When I lost my cousin, I spent the first few days finding out about how it happened. I didn’t stop to digest it emotionally. I allowed work to distract me. However, upon speaking to her parents, it hit me that she really had gone. It didn’t make sense. It still doesn’t. But does it ever? Whether it is the death of a loved one, a sudden break up, divorce etc. It never adds up.
What have I learnt? Not a lot! I’ve learnt that I am still getting my head around how to accept death emotionally. Intellectually I know that we all will go one day. I know it is the cycle of life and that we are here temporarily. Emotionally I haven’t accepted that. I have this idea that one should die when they are old and or sick. Not when they are young, healthy and have so many dreams that they wish to accomplish. I need to see that death is not logical, it might seem random. Maybe there is a plan but a plan that none of us can actually see. Carl Jung in his book “Synchronicity” suggested that there is no such thing as a random event, it’s just that we can’t see the wider picture. Rather like looking at a small pixel within a photograph.
Losing Chandini made no sense because in my mind she still had her whole life to live. It felt like she was robbed a chance to even live a full life. How is that fair? The funny thing is, life is never meant to be fair. We have this insane idea that life is meant to be just and fair but is it? Is it fair that some die early and some live inhumane or unethical lives till they are old? I’ve learnt over the years to see that life is never meant to be fair. There is a serious gap between our expectations and what the reality of life actually is.
Chandini’s death has weirdly enough reconnected and brought me closer to my cousins all over the world. It does sucks that it had to be in this way. Aside from reconnecting with a dear cousin in Spain, I decided to touch base with my childhood friend whom I’ve known since Grade 1. Chandini reminded me that it is so easy to get caught up in our daily chores and family affairs but when we die, the question we might ask ourselves in our dying bed (if it is a dying process and not an instant death) then it might be: “How did I live my life? Did I make a difference? Did I touch people’s lives? Or did I get too caught up in making money or my own selfish needs that I broke promises or neglected my partner or family and friends?” The question she has reminded me even more is, “how am I living?” With my grandpa passing, this is one thing I learnt. I saw how he had unresolved issues with his elder son (my father) and my understanding is that it caused him a stroke. A heart condition is sometimes due to suppressed emotions. It taught me not to live in regret in any form whether it be an old pain or unachieved goals or dreams. I see life as an opportunity to show myself who I can be for the highest good of all. While that’s true, I still get caught up with all the to-dos that I forget to reach out to those that matter most.
For those that knew Chandini, honor her by living a fulfilled life. Honor her by laughing more, dancing more, singing more, doing the things that makes your heart warm with affection towards others and yourself. Chandini had lots of hobbies and dreams. She lived pursuing what she could. Let us take it upon ourselves to keep Chandini alive in our hearts by living our lives to the best. This would be the best way (I believe) to honor her.
I would like to leave you with a few guiding words from Osho:
“This life is going to end in a few days, or in a few years. It is not something to cling to. Each moment death is coming closer; before death grabs you, you have to figure out something which is eternal, which is immortal. It seems obvious that death is the end of life; that is not true. Death is only a beginning of a new life — a refreshment, a rejuvenation. The old body is tired. You need more experiences to become mature. You have to move through many other forms of life, and there are millions of forms of life. Life has to be a joy, a dance, a celebration. And when death comes, it has to be welcomed with silence, with serenity — wholeheartedly, not holding anything back. This is a way to kill death itself”.