Moaning for gains

The last of her generation, the octogenarian matriarch, who commanded with an iron fist and held the family together firmly passed away recently, leaving behind a legacy that will long be remembered.  A nice, touching funeral took place, friends and relatives who came from far and near departed and a somber atmosphere enveloped the household.

Barely a day later, was a meeting hastily convened for the six children to unveil the will, ironically, without the named executor being present. The eldest of the siblings unilaterally took it upon herself to read out the will, which delighted some and miffed others. After some quibbling about the iniquity, two siblings stormed out in protest.

That was that. All communication snapped shut, effectively snuffing out an early, amicable settlement. Predictably, the legal eagles were roped in and in all probability the case may drag on for years, if not decades as differences stubbornly persist. Relationships between the ‘once close-knit’ family members remain frosty and fractured.

Due to the ongoing cold war, tragically, some religious rites post-death went unobserved. This could be particularly devastating for the deceased matriarch who ardently believed in such ceremonies and never failed to attend them.

Clearly, something went wrong horribly somewhere.  What should have ideally been days of respectful mourning and reminiscing of happy memories of the simple but accomplished life of the matriarch was instantly overshadowed by avarice and anger, disappointment and distress, mistrust and misjudgement and pride and prejudice.

Needless to say, the death of a loved one, more so a mother is a trying time. Such moments beg for loads of patience, poise, restraint and the best behaviour possible. Unfortunately, it is such sad times that bring out the worst in the heirs, making the whole episode all the more painful and complicating.  Worse, not a single well-wisher stepped forward to broker peace. One shudders to think what effect the ugly events that followed the matriarch’s death is having on her soul. As one who prided herself on family unity, she must have turned several times in her grave.

Did not the loved ones mutter ‘may your soul rest in peace’ as they bade a tearful farewell to her when the coffin was lowered in the grave? As the soul-wrenching saga continues with no reconciliation in sight, perhaps it would be appropriate to let the Bible have the last word: “What does it profit a man who gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his own soul?”

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