Death doesn’t knock at the door. It simply levitates through.

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Life, Personal
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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My reflection stared hard into my eyes. It was blurry, for tears began forming up. It said, “Don’t cry! Don’t cry! Be brave!” But I wouldn’t listen. I don’t listen to my reflection. I listen to nobody when my glass is brimming. All I remembered him saying was, “I saw my father in my room.”

A dear friend of mine lost the most important part of his life. His father. Tragedy hit him like a bullet. It was bound to collide as days of suffering suggested. He knew it. Things were not looking good for the past few months. He just hung on. With hope. He kept looking. He kept up his search. Solutions weren’t solutions. They were mere reflections of the bitter truth. Death – The bitter end to everything that breathes.

I wasn’t aware. For the past few weeks, he ran from clinics to hospitals, looking for every ray of light that read hope, with his unabated diligence to set things right and to make his dad stand on his feet again. I had no idea. Whilst I was busy living my life to the fullest, he was busy saving a life from waning. I wasn’t there at all. I was not even in the background. Estranged.

When things got serious I contacted him, only to be a part of his dismay. He mentioned how serious his father’s condition had become. Uncle was, in fact, in the hospital. When my friend came back home, he said he saw him there, standing in his room. He broke into tears on the phone. I didn’t know what to say. My tears simply connected his. It was a tough moment for him. I knew. I was there mentally. Standing next to him consoling, trying to flow with his tears.

I just felt impotent. Nothing I could do to reverse the event. I am no doctor. I am no God. I am nothing. I just felt so helpless. So powerless. Without an undo button. Yet, I reckoned all my options. Made couple of calls to see if miracles existed. Preposterous solutions came up. At such an hour, he was ready to hear anything. I was ready to believe anything. Whatever worked.

The next morning his dad passed away. I couldn’t react. He wrote to me, consumed by profound grief, how he thinks his dad would return anytime, that he had just gone out. How he might show up just like that and bring smiles to their faces!

I am aware how his house would be speaking of gloom. How it would reek of pain for days! How deafening the silence would be! How crazy the minds would think! How tasteless the food would seem! How sad their happy would be! I am well aware. I can empathize it all. For a moment, there is nothing alive. For days, weeks and months, nobody actually lives.

So many sleep-deprived nights. So much care. So much trouble taken. So many tears spent contemplating. So many nerves broken apprehending. All for nothing. All for naught.

I want to be a part of his misery. Just to be there. To be able to tell him that I am there. To hold his back upright. To see to it that he doesn’t fall. To listen to his hollow voice. To understand. To empathize. To let him dry out all his tears. To cry with him. To die with him. But I have these walls around me that wouldn’t let me leave. Had I been in a better room, I would have stood up and left without a second thought.

I remember when a dear friend faced a similar mishap back in my college days. I remember him telling me how he felt. While I listened to him, I cried incessantly. All his aspiration for his father, all his dreams that he knitted alongside him, all the future he created together, how it all shattered in a jiffy! Just like that! Life’s way of telling you – it is evanescent.

Sometimes I wonder what makes this life so short. What defines our confinements? Why can’t we live and just live? Why is there grief when somebody leaves? Why do we miss them when they do? What makes our strength to go on, so feeble? What changes our conviction to live? Death always screws things up. Why is He so jealous of the living?

I called home. I cried and cried for my friend’s loss. What bothered me more was the fact that I couldn’t be with him during his desperate times. What tore me to pieces was the fact that I couldn’t be a friend indeed.

I surmise, eventually, it doesn’t really matter that I made up my mind to visit. That eventually, I decided to be at my friend’s side but my plans didn’t pan out. That I cried for his loss. That I already became a shoulder when I heard the bad news. That I told my parents how bad I wanted to be with him. However, what matters in the end is, I wasn’t there when he needed me the most.

As I ramble across the shores of Chennai, waves look sad. They wouldn’t even reach my feet. They are silently aware of a great loss. They are trying to pay their tributes. My heart reaches out to Uncle’s soul. I just want him to understand how much his family fought for him. How hard they tried! How they spent sleepless nights and tearful days to bring him to life again! They did not fail. They did not succeed. His resistance was simply too strong.

My friend’s loss is shattering. I just hope nobody on this planet has to go through something tragic like that. Death makes living impossible. It has to learn to let people live without it.

But most importantly, ‘we’ have to learn to live around it.

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