Death. Funny thing.
It has caused me a lot of heart burn. Ironically, barring the loss of one guy I was kind of eyeing for a while, I have never really experienced the grief of death from close quarters. Yet, it feels like I have always been thinking about it.
I remember a time when I was a silly nine- year old (I really was silly at the time), and I suddenly got the fear of death – not of myself, but of near ones. Parents, to be precise. For around a couple of months, I would lock my door or wake up in the middle of the night and start crying – crying that someday they will not be here with me.
I wonder if what made me cry was the thought of missing them or the guilt and regret that I never had given them my best at all, being the problem child I was. I wish I could say, later I grew up and got over it but no, I do not think that was what happened. But then, hey, who grows past death? Really? That mature? Envy them.
What happened was I became good at suppression of thought. One solid defense mechanism that has gotten the majority of us through this far – suppression – pushing a thought away from the conscious mind. Some say it goes to the subconscious and stays there forever but hey, who cares – get out of my sight – out of sight, out of mind.
Down the lane, a different set of concerns emerged. I started getting paranoid of my own death. If I lost weight, I would think I had cancer. If my scalp pained, I would get paranoid that I was having a tumor. If the flight shook, I would be positive we were going to go down into the sea. On one such eventful flight, the man next to me was amused.
“Why so scared? Big deal – if we had to go, we got to go!”, he said looking matter-of-fact.
I stared at him
“Yeah, I know if we have to go, we got to go; I know that. The point is, I don’t want to go. I know I cannot change the course of disaster – I am only mourning it”
And then, I asked him, “If you knew positively that this flight was going down, wouldn’t you react in a grievous manner? Or would you just smile and let it pass?”
He was surprisingly quick to say “I will accept it as my fate”
Accept it, we got to. Not that we have a choice – since God is a thinker and all that. But accept it with a smile – I think I won’t. Some say that the few minutes before a sure death, we will go all sober, have flashing thoughts of an entire life, remember loved ones and get a sudden serene sense of calm. I doubt if I would do that. Had I known that day that the flight was definitely going down, I would have made sure I spent the last few minutes grumbling and furiously cursing to that guy next seat and loudly sworn at the higher power that it was the most fucked up plan ever!
Somehow it seems there is so much to do. Anything stopping the course of progress must be a serious blunder in the divine schedule – like an absent minded winged creature striking off the wrong name in a fit of drowsiness. The plenty of lives that were taken in sudden episodes – had they felt that they had a lot of unfinished business too or were they overtaken by a sudden sense of sufficiency before the end? Too bad we can never know.