Somehow the wonder of a new life is deeply offset by the news of a sudden, unexpected, accidental death – of a person who has not yet lived his life in full, who has a long way of dynamism to go, who has shared his dreams, thoughts, ambitions with the world and is a book with many empty pages. I look at my newborn child next to me, with a world of dynamism lying ahead and I think about the acquaintance lost, he who had a world of dynamism still planned, unfulfilled lying ahead of him. He didn’t know the end was tomorrow – his last tweet was, ‘And tomorrow is another day…’ There is remorse in loss, there is relief that the loss is not your own, there is a hollow pang for those whose loss it is to bear, there is a fear of having to ever face such a loss, there is trepidation over how in the world his family would come to terms with this loss…. Death in it’s uncertain, unpredictable and ruthless form is a tough act to deal with – and as you walk through life, you realise that embracing life means accepting death.
from the time someone told me that death comes in threes, the morbid part of my mind began watching out for it. one down, two to go etc. i mean not that i wanted it, more like fearful anticipation. the theory hasn’t failed me so far. its been a few years.
today, however i realised that i havent been looking for the unexpected, only for the fearfully expected. every time something darkens your universe, something or someone comes along to brighten it. it can be a smile, a caring hug, a few kind words, but they mean more than they would on a normal given day. especially if they come from unexpected sources. and sometimes, your personal and professional life collide to the extent that someone from your work existence gets a chance to give you solace or be there for you when you least expect it.
it’s important to remember that kindness/ empathy doesn’t come easy – humans seem to have dropped that natural ability to care for someone outside their direct influence…possibly around the time selfishness became the mantra for survival. in all my times of grief, i thank the people who showed up for me, and hope i can do the same sometime, somewhere.
when you spend extended hours in a hospital, your perspective on life really changes. it makes you wonder what really is important in life – and then, the moment you step into the blinding sunlight, the nitty-gritty of life catches up with you and before you know it, you are sucked deep into the black hole. that in itself is a contradiction because it implies that the grim reality of the hospital is better than the harsh reality of the outside world.
negativity is slimy and serpent-like – it crawls up on you when you least need it, and twists your mind out of rationality and sucks the life breath out of you. you thrash around inside your mind looking for a silver lining and all you can see is a deep black hole. after all, a hospital is grounded in reality. that nothing is permanent, things change, and that’s something you simply have to deal with.
after all, from the deepest darkest depths it can only get better, right? it is a reality check to remind you that sometimes the things you worry about and fear are not important, to not sweat the small stuff.
um, the darker the cloud, the brighter the lining…?
I don’t mean to be morbid – but when I saw the fragile dead body, it really made me think. When life seeps out of the body, there is nothing left but a mass of biodegradable waste, and yet it is that biodegradable waste that we hanker for, love, hate and worship. As ‘beauty’ is sold as a concept, as a way of life, as a necessisity, we really wonder why we chase after something so ephemeral. Tons of times we are reminded that it is the inner beauty that one must look out for, but only until we see the decay of the outer self, that we realise the sheer truth of that statement. The outer blinds us, because it is simply more pleasing to see ‘pretty’ things.
When we form deep attachments to people, do we realise that we are not forming them to their body, which will fade; we are not forming to their heart, mind or personality, because that is an abstract concept that disappears the moment life remains no more; we are forming an attachment to things that will no longer exist – except in our memory. Is that why humans have a strange fondness for pictures and photos? The longing to preserve moments, time and people beyond their span of existence.
We can claim that we love the soul, the inexplicable part of a person that is entwined in karma and all things mysterious, but can we feel that soul, is it tactile enough for us to love it and miss it? We can spend our entire life loving things and people, and desperately trying to hold on to those we love, when all along, they are destined to disappear in a poof.