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How do you prepare to meet death? This author believes it has something to do with the kind of life you have lived all along.
It all has to do with how heavy the baggage is when you are waiting in the departure lounge of life!
I know of two such people in my life who suddenly turned religious in their last days.
Mr.Warner lived a very irresponsible life and brought a lot of misery to his family. His alcoholism, debauchery, his selfish and abusive nature helped him enjoy all the pleasures of life, always at someone’s cost. Just when the doctor told him that he had only a few months to live, he started living a very frenzied religious life which was surprising, because not only was he an atheist, he had never even worshipped God, which his religion was extremely particular about.
He was a completely changed man in the last six months of life. Busy with rituals, visits to religious places and trying all methods to expiate his sins, he was now dependent on the very people whom he had exploited. At every interaction, he came across as a very confused terrified person which was so unlike his normal persona. He was scared of his final moments and constantly asked “Will God forgive me’?
Mrs.Smith was a very typical family person when she was young. When she turned 75, she, voluntarily got herself admitted in an old age home as she didn’t want to be a burden to her children. She did a few chores at the old age home and spent her days quietly and peacefully with the most minimal possessions.
On the ‘D’ day, she just finished her lunch, told everyone that she just wanted to rest and went to her bed. Within an hour she passed away. Her face was serenity personified. I was there witnessing those final moments. She truly radiated peace.
Mr. Warner and Mrs. Smith are perhaps at the extreme ends.
Fear of death and conversely, the love of life is common to most living beings. The fear of death is because of the fear of losing your body. A constant craving and feeling of dissatisfaction is the manifestation of such an identification and they tend to seek religion.
As one grows old and believes that one is in the departure lounge, (in an unguarded moment), most people take stock of all that has happened in their lives. For people who then realise that they have harmed people in some way or that they have done evil, the burden of guilt and regret gets heavier. Unable to bear that, they seek refuge in religion. All things like karma, rebirth, Hell etc. which they had wilfully ignored, suddenly start making sense. For people who believed that they have led a reasonably virtuous life, they start looking forward to the end of life and in fact have a ‘liberated’ look on their faces.
So, in the end it all depends how one lived life ! The moment they realise they have to be ready to meet their Maker, their approach to God changes!
The manner in which Socrates died is a lesson for all of us. He was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth. Just before his death he was asked, “Master, you are dying, are you not afraid of death?” To which Socrates said: “Afraid of what? I have lived my life. It was beautiful. I would like to see what death is now.”
Socrates did not weaken in the face of death, but was cheerful in meeting death as well. Accepting the news with grace, he drank the hemlock and died in the company of friends and disciples.
Life is all about being kind. Because everyone wants to die without any regrets and fears. Those who have brought others pain and tears will be punished, if not now then later after they meet their maker. And all their questions will finally be answered like “ Will god ever forgive me?”.
As for those who have always just given and given and have never hurt anyone intentionally, I believe that they will be resting in peace, literally! That’s why what matters is now, because now is in your hands but nothing will be after THE END.