Words are hopelessly inadequate to help someone cope with the death of a dear one.
Someone we know lost her young son the other day. I wrote her an email on behalf of Vaani and me sending her our love and positive energy.
After sending that mail, I reflected on it for a while. I wrote to our friend that trusting the process of Life is all that we can possibly do in such circumstances. Is there anything else anyone can do?
Besides, how can mere words of consolation help you when you have lost a dear one? Of course, when someone you love dies, there will be intense pain. And someone claiming to understand your pain will make no difference to how you are feeling. Because words will be hopelessly inadequate to heal and to help deal with the pain. A better understanding of Life is what can possibly help. When death strikes, particularly in your immediate circle of influence, it is a gentle reminder of an irrefutable truth about Life. And that truth is that every moment in Life is a bonus – you will be here only as long as your name is not called. If you are born, you will die. Death is the only certainty you have in Life. Death is your constant companion, journeying with you every step of the way. Simply, we come, we live our tenure here and we depart. So, when someone departs, celebrate their stay here, their Life, however short it may have been, than mourn their death.
I am not sure there is Life after death. Because no one I know has come back to tell me that there is Life after death. So, I make an appeal for not resisting or fearing death. Instead let’s be prepared for death. Let us take it as it comes, whenever it comes – for those around us and, of course, for us – because, well, it is inevitable!
Whatever you lose or is taken away from you, simply, let it go!
In yesterday’s IPL X Final between MI and RPS, when MI’s Krunal Pandya dropped Ajinkya Rahane’s catch off the bowling of Lasith Malinga, it looked like the dropped catch would cost MI the match. While frustration was writ large on the faces of players and supporters alike, with MI’s captain Rohit Sharma apparently howling in disbelief, Malinga smiled. And that’s the way he is. Whenever he is hit for a boundary or when someone drops a catch off his bowling, Malinga smiles. There’s an evolved, detached quality to his response to a competitive, aggressive, often frustrating, sporting moment.
And I simply love that quality.
It always reminds me of the simplest way to understand, appreciate and celebrate the transient nature of Life. The point Malinga’s smile is making is, don’t take anything seriously. Definitely not what you fail at or what you lose. And don’t cling on to your success, your glory, your rewards, your recognition either. After all, you can’t take anything with you when you depart from here. So, why exult, why mourn?
People often tell me that bringing this attitude to Life is difficult. And I don’t think so. Whenever you are in the grip of a frustrating situation, your own dropped catch moment, just ask yourself if that loss, that frustration will matter some years from now. Ask if it will matter when you die. It most certainly will not. So, let that feeling of frustration go. Don’t attend to it, don’t cling on to it. Just smile. Bring the same logic to moments of personal achievement too. Life happens through you, for you, but not because of you. If you remember this truth about Life you can always be unmoved, non-frustrated, and like Malinga, smiling!