Driving off death-related fear

Driving off death-related fear

Death, the ‘inevitable’, is as natural a phenomenon as birth. Yet, why does the very term make the mind spawn dreary images, sending shivers down the spine?

 Interestingly, with age, even the death-centric fears, too, seem to grow! Due to which one can see even the diehard non-believers of God, who’d have nursed devil-may-care attitude in their balmy, halcyon days of youth, dramatically transforming into devout God-worshippers in their old age.

Indeed, the death-related fears could be quite petrifying – “What if we suffer a painful death?” “What if, prior to death, we become bed-bound and are like albatross around the neck to our dear ones?” “What if we die in solitude with not a single soul around us?” Perhaps that is why you see the folks, as age advances, making plenitude of temple trips, indulging in plethora of poojas, and perpetually embarking on peregrinations to pilgrimage spots.

Here, I’m reminded of a real-life story, I read sometime back. In France, a 12-year-old girl would have been admitted to the same hospital as that of a popular novelist, since both would be terminally ill. The very thought of biding adieu to the world, would make the author paralysed by shock. The deadly news unhinges his mental faculties, corroding his inner peace. He starts drowning in despondency, lamenting over his lacklustre life, bristled with sufferings.

On the other hand, the little girl would continue to remain vivacious, bubbling with loads of vim and verve, despite the Damocles sword dangling right over her head. Looking at her perky, ebullient self, the doctors would ask her how is that she has remained unperturbed, even after knowing her days are numbered. To this, she stoically replies, “I see my God who has ever been my constant companion right from my younger days, waiting for me with outstretched hands. I’ve always felt myself in His proximity. Now, my soul would only be integrated in Him after I quit the world.” Saying this, she sings the last lines of her life. “The Lord is here. Why must I fear? In His arms I rest. Whither? He knows best!”

Well, philosophically, one can say death is akin to alighting from a vehicle, at respective stops, while travelling in life’s journey. Maybe some people’s stops come a tad earlier! (Here, the soul could be compared with the ‘alighting act’, while the vehicle with the body). This apart, we should note that just as life has some moments, which could be a roller-coaster ride of fun ‘n’ enjoyment, life also has some moments that could be a cocktail of despair ‘n’ dejection.

So, once we accept this truth and fully surrender ourselves to God, implicitly trusting His mysterious ways of operating things on earth, we find ourselves ever peaceful. Also, we should remember that our body is just an accommodation, given to us ‘on rent’ by the Lord. 

Once the time contract expires, the soul has to vacate the body, only to be merged as another speck of dust on the Lord’s feet!

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