Cul-de-sac!

Death seems to have taken fancy of me. It is a sort of constant companion these days. A colleague lost her husband, the next day I lost my father and as we were arranging for the funeral my mother in law took ill and I had to return the very next day to make arrangements for her funeral. Four days, three deaths and as I gather myself again a very dear friend informs me that her myeloma has not only relapsed but is also untreatable and she needs to maintain herself and live as well as she can. And then she said, “I choose quality life over quantity of life.” And the Official HoB post on Abhay made me realise how raw I still am about his death. Many have asked me how does it feel to let go, how did I cope with the grief and were kind enough to lend me their ear if I needed one. Another cousin too lost her father recently and I have been talking about death and loss with almost everyone at present. At 46, I too feel at times that I did not deserve to see as many deaths as I have seen in these couple of years but then I cannot push it away either. I write today what I felt and how I dealt with it in the hope that it helps those who too have been in this painful situation as me.
The word ‘death’ spells scary even though it is a fact of life like any other. It is as real as it can be and a thing everyone can be certain of, the place and time unrevealed. I remember many of my actions were questioned when Abhay passed away. There were comments like, “We have not seen her cry.” “Is she really strong?” And was also asked if one gets paid for the donation of organs. None of my actions matched that of a grieving widow but I had promised Abhay to be good and had told him to move on if that is how it was meant to be. I took stock of things and started moving one step at a time. The only thing that I had in my favour was the knowledge that Abhay was good, with me and we didn’t have the regret of having missed living any day of our lives.
Today, almost two and a half years later I understand death much better. Death is the next step to life. I remember having read somewhere that Vivekanand wrote to his brother before death that he was unable to hold all the knowledge that he had acquired and had to move on. Likewise, I also read that we all take birth to fulfill a ‘Karma’ and we leave once those are fulfilled. To me it means that we are here to write an examination, write your paper and leave. Some finish it quickly while others take time and then some find the questions easy and others find it difficult.
Being a teacher the analogy of the teacher and student comes to my mind. If I have a student who is everything a teacher would want in her student then am I to hold them back and not let them go to the next class? Won’t it be very mean? A good teacher would want her pupil to go ahead, progress then why not the same with life. I remember my colleague saying that she was very upset as she too has lost her husband at a young age. I could empathize with her and asked her what would she do if her son got admitted to IIT. She said that she will be very happy and ensure that he goes and completes his education. I further questioned if her son would be able to study well and focus if she called every day and lamented about being lonely, sad, upset and wondered why her son had to go to the hostel while others’ children stayed with them and completed their education. Would she question what did she do wrong to have such a fate? Her answer was an emphatic ‘NO!’ And so would be mine and yours too.
Death is undoubtedly the biggest loss, but I wonder who do we mourn when someone passes away, ourselves or the departed? The departed move on to be merged with a bigger force and be in a better place. Religion says that the physical is left behind to merge with the elements while the soul moves on carrying the lessons with it, another vessel, another shape, another purpose.
Yes, we feel sad and bad for ourselves and have every right to do so. We can sit and cry and feel sorry for ourselves. But we should not forget that death is not a culmination, it is a progression. It is not a dead end but a beginning of another chapter, another life somewhere.
So, get up and gather yourself to live yours well because ‘D’ is not just for Death but also for the Dance of Life.

Picture by @sunsetsbyneel on Instagram.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Insider says:

    Ma’am I am sorry for your loss. Your resilience is shown through out the post and it gives a hope that things will work out just fine, it was a beautiful read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Thank you! Hope all’s well at your end. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Insider says:

        Yes ma’am! thank you for asking (:

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran Haley says:

    I stand in awe of your strength in the face of such losses – you have the condolences of my heart even as I draw on the amazing consolation you offer here, in the throes. I have often thought about the mourning process…the different facets of it. And death, too. When I was a child, maybe nine, I was afraid of dying and prayed for help in overcoming it – that night I had a dream of dying, and I knew that’s what was happening; but as the dreamworld faded away I could feel my bed, the blanket, the wall materializing around me. I was, in fact, waking up at home. I’ve never forgotten it. My heart goes out to you and yours – you have encouraged mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Thank you for sharing a part of you with me.

      Like

  3. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, life is very painful at times and we have to face whatever comes our way. My son has retinitis pigmentosa since birth and when he was three months we came to know that he was not able to see properly. We were anxious and kept asking ourselves why this had happened. Then we took courage and faced what had come positively. Because crying would have a bad effect on him. In 2016he completed his PhD in English Literature EFLU, Hyderabad and is Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages in our university. It all depends on how we face life. Thank you once again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A. Shruti says:

      Wow! Congratulations to you all for his achievements. People see the glory but do not realize the toil that goes into it, hour by hour and day by day. Kudos to you for finding the light in that gloom. I believe in going with the flow but to surrender to the situation is not what the winners do, they accept and move ahead with what they have. Much power to you and your son and thank you to you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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