Friday, February 9, 2018

Death, a close companion ..

I just finished reading "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Tolstoy. The story explores the torment of a dying man who frittered away his life in trifling superficial pursuits. In his final hours, he had no meaningful deeds to recall, nothing to console him of a life well lived.

On two occasions in my life, I saw death straight in the face. One was a decade ago when my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly at the age of sixty, brimming with life and with great hopes of enjoying his retirement. The other was when my daughter had a major surgery when she was less than a year old. There was a chance she would not survive. Since then something in me changed forever.

Death was no longer something morbid. Death had become a close companion walking hand in hand with life enhancing every aspect of it; reminding me of the transience of life; teaching me gratitude for the precious gift of my own life and the lives dear to us; keeping me firmly grounded and teaching me to value the little things; urging me to live a meaningful life with small acts of kindness, love and service; teaching me to die fully to every day to start life afresh again with every dawn.

"Death's stamp gives value to the coin of life; making it possible to buy with life what is truly precious" - Tagore

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