Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life as seen through the lens of death

Every time I step into a hospital or a cremation ground, the atmosphere turns dark and future goes blank. When I think of those patients in the hospitals fighting for their life and those who have already reached their final resting place in the cremation grounds, so many questions swirl up in my mind about the actual meaning of human existence. One moment we find ourselves smiling and laughing amidst the circle of happy family-members and friends, and the next moment, we are gone. It’s really sad to realize that after all, nothing is certain in this world. As great masters say, the only certain thing in life is uncertainty, and over the years, I have come to realize that this is very true. The ultimate truth is that no matter how powerful or rich we are during our lifetime, we all must pass through the same door at the end. Death spares nobody. This painful universal truth reminds us that this human life is the most precious gift we have ever got and that we must make best use of it. Life is in fact too precious to be wasted on worldly affairs. Life is too short to hate anybody and create unnecessary problems. Reflecting on death makes me more conscious of my own death and often makes me feel anxious as I still feel empty at hand.

Day before yesterday I and my colleagues from my office had gone to JDW National Referral Hospital to see one of our former colleagues who was fighting for his life there. I heard he was diagnosed with lung cancer and that he had been fighting it for almost two years. When we stepped into his cabin, it was really sad to see him struggle with inexplicable pain although he could not express it. My colleagues tried to call him but he couldn’t even open his eyes although he seemed to have noticed us. We could not help but to pray for him in silence. His wife told us that he was stable until that morning but suddenly his blood pressure and sugar-level had shot up and that he couldn’t talk or move. While we were waiting there, he just let out one single heavy painful sigh indicating that he was in great pain. Other than that, he was not in a position to utter even a single word. Then just as we were preparing to leave, his conditions further deteriorated and he nearly passed out. I kept praying as some of my colleagues tried to call him back to his consciousness while others went to look for the medical staff. Fortunately, the patient came back to his original condition after he was given some pain-relieving drugs and we left the hospital with a heavy heart. As we drove back to our office, I prayed for his recovery and hoped that God might bless him soon. But sadly, he has passed away early yesterday morning. It was a very painful moment for all of us who knew him. God bless his poor soul and provide his grieving family-members extraordinary strength at this moment to cope with his loss. If ever there is life after death, may he be reborn in a better realm soon!

Death is part of our life and we are bound to deal with it whether we like it or not. When we think about it, we feel a chilling wave of emotions running down our spine and makes us anxious and philosophical. I think reflecting on death and transience of human life can make us humble and conscious about the purpose and meaning of our own life. I think death is the nature’s way of helping us define and redefine the meaning of our life so that we can make good use of the precious time we live through and focus on things that are worth living for. At the deathbed, there is no meaning for wealth, physical beauty or power. All are bound to meet the same fate and this tells us that no matter what socio-economic backgrounds we come from, we are all human beings after all and that we all are on the same boat heading to the same destination. So although we may not have the capacity to help others, let us at least not harm or hurt them. God bless all of us and forgive us for whatever sins we have committed.


  1. This is a meaningful post which I read earlier on but forgot to leave my comments. I was preparing to update my blog to share the Chinese funeral of my old friend. Her demise sent me into deep thoughts for many weeks about the karmic cycles of life and deaths. It is so difficult to be born as humans, yet many are leading very greedy & meaningless lives with violence and hatred. This is how the endless wars are taking place today.

    We tend to fear and worry about deaths without realising that death is just a continuation of our journey without our physical bodies. It could sometimes bring a better realm to live than our present earth. Anything is possible and nothing is permanent, as you and I are aware.
    Hope someone could explain & share with you how a typical Chinese funeral is like in my country. I posted 48 photos to share with you and everyone.

  2. Yes u r absolutely right. Thanks for the comment