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The Sick. The Old. The Corpse.

I had always pondered about these three even as a child, mostly because I had heard about them since the age of 3 years or so. The three circumstances we cannot avoid and control, no matter who or what we are. Still, these three are taboos to the entire mankind. Do we see that these are the situations when seen and felt deep within shape us as humane?

I read a post, a couple of days ago on death and it made me pen my thoughts too around my realizations about life and – death. I diligently believe we are ‘we’ because of our experiences and the choices we make at those crossroads.

I had been an introverted child and had only one friend as my maternal grandfather. I used to be happy with him even when my parents were away. I still remember asking him “Why did Lakshmana not take Urmila to the forest?” to “Why the lady delivering the child is in so much of pain?” Yes, we use to watch Hollywood classics in black and white together. One day I got to know he is sick, and then he was taken away to the hospital followed by me seeing him for one last time during his last journey, first-ever departed soul in my life. I wondered whom to go with my inquisitiveness. But life went on…This stopped my stay of half the year, every year in my maternal house, and one way or another I started liking attending school for most of the term.

My next friend was my father, I could share with him anything, even about my first smoke without the fear of getting judged. Perhaps I grew up to be very different from him, we disagreed almost about everything on earth. Years followed and another event shook my existence, an accident that broke his hip joint, soon after a heart attack. The heart was showing no stability and the hip joint implantation was becoming unworkable. Even with all treatment, he was unable to bear the pain without the replacement. The young me, without any money, career, two more mouths to feed at home, went and spoke to the orthopaedic and the cardiologist to go ahead with the surgery even if that means we are giving up. The surgery was successful, he was better. However, he stayed bedridden, followed by multiple heart and cerebral attacks. At times he did not recognize us. We parted ways, for me to have a stronger career to support all that was going on. After eight years on one winter afternoon, he gave up. In all these years our bedtime stories never stopped, I kept on sharing my “life” with him every day over phone.

The years taught me to stay alone, make morning tea, do a sunny-side-up and solve everything that comes on the way. But I did not learn to make friends or share my emotions because I had the cushion to fall back on. Everything in my life revolved around my father. I use to calculate how much I should earn based on the medical expenses we needed to support him.

Life made me sit and re-plan, re-look and to have a purpose, an ambition to live for. I understood in the next six months that how difficult it is to live without a purpose. Eventually, I made a few friends who are family now.

Counselling people was a part of my profession, I realized the heaviness of my pain and grief started reducing listening to the pain of others. I saw a close resemblance of the deaths with the divorces. Divorces are not a taboo anymore, but the couples mostly meet the judgmental moral police post the trauma of separation they go through. I started meeting many people who saw the relationship dying, letting a person go out of their life forever (~death) and fighting the battle in society simultaneously. Many times this takes away most of the friends and family too, leaving the person to become a corpse, new love and life come after a considerable struggle or never come.

Then came a paw to hold my hand. I have been into animal rescuing forever but never thought of having one as a pet because of my extensive travel. During my rescuing expeditions, I found this Garfield, a handsome ginger tabby of British shorthair origin. Circumstances followed and we ended up staying together, a new lease of life, and my concentrated emotional dependency begin again. Two years down the line, he was stolen, I hardly had a clue that this parting was preparing me for devastation.

Everything happens for a reason.

I had put together myself and started on with my leisure travel again. Few days after returning from such a journey I got a call, again on a winter afternoon, my baby brother was no more. The baby who grew up in my arms was no more. He was lying in whites, encased in flowers. The youth who was a lover and had only one purpose of life to settle down with his forever love, who was planning his honeymoon, had travelled into another world forever. I still see the baby walking by…

We cannot plan the forever if something is there, it’s only for now, next moment might be too late. Every time just when I thought the worst is a past, I found myself in another tunnel. The life completed its circle for me, I understood the value of every moment. I kept on feeling “Why him? it could have been me too”. I had my mother to take care of too. I started realizing the pain every bereaving mother goes through.

I could feel the pain of the woman who had a miscarriage and stopped living because to her it was not a mere embryo. The life she was building was only for her child, and one night, after a hard day at the office and a struggle of existence at home she feels wetness shattering her every dream, her child, her lost love.

Life is a journey and living it is the only option. Any moment it could be me, so why to restrict myself to food, drinks, and merry when there is so much more to do?

More than living for the dream career, the love of life, the biggest deal to close, what else matters?

Every day is a blessing, is an opportunity to live life, searching the happiness beyond building the material world. To make the living worth on this earth no matter how small the ripples I can create but they must make one more life smile.

Author: Paromita Bannerjee – Paromita is a leader in People Practices with a knack for solving problems. An IIM Bangalore alumna and a story visualizer, her focus is on bridging the gap between education and industry by supporting fresh graduates to kick-start their careers and helping women to return to the workforce after mandatory breaks. She wants to make the world a better place to live for every life on earth. She is a passionate animal lover and loves to write poetry and her encounters with ghosts (real or imaginary :)) during her leisure. She believes if there is a will, any relationship can go long run with the right balance. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author.

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