Yet another day…that brings me closer to the end of college, closer to the start of a new phase in life. 🙂
Yesterday, the father of one of my classmates passed away. He had been hospitalized for a while, so I think it wasn’t too much of a shock. But losing a parent, especially at such a young age, is never less traumatic just because you were already kinda warned. All of us went to her place for the funeral. I’m not personally very close to her, yet it broke my heart to see her sitting there, holding in the pain that she was going through. Coming in contact with death always has a somber effect on my mood. I sat there, watching the people coming and going while my friend sat there, probably lost in memories or thoughts. I thought about how it could have been my parent or somebody else’s…how we were so close to losing someone close to us. I thought about how short our lives are…yet how we never seem to see it! After the funeral, I saw the relatives and others coming out and was surprised to see them chatting with others they knew. They were all solemn and serious one moment, and right after stepping out, it seemed like they had completely forgotten about whatever happened inside. They were busy talking about their kid’s classes or that person’s marriage or this person’s new car. All this, while my friend was crying her heart out over the loss of her father. Of course, it wasn’t their loss, it was her’s and only her’s.
I asked a friend who was near me, about why they behaved so indifferent. She replied that death is not something people want to dwell over. That’s when I realized that loss and death are not concepts that people like to think about, until it happens to them. They prefer ignoring that certain fact until it arrives at their threshold. We know we will all die someday, any day, in fact. Yet that is something we (almost) NEVER choose to think about. Maybe because we don’t want to acknowledge the possibility of having to die someday soon, or perhaps we are just plain scared. I’m a person who constantly thinks about death…not that I want to die. But whenever I want to do something and don’t know if I should, I ask myself: “If I die today/tomorrow, will I regret not doing this?” And that gives me my answer, within an instant!
I see death as an inspiration to live – live more, live better. The possibility of death happening any minute, any second, makes me want to live now, this moment. I don’t want to leave behind regrets or anything that I’d have liked to do. So, I try my best to do what I love and love what I do, just so that I won’t have to die with any regrets. It drives me to do things that I might not have done otherwise, to build relationships that I wouldn’t have cared about otherwise, to be happy as much as possible. Because you can never be sure about tomorrow. And frankly, I don’t think I care about dying tomorrow. I have reached a point where I can say, with complete certainty, that I am not afraid to die. I ask this question to a lot of friends. I have come across very few who say they are not afraid to die.
I say I don’t have the fear (of death) because I know I have done what I wanted to do, until this moment. If I had to die right now, this very minute, I would be fine with it. Because I know I have lived my life, I have done whatever I wanted to, done the maximum I could with the available situation/resources/time. Yes, there’s a lot more that I’d like to do, so much of it, in fact. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is how much you lived your life. I have had my (more than) fair share of fun, laughed a lot, known, given and got lots of love, made others happy, made some awesome friends, learnt so much… Basically, I have lived. To the full, until this moment. Period. I don’t see why I should be scared to die now. Yes, I’d like to tell my loved ones that I love them a lot, before leaving. But that doesn’t really matter, because I’m sure I’ve already made it clear to them. Moreover, my diary says enough of it for them to know that they mean a lot to me.
So, I think the fear of death comes when you haven’t really lived your life fully, when you feel you haven’t done half of what you wanted to do, when you know you’re yet to live life. I may not have done much, in another person’s perspective. But I know I’ve lived life and that’s more than enough for me. If you have always pulled back from doing something or kept something for later or are waiting to sort out a fight with a loved one (keeping it for the next day and then the next)…in short, if you’re keeping ‘living life’ for later, then stop it now. And start living. For, you never know about tomorrow. Love, laugh, live. Be happy. Kick out that fear of death; it will only stand in the way of living, anyway. And be able to say that you have lived, done what you wanted, what you can, until now…
P.S : When I say I’m not afraid of death, I’m referring solely to my death. I do NOT mean to say that I’m OK with any of my family members or friends (dear ones, in short) passing away.