Friday, July 31, 2015

Let’s talk “death”

The other day I saw Syra reading Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom, she told me she loved the book, so much so that she offered a little faith to a friend as a gift. Few weeks passed and she was found reading Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch again. In an intimate conversation with her, she shared some profound aspects of her reading of the two books: “You know it’s all very well to read, to practice is where the struggle lies, to change the life that has been accustomed to being what it is, is where the true victory is and that my friend can take a whole life and many eternities” she sighed. I bit my lip as I tried to offer a smile, letting her know I could understand what she felt. We stayed like that for a few minutes, exchanging hugs in a space where they reached the inside, without touching the outside. “Have you ever thought about death?” she asked “Have begun to” I answered. “Hmm” “Can I share my thoughts on it?” “Sure, go ahead, I’m all yours”. “Thank you dear” and it went on like this….
“I’m terrified if death knocks at my door. Today, tomorrow or even months from now if it says let me in, I’ll try my level best to shoo it away. But you know how death is, it never asks permission, it just comes by and shakes everything around you, unless you are strong enough like Morrie and Mitch’s Rabi to accept it gracefully. I wonder how many people accept death with open arms. I as of now end up crying every time I think of it. I have lost my grandfather and grandmother. Even as they were losses for me, their deaths happened at the time where most of the people know it’s lurking around. But I dread the day I lose any of my loved ones. I really do. I love them way too much to let them go just like that. No Death, not so soon is what I would like to scream and shout. But that won’t make any difference, right? Once they’ll be gone, they’ll be no coming back. You know what’s sadder? Me trying to strive to be a kinder person every day and failing at it, as the day bids me bye. It’s not easy being kind and gentle when you are immune to being harsh. These words which these books use so beautifully, courage, wisdom, love, kindness are way heavy words than they seem. In each word are millions of stories which people can write, yet their worth is an individual knowledge waiting to be gained…..”

She looked away with tears streaming down her eyes as I lay my hand weakly on her hand. Struggling to catch her breath she wiped her tears and continued….

“I’m not ready for death right now. I don’t know if I have loved people enough to show them how much I have loved them. I have felt it strong and hard inside my heart but failed to offer it in kindness. I have to live to make amendments, to let people know that I’m not the person they think I’m. I want to live because I want to get married to the person I love and have a baby with him so that I can share my stories of courage and retrospection and tell the gorgeous kid that seeing and accepting oneself is one of the most important things in life. I, for now, have a long way to go before I accept who I’m; I don’t even know who I’m. Yet I know there is a beauty which resides in me, which has shown itself in many ways and I’m not willing to let it go. That’s also one of the reasons I would not want death to come near me. I’ve often thought “what if today is my last day, have I lived it well?” to my surprise the answer would rarely be a ‘yes’ and that would make me feel miserable. I hope you understand that I’m not an evil person. I’ve never intended to hurt anybody even as I end up doing that. This brings a thought “why do people not communicate better?” “Why do people shut themselves instead of talking or discussing things through?” I’ve always felt that the world could be such a better place only if people discussed their true emotions to each other” she sighed. “But who am I to complain, I’m part of that crowd too, at times. I think people begin to value you more once they get to know that you are about to die, isn’t it? She looked at me. I shrugged and she understood. “Oh, how would you know? I’m thinking if dying can be thought of as an experience than as something to pity about. I would not like people to pity me if they get to know that I’m dying. Wow! I think I just understood something….. The fact that so much love comes a person’s way when s/he is dying is because death as a topic scares everybody. It’s like a Dementor sapping your happiest moments. The sole reason people change towards you at their knowledge of your death is, that they don’t want their guilt to drive them crazy. Or may be other reasons, I’m unaware of. But this one definitely sounds selfish!” She stopped and drank half a glass of water, looking at me as she took a tissue to blow her nose. “Are you okay?” she exclaimed as tears streamed down my face. I nodded. “Go on….”

“Well I don’t think I have any more to say. All I know is that I’m on a path where I have begun coming closer to my life, in reality and going away any moment will seem a complete loss.” At this we both cried and hugged each other till our tears dried up and became invisible pearls holding each other’s wounds in place. 

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