One of our greatest fears is purported to be that of dying. The thought has come to me, unbidden, as much of my own end as of those I love and live for. I have stood idly, gazing at roads and trees and structures around me, “These will remain here, long past my exit from this space.” While watching movies of the yesteryears, I have wondered, “I did not exist when these stars were singing and dancing. Where was I?”
And then, another of those stray thoughts, quickly brushed away, just in case it brings on its wings any bad luck, “How will I die? Who all will cry? Have I not moved on with my life after such losses, my family will too?” Morbid meanderings yes, but so real, so inescapable, so defining of our fragile humaneness. And the quick reassurance “It is not happening yet, that is somewhere in the distant future, right now there is a list of things to do, the day to get through, events to attend, health and finances to care for!”
Am I alone in this cyclic, cerebral, futility? Why do I tell myself pretty much every other moment of the day, “I am not passing this way ever again?” There is a sense of a steady inching forward and that vast swathe of time gone by. And since no astrologer commits on one’s “ayush” it has certainly occurred to me, “How much more do I have to run down my bucket list?”
Some of the unease attached to these ruminations could be eased off if we just became as matter of fact about death as we are about birth. Were it to become more acceptable to speak of the unmentionable, even plan for it, we would free ourselves of the pall of unsaid things and oozing fears. Half the heartbreak at sudden exits comes from this sentiment, “I did not say a proper goodbye!” There is a sea of difference between a heartfelt farewell as against a sudden wrenching away and the lifelong agony of having had no closure.
I have pledged my organs, my Mum has divided her jewelry but we have not sat down with our loved ones to share thoughts and feelings around the inevitable and eventual separation. I know it would calm my mind tremendously to air out my misgivings. I want to be able to say to them, “Forgive me for my mistakes. I wish we could be together always. I never want us to separate. But remember me when we split. Think of me when you are eating a crusty, cheese laden pizza. Hug the silly dog for me. Picture me when you are sitting across my favorite swing. Look closer at the grass on the golf course; it probably has my DNA on it. I don’t know where I will be when not with you but hold on to me. I will go with peace, knowing I have said all I had to say to you. Give me a hug, look deep into my eyes so when the time comes, we go where we need to go, in peace and on a wing.”
It cannot be… life cannot be a meaningless accident. There is too much heartbreak, far too many ecstatic moments and pure frames of joy for this journey to be so random an affair. I therefore choose to believe!