How Loss & Grief Has Taught Me To Be Grateful, And To Live Life More Fully

The pain of grief, the inevitability of death - these have to have a purpose, right? Maybe they teach you more about how to live your life?

The pain of grief, the inevitability of death – these have to have a purpose, right? Maybe they teach you more about how to live your life?

I have come to realize that when lessons are meant to be learnt, they find you rather than than the reverse.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a few traumatic incidents that have occurred in our family. My husband’s first cousin passed away quite unexpectedly. He was 49. He returned from an early morning jog and just collapsed on the porch of his home.

This was followed by the passing away of an uncle. He had been ailing from CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) for a while. We thought he had made a full recovery when suddenly things took a turn for the worse, and he passed away after suffering a massive heart failure. His passing though expected was very sad.

We have been at the receiving end of some very bad tidings from some people we know outside of our family too.

From one of our dear acquaintances being afflicted with cancer, to learning that someone’s husband had passed quite suddenly. She was 37, and she lost her husband to sudden coronary infarction.

I am 37.

I cannot even imagine how my life would been, had it been me. I don’t even want to think of it.

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The inevitability of death, yet…

Death leaves a tsunami of events in its wake. Grieving families, and much introspective rumination by those who had been associated with the deceased. Did we do enough for him? Have I been a good friend to him?… etc.

For yet some others, we are faced with the inevitability of the nature of death.

However, much as you may want to remove the ineludible nature of death from one’s purview, it’s got an amazing ability to somehow weasel its way into your subconscious, till it permeates your consciousness and you sit up and take notice.

It scares you at first. Is God trying to tell you something? Is He preparing you for what’s round the corner, or is it a gentle reminder to appreciate life and not crib over the little things?

What may be the purpose of it all?

Either way you begin to ponder over the purpose of it all. Our plans, dreams, hopes  or a tomorrow, if there be one, all seem a bit futile, because what is the point of it all when you know nothing is ever certain?

Our entire life can be turned upside by something as simple as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings. It takes so little to disrupt our lives. Where then is the surety that you would wake up tomorrow and dream another dream thereafter? What is the point of it all, you wonder.

Then somewhere behind the dark clouds shines a sun that lights up our rather gloomy outlook. You look at it and smile. The sun, though hidden behind the dark clouds, gives you hope for a tomorrow. Just tomorrow. For who knows at this point whether it be better or worse? Besides you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

You then decide, nay, resolve to be a better human being. Love a bit more fiercely, hug a bit more tightly, and show a little more kindness both to yourself and to others. Thank God for his mercy, and express gratitude for all the blessings you have received. Everything becomes very clear and you realize that gratitude is the only prayer you ever needed. You don’t fret the minutiae of life anymore. You will feel the ebb and flow of emotions, people, thoughts, and other vagaries, and yet somehow they fail to penetrate the armor of self realization that this too shall pass.

Just as we get comfortable in our new found insouciance and begin to get complacent, life throws us yet another googly. But of course, that’s life …

Image source: a still from the movie Dear Zindagi

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