The eternal truth

Every one of us knows for sure that our lives will come to an end one day in the foreseeable future. Still we react to news of death of near and dear ones with disbelief and shock besides suffering the pain of separation and bereavement. Death is a definite occurrence and we know it and remember it all the time. But we always try to avoid any conversation even remotely linked to the sad happening. We are mortally afraid to face this occurrence.

It is equally surprising that in a short span of time, we come to terms, overcome the loss and get on with our lives as though nothing has occurred. I have often wondered what would have happened to all of us if we were blessed with photographic memories! Life would have been a hell, especially for people whose dear ones have met with untimely demise. But time is a great healer and it acts like a balm. It helps us to overcome the grief even though we may not forget the loss. None of us can claim any control over our birth or death nor can we time these events as per our choice.

We see around many young people predeceasing the old, like parents witnessing the demise of children triggering very sad moments and causing lot of pain. My mother died at the age of 44 while my grand mother lived up to one hundred years. Given a choice, none of us would ever wish to depart from this planet. My father, who is 90, jokingly says he wants to be around only till my grandchild is married and my son is still in his early 20s!

The Hindu Upanishads proclaim that one who overcomes the fear of dying attains nirvana and is not touched by death of any one including his own. It is also said that our date of death is pre-determined on the date of birth known only to the master of this universe. Death does not follow any definite pattern and is therefore not predictable. It is shrouded in a mystery. There are umpteen instances of people faced with life threatening diseases living through hell and encountering death only after a long pause of time. On the other hand, we have seen healthy people meeting death in most unexpected circumstances. The occurrence and timing of death in many cases is inexplicable and is beyond clinical analysis and reason.

Perhaps this uncertainty about timing of death is why life is worth living and we want it to go on and on. So let us live in the ‘present,’ learn to celebrate life and relish this priceless gift. Brooding and worrying about happenings over which we absolutely have no control creates avoidable stress and takes away the essence of life.

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