DEATH – The world is enough to make one feel gloomy as if the sky is covered by dark clouds bereft of silver linings. But what is death? What happens when one dies? What is it about death that gives us the above feeling?
According to my experience, we fear Death. We fear it because it means an end of life, or does it? I think the most important reason why we fear death is the uncertainty of what happens after we die.
Are we going to leave this world?
Are we going to be in a better realm as in heaven?
Are we going to be happy after dying?
Honestly, none of us knows. But if we are really interested, we can die to know what will happen. Pardon the dark humor!
The recent loss of a beloved uncle really put it into perspective. I could only see people grieving all around, people wishing he lived longer, a brother who couldn’t understand why his younger one left so soon, a mother whose eyes are sore from crying yet the gloomy rain out of her eyes won’t stop, a nephew for whose marriage the beloved uncle was saving up. The sudden loss of a fit and healthy human being requires much more to cope with than the loss of an ailing old aged individual.
All the scenes above made me numb and I couldn’t help but think of the reasons why everyone was crying, so I tried to put all the arguments relating to death and why we cry on someone’s death into perspective to see which is closer to the truth.
#1 The road to Heaven (Swarg)
One of the arguments believes that a person goes to heaven – a mythical realm where there is lots of wine and dine, where you meet God and other fellow human spirits and ancestors. If such a place really exists, then why cry about the one who left us? It really makes no sense to cry about someone going to a better place where you know for sure he will be happy. Why not then be happy as the person will now be in a far far better place where there are no environmental issues, no daily struggles of life and the wind comes straight from the clouds on which rests the heaven?
This naturally leads to the second argument – the void that will be left in a family’s life after one member passes away.
#2 The void
Different persons play different roles in our lives. Each of these roles is special and only that specific person plays it – that is why we have different importance for different people. Like a neighbor is not as important as a parent. Our life works because of the social roles many people perform in our lives – The nourishing role a mother plays, imparting values, the role a father plays, and so on. So when a person departs from this world, there is no one to play his role, in this case, the uncle’s to nephew, to his brother, and as a son to his mother. When a person leaves, a deep void is left in various people’s lives connected to the departed soul in a social milieu. We cry because the person will not be there anymore in this world to share in our happiness and be with us in our sorrows. This loss is a permanent one, hence people grieve relentlessly like the mother I mentioned above. Only time heals and gradually fills the void.
A lot of us have had to face similar losses due to the raging pandemic or for other reasons during the course of our lives. I realized today that everyday statistics in this pandemic are not mere numbers – THEY ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE NOW NO MORE. I think we fail to realize this in the rush of concerning ourselves only with numbers and overlook what’s most important – the loss of life, the loss of family it brings with it. Many of our fellow human beings have lost someone or the other and they don’t know what to do but cry because they do not understand why that one person had to leave, what will be of the dead one hereafter and how shall the void be filled.
Even for me, I do not claim to know what is and what is not of death. After all who am I to comment on it?! But there is one thing I am sure of which is the way to know the truth and put an end to all the sorrow, crying, and remorse – Die and find out for yourselves.