The point I want to make through this article is the significance of death. In my opinion, death is the ultimate deadline, just like any other we face in our lives, given by our boss or wife. Death is what makes life relevant. What would life be if nobody would die? And life of people who forget that their life has a limit is a testimony to this fact.
The biggest blunder we can do with a deadline is forgetting that there is a deadline. What is a football match if there is no timing, and it continues forever? The end is what makes everything in this world worthwhile. As I said in a previous article, our task in life is to cause a disturbance in this world while we are alive, and death is the deadline for this task. Without death, this task would have no meaning. And it is only after death that we can measure what we have left behind.
And no deadline is the end, it is the beginning of something new. You finish a task on time – what do you get out of it? The task was most likely a vehicle to deliver something, to start something new. We don’t mourn the completion of a deadline, instead we celebrate!
With life, obviously there will be a grieving and mourning period if we loose our loved one (like my mom recently), but we must also make sure to celebrate the life of those who are no more with us.
In my case, my mother’s life was an investment – in creating the family that she has left behind. And as she used to say – “It is not the length of life that matters, it is the depth of it that does”. And I am testimony to the fact that in the 51 years that she lived, she did or achieved what most people can’t do even in a 100 years.
I know that a part of me has also died with her and this void can never be filled, but at the same time I realise that I must celebrate her life too – for the kind of love, courage, strength and mental toughness I saw in her was unmatchable. I (and we) must not forget that our life is a vehicle to start something new, make something better, and it continues after the deadline is over (death).
From birth till death, whatever we do or achieve are only the inputs or raw materials on which something great is about to be built in the future – the life after the deadline. Have you ever thought about that? What are the fruits of your life that the world will enjoy after it ends?
If we examine the lives of great leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Henry Ford, etc we will realise it is not they who benefit out of their hard work but the future generations. Most of the times these leaders were not even alive to witness the fruits of their labor. It is ironical, but I guess that is just one of the paradoxes of life.
As Mark Twain once said – “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” Given the way my mother lived, it was no surprise that she went in peace. She did not once during her last 9 years of treatment showed any signs of worry (about death) or losing her composure.
In fact, she surprised everyone (doctors, relatives, etc) by the energy and love she carried around herself. Death is what makes our lives meaningful, irrespective of how painful they are.
Death is where it all starts, not where it all ends !!