Have you ever envisioned yourself dying when you think or hear of ‘death’?
Have you ever pondered your loved ones would die one day?
I had never, but now I do.
It’s just been 7 months since my grandma died. I was sitting near her, holding her hand, feeding her a spoonful of water, and caressing her hair and cheek when she last breathed. When she closed her eyes, I thought she had fainted or slept or something, but not the thought of her death stirred my mind. I started throbbing her chest with my palm to bring her back to life. I don’t remember who stopped me from behind, squeezing my shoulder.
Yes, I encountered death closely. Believe me, nothing in this whole wide world is more barbarous or resolute or evil or sad as death is. But, it is peaceful in its own sense. It was a serene death. She submitted herself to the inevitable call. She flowed with the laws of nature to never return. Death is adamant. It doesn’t care. It doesn’t distinguish. It does not listen. As I bent to kiss her forehead for the very last time, she was cold. This time she did not kiss back, she didn’t embrace me as she had always done. I was sad. Annoyed. Angry. Confused. All at once.
She died, but something inside me died as well that day. I didn’t know what that was. I didn’t fear death. I feared what might happen to her after the resignation. When I was holding her cold hand, I still thought she had fainted. The ambulance arrived. No, it wasn’t late that time, but late enough to not save her life. They declared her dead, finally. It was a heart attack, they said. Death is really smart, always ready with its own reasons.
One moment, she was asking us to not worry, forcing a smile, chanting some verses from Quran and another moment it was just a pale body with calmness on her face as if she had conquered every misery, overcame every fear.
I wish I had hugged her one more time, slept in her lap one more time. I really wish I had asked her to complete that story of the jinn so that I would not have to guess its ending. I wish I had recited to her the poem that I wrote a day before she died. You know, she loved my crooked verses and imperfect poems. I wish I had imagined her dying before I saw her dead.
Death is the TRUTH, the ultimate, brutal truth. Imagine it. And, love the people around you. Say all the honey-laced words to them. Confess love and respect you hold for them in your bosom. Life is too short to plan a perfect time to do all this. Don’t forget that one day everyone you love would die and you too would leave them.