When a prominent chief leaves this world, we dig coconut branches into the earth, forming a path that shall guide their spirit towards Pulotu, on the westerly tip of Savaii.
The living chiefs will carry (launiu) as they chant out to the gods of the heavens to please, pardon, tulou, a chief will soon join them at their gathering (fono).
Tulouna le lagi ma le lagi ma le lagi, aua ua usu le fono ia te oe ...
When I think of death in Samoa, I think of the spirit of the person, lingering around until launiu are planted into the ground, and then they set off on their way to Pulotu.
It is with this knowledge that frightens me when we are in Falealupo and Tufutafoe, because I imagine that all these spirits linger on among the living. And even the mention of Fafa o Saualii strikes fear to my heart.
Because I am a coward like that.
It got me thinking about death, because it doesn't escape us.
Right now, I am divided about where I want my spirit to go, but for now, I shall transcend the heavens and cyberspace to amuse you, maybe in your sleep - Boom!