Sometime back, unfortunately, I received news of sad demises of a very senior spiritual figure, which certainly made me sad. Later during the day, I had news of another senior person from local political leadership and by night I had to bear with news of the passing away of a senior medical professional who had not only cured thousands of people but also raised the profile of medical fraternity.
Three of such shocking news in one day was hard to bear. None of them were my family members or relatives in a literary sense, but I had had interactions with two of them personally on many occasions and have always felt a connection with them. This might have happened to you also sometimes – receiving bad news which hurts. It is evident that whoever is born, will have to die, someday or another. But some deaths affect more people than others. Some individuals have a wider reach and connect due to their nature, philosophy of life and achievements.
Life is not measured in years but on the outcome. How one has lived life, how one has been instrumental for the happiness and hope of others in the society, that matters. If one has solely spent all his/her life for personal wellbeing and progress, nothing wrong with it, but certainly his death will remain only personal sorrow to his family members. On the other hand, those who have spent time, energy and resources for others will receive wider gratitude on death.
Though death is mournful, painful and not easy to handle, a true tribute to a dead person is not grief but gratitude. No one can be immortal, and therefore, a true obituary will be to appreciate the life and deeds of the gone person and adapt to whatever possible. One dies but his ideas, philosophy and good work remain in the future. Someone rightly said – that fellow is greater whose shadow is longer on the future. Let those who have been giving us calming and comforting shadow even after death lives till eternity. Everyone cannot be Gandhi or Vivekananda in terms of reach and guidance, but every small contribution has its own values and we must applaud it.
A lot has been written and spoken on death, but it has always remained the misery of human existence. Though we know it’s certain, but that’s the only certainty that we fail to accept. We keep planning for all those uncertain things in life, except death. At least, being ready for death, emotionally and mentally, is important. No death should be a sudden shock, especially if a person has lived full and satisfying life. Grief may be converted into gratefulness and death may be accepted with respect and reverence to the departed soul.