How do you feel when you hear this word? Uneasy? Scared? Indifferent? Helpless? Some of us would have some thoughts on how it might feel, when the end comes. Some prefer avoiding those thoughts altogether. Some of us believe in an afterlife, some believe in absolute disintegration… What’s closer to truth, nobody knows. Our courtship with death begins the moment we are born. A very steady courtship. Why is it so harsh then, the prospect of death? What’s the apprehension about? Pain or uncertainty or perhaps, a permanent loss? There has to be something about it that the mere mention of this inevitable event brings about gloom and despair. So I shall dissect these apprehensions with my understanding of things around. First, is the belief that there is a lot of suffering while dying. I don’t think we are capable of the same emotions while dying as the ones we contemplate beforehand. Yes, I do feel there is a restlessness and anxiety in the initial moments of realisation but then, doesn’t it happen with the anticipation of just any kind of major change? Eventually, the mental powers get dull, so do the bodily functions. Along with these, the emotions start getting blunt. Therefore, I feel, in the last moments of consciousness, there’s not much displeasure left. Perhaps, one realises that, ‘We all must die one day’ has changed to ‘I must die now’ and has accepted it.
The next apprehension is uncertainty. What next? Where are we going after death? Is there an afterlife? Would we be judged by a higher power for the deeds on Earth? Would we be reincarnated? Honestly, I don’t have the answers to these. A lot of people have a lot of theories. I have got one too. Why care about it when the thing doing the thinking and the entity which can feel would lie mouldering in a grave or be burnt to ashes? It’s good to be curious but is it worth it? Even if there is an invisible essence going to an invisible realm, it can’t be judged or punished or rewarded. Right, wrong, punishment, reward are the creations of the human mind. Yes, I have heard and read what the religious scriptures say but I still believe it’s all in the mind. I may not be religious but I do believe in a higher power which doesn’t ‘think’ like us. It’s beyond any description or the human understanding. I don't negate the existence of an afterlife, reincarnation, karma, the concept of heaven and hell. I am curious to know more, I am open to ideas, like a lot of people but nothing about them would constitute the absolute facts in my mind.
The last but not the least, is a permanent loss. It is human to form bonds of love with other humans, to get attached and to empathise. The loss of a beloved in a way that it can’t be reversed is painful indeed. The memories, the place the person had in our hearts, the happy times shared together, the unique quirks of the person, the habits, the touch, the smile, the warmth, the shared dreams, all of these and a lot of things would always bring tears to the eyes. Healing takes time and is a gradual process but healing does happen. It’s just a matter of time. All we need to do is be patient and believe that we'll heal, believe that the misery would go away. I accept it's easier said than done but this is the foundation to a healthy healing process, understanding what's in our hands and what's beyond us. It isn’t all that gruesome if we think. Neither is there a necessity to think about it at all. Let’s make an effort to live the way that makes us happy and cherish the good things around. That way, we’ll be ready when the courtship ends.