I laughed aloud and said ‘Escaped from the entire shebang of hopeless useless miserable shit-hole life. Love, sadness, success, children, death, divorce. Every thing. You escaped it all. You must have been out in couple of minutes – lucky bum‘.
Not aloud – not to the dead body – not to anybody. Everyone was saying idiotic things. Someone said ‘thank god – he was not married’.
He was lying in the middle of the room. I ran out of the room in a couple of seconds. The dead body was very oppressive. On the way my sister had said – ‘so quickly people become dead bodies – its no longer him’. In the room, my aunt & uncle were conversing abnormally loud – about God and his crappy reasons, their poor dead son, their prayers being in vain, their misfortune. They didn’t understand. What is to understand? Death is not understood – its only a fact.
‘Silence is better than a thousand words’ or some such thing the poster said in his house. Did he choose this poster? An image of two people in a boat at night. Someone had thought this ugly image worked for the words. Actually, the words fit better with an image of death. Ugly death.
I saw fleeting glimpses of folks touching his face for the last time. Was there a point to that? My mind repulsed at it. Its a dead body.
I want you to know I love you. Are you going through shit – I will not judge. I will share your super happiness – I will be super proud and tell the whole world. I love you. And here is a hug for all those happy and sad times I missed, a hug when we are still alive.
A thousand thoughts floated by ‘what if it were my son?’ or ‘…my daughter, my loved one?’ That’s when the grief hit people and they would weep convulsively, scrub away the tears.
I lived through that real grief. About 10 years ago, I lost a friend whom I loved dearly. That grief was like being hit by a train. Everything went extremely slow and extremely fast at the same time. I didn’t remember anything. Not the air hostess offering tissues or the next person looking fearfully at me weeping. I didn’t remember the questions or the answers. But I remember the horrendous weight of grief all those days. You could slice that grief and play football or something – it was that real. It took years to get out of the guilt. The survivors guilt. Every laugh, joy, simple life rewards of walking, breathing hence forth for a long time makes you feel guilty ‘How could you live, and be happy when someone you loved died?’ Really how could you?
Today I felt wiser. I wanted to laugh. To ask people to recount the stories of the man they knew – What really ticked for him? What made him laugh? He laughed didn’t he? He lived a good life, didn’t he?
We are all the same. We die. Is there a master program that calculates whats the best bet of keeping someone alive. And eliminate the rest. There’s is no reason for our existence anyway. It may be sensible to be sensible, ‘don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t hold grudges, don’t kill, eat well, pray and be healthy, meditate’. And then, if were lucky, we will die quickly and easily like him.
A jovial young boy. Long ago maybe 20 years ago – when we were very young and wore embarrassing clothes that were in fashion – we all had gotten dressed up to get pictures taken in a photo studio – no one owned personal cameras then. We were all laughing really really hard. ‘What had made us laugh that day. Were we laughing at ourselves?’ – I asked. He looked like he’d open his eyes, laugh again and say ‘Tada!! Practical joke!’.
‘Bugger you escaped life. You died!’ I said. ‘Escaped from the entire shebang of hopeless useless miserable shit-hole life. Love, sadness, success, children, death, divorce. Every thing!’