Each of us had experienced the death of a dear and loved one in our lives. We have consoled others, remained silent for days and have cried our hearts out whenever we have lost a person dear to us.
I still remember losing my paternal grandfather. He was little sick which is quite common when you are aging. He was quite dear to me. He loved my Mom more than his own daughters and used to shower us with gifts.
That one particular night, he was just lying on his bed at his usual hours. All the elders were busy with their usual talks and we, the children, were busy playing. Suddenly he called for my Mom and told her to rub his hands and feet as they were getting colder. My Mom tried to make them warm but his entire body started getting cold and slowly he drifted away. It looked like he was sleeping but he had gone, far away from us.
I was just 8 years old and had never seen an elder cry so much before. Throughout the night people just kept tossing me from one arm to another and hugging me. Even though I was just 8, I felt a heavy and sad sensation flowing down my veins. I guess I felt the pain of losing my grandfather and never seeing him again.
But as the saying goes, nothing is permanent except change. You cannot hold on to your loved ones forever. Now I realize that nothing can make you understand the beauty if life more than death. Death teaches us that the connections, the bonds, the nurturing, the love and the memories that we take for granted are the real gifts of life that won’t last forever. We should learn to cherish them before it’s too late.
People get frustrated after losing a loved one. You get angry because your mother left you all alone in this god forsaken planet alone. You might get angry and be hard on yourself for not being able to save your wife from the terrible tumor. But have you ever thought whether your wife would have ever blamed you for not being able to save her? No, on the other hand she would have wanted you to move on with your life and cherish the good memories, not the bad ones. Focusing on the colorful and beautiful moments you had together would make you realize the touch of love that she brought to your life. The small surprises that she would prepare for you during dinner, the care she would shower when you are sick and the cold stares she would throw at you when you are committing a mistake that was her love for you. You may not have realized it before or even felt its importance before. Death makes you realize the power that love holds. Keep the ones you have lost in your heart and feel the warmth of their love. Because love is transcendent and universal, it would reach far beyond the physicality of this world and make your life brighter than ever.
Loss and struggle sow the seeds of transformation in one’s life. People fret from experiencing pain. But a widely known fact is that pain makes you stronger. It takes you away from your fantasy land where the pain has no meaning and drops you right in the middle of reality. Reality is harsh and the seeds of pain result in your individual growth. Life is simply a cycle of struggle, transformation and growth. At this point of time you may not agree but if you look at growth, you can always trace it back to the struggle that led to it or preceded it.
Most of our lives are consumed by precise and over-booked schedules. We wade through a materialistic life striving to succeed and meet the basic requirements of our families. Whenever you get too bombarded with the stuff in your life, take a step back and focus on those parts of your life that made you feel present and alive. Spend time with the people in your life that pumps the feeling of being alive from your heart to your entire body. The paradox of death is that it brings into limelight the aliveness that is buried deep into you. It teaches us what it means to be alive.
It is truly said that life’s ultimate and true meaning remains hidden unless it is reflected upon the face of death. We remain oblivious to the power of connection throughout our lives because we get stuck in our ego-based thinking. Real life experiences or events like death open us to the possibility of waking up and wandering away from our ego. This gives us the opportunity to connect to something bigger and more meaningful in our lives.
As is clear from above, death is an enlightening experience. But that does not give you the freedom to wait for someone to die and then change the way you live. Each day you get a fresh opportunity to create a life with meaning and purpose. Each day you get a chance to stop being materialistic and cherish the small moments of your life that makes you feel alive. Each day you get a chance to love. Each day you get a chance to correct your mistakes. And most importantly, each day you get to live. Life is brief so take the opportunity to spread some stardust today.