memories control us, but by letting her memories guide us. Help us lead better lives. Help us live life the way she would want us to live it. With our own special paths, in our own special ways. Live to the fullest, for a life not worth living is hardly a life at all.

“It is now that we must move on in the world and live. Not because we should, but because we can. Cherish life, for it is the most precious thing we can ever hope to hold.

“Do this for her. For yourselves. For all of us. Live, because life is worth living.”

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