“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Paul Kalanithi’s ‘When Breath Becomes Air’; A heartbreakingly painful yet wonderful book. I am thankful to him – for telling us his story; telling us one can be vulnerable, gracious and brave at the same time; for his determination to leave behind his never dying words and for allowing us to have a sneak peak to his beautiful mind . I lost one of my best and sweetest friends to cancer. So I could not stop thinking about her while reading the book. I had often wondered what my friend had felt when she first heard about her illness, what made her decide not to disclose it to us. I don’t have the full answer. But, sometimes, in Paul’s vulnerable moments, I could somewhat imagine what she might have gone through.
Death is weird. It comes uninvited and lingers. It doesn’t care, who, when or where. The unannounced way it arrives is what makes death terrifying. I will never understand who losses the most in the battle against death; the deceased or the survivors they leave behind. We don’t know what happens to their mind or soul. But we are left with their memories, smile, laughter, kindness, cuteness, love, anger, dreams, worries and everything they expressed to us but them. Where shall we place this enormous weight. The longer we hold on to it the longer it take us to move on. But we can’t leave those behind right?
I am told , that death is a blessing to some. It puts an end to their pain. May be. But I think, death takes their pain and passes it on to us. What else could be the reason for the excruciating pain in our hearts. It was not there till they left.
Paul made me think about death. And Lucy, his wife made me think of life on earth after death. His beautiful friends and family, showed me what matters in this whole world. I will be grateful to them forever for that.