Everyday Life

Only Those Who Have Lost Can Tell – Thoughts at a Funeral

I am not sure if God decides the birth and death of a person. And there is no proof so as to prove who decides the fate of a being. But every time when someone passes away, God is accused, criticized and questioned. And it’s OK to ask answers from the one whom you trust and have complete faith in.

So, as I walk into the room, running my eyes around, trying to spot the nearest and dearest ones of the young man who died from a heart attack. I notice a breathless elderly woman resting her head on the coffin with her eyes red and dry. She must have cried her heart out and looked tired and pale.

Standing in the room looking at the stationary body covered in a white shirt and veshti with a glittering gold bracelet in his hand, I’m wondering, “Oh man where are you now? I know you are lying here but where have you gone? It’s your mother crying profusely in pain. Have you already begun a new life, a new family and a new journey?”

My thoughts were distracted by a sudden outburst of cry as few other relatives of her had arrived to console her but her pain and complaint only multiplied.

“Oh Lord Krishna, for all that devotion and prayers we sung in praise of you, is this how you reward your loyal ones? Did you not have any mercy in taking away my son while I’m still alive? What wrong did I do to receive a punishment so severe and merciless?”

More than the grief of the death it was the state of a mother that I had seen for the first time. My heart wrenched and ached, watching the mother shift from various expressions of deep pain and sorrow.

The instinct to protect one’s own child is a strong intention of every mother across all species. And to experience the death of our children whilst we are still alive seems like breaking the natural order.

I could feel the suffering of the mother so strongly that’s because I’m going to be a father soon. And the thought and image of me standing at the coffin of my own child would be a cross to bear.

I know there is nothing anyone can do to help her except for a few comforting and consoling words. Because the pain and agony that she is going through is her own emotional journey which can never be experienced the same way by another.

And so the best I could do while standing there was pray for the departed soul and pray to Lord Krishna to give her more courage and strength to deal with the situation more spiritually.

Lao Tzu shared a thought-provoking quote which works miraculously and holds intense healing power if we understand the depth in his words, “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

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