September 1, 2010
had posted about facing death, and worrying about the death of her parents. This is what I said in reply:
We all grow up each time we face death..and how we deal with it is different for each person.
Aneeta, I have a tip from my own bereavement...I wonder whether, if someone had given ME this tip years ago, I might have saved myself lots of worry and fear....so I am passing it on to you.
I used to think once in a while about my parents' death, and I was sure that devoting a lot of time to thinking about it would prepare me mentally.
However, when each of my parents died...my father very suddenly at home, my mother in a lingering, systems-shut-down-one-by-one way in the hospital...the reality was VERY different from anything that I had imagined I had worked out.
So...I could have saved myself all the emotions that I went through in my "death rehearsals"....and just faced the actual loss.
Strength...somehow comes to us in the dark hours...from inside ourselves, from others, from expected and unexpected sources.
OK, probably each of one HAS to also think about parents' death...but I hope this helps you.
And ...sometimes, just that one word, or even a "hug" emoticon on Gtalk or whatever, DOES help immeasurably. So...just reach out without thinking too much about not being able to do more. Love finds its way across vast distances and comforts the other person.
And hugs to both of you...for the losses you have faced..and, being human, are going to face.
To this, Prashanth replied to me, saying that probably, thinking of death was morbid.
No, Prashanth, I don't agree that just thinking of death now and then is morbid...perhaps, dwelling on it regularly might be...but facing up to the fact that we are all visitors here, and ANY one of us (not necessarily in chronological order!) might suddenly depart from the stage, keeps a certain sense of perspective about our daily life, and gives a sense of humility...and gratitude at the time we have with our loved ones.
Is the side of the moon that we can see.
We see it, sometimes fully, sometimes not;
Even in the light, the craters are sometimes in shadow.
We see the strife,
The difficulties that we've got.
We feel we know where we've got to go.
Is the hidden side of the moon.
We know not what lies in store;
Who'll be touched by it next;
We are vexed
By the thought of facing it soon...
We worry about reaching its door.
Fear of it wastes many a living breath.
Death and life, shadow and light,
Seen and unseen, known and unknown:
What's the reason why
We live...and die?
As the moon is half-hidden from our sight,
So, too, is only half the universal mystery shown.