“Death is the most important thing in life,” said Paulo Coelho in an interview. Have you ever thought about death? Perhaps the thought that everything would end one day frightens everyone so we always avoid it. But the truth is we are all walking towards the death which is inevitable. He says, “some or the other day everyone would die, so worrying is meaningless.” I agree but if you ask me, “do you fear death?” then I would say yes. Because I have fallen in love with life and I fear of losing the beautiful gift called LIFE. Moreover, life hasn’t taught me to embrace death yet!
In an interview, Paulo Coelho was asked when he dies what kind of funeral he would like? Well, that was a strange question. For a second, I thought what would be my answer to that question? It was clear, I want to make my life special not my funeral. He answered the question but what enthralled me the most was his thought about death. He said he sees death as his daily companion which always be by his side and motivates him to live his life as intensely as he can! Amazing isn’t it??
Nevertheless, death has always been frightful! But I have read about a real incident which made me realize that sometimes death can also be beautiful.
Oliver sacks, a neurologist narrates a case in his book “A man who mistook his wife for a hat” A 19 year old girl named Bhagavanthi from India admitted to his hospital who was suffering from Astrocytoma. She was first diagnosed with the ailment when she was seven but then it was of low malignancy and allowed complete resection. After which she returned to normal life. In her eighteenth year, the tumor recurred much more invasive, malignant and no longer removable. A decompression had performed to allow its expansion when she came and admitted to his hospital. She had weakness and numbness in the left side with occasional seizures and other problems.
As the tumor inched forward to temporal lobe her seizure became more frequent and strange. She would not lose consciousness, but she would look dreamy. Initially, it was vague but soon dreams became more concrete and more defined. She would see landscapes, villages, homes, gardens which recognized at once as places she had known and loved as a child.
One day Oliver asked, “Do these distress you?” and she said with a peaceful smile, “No. I love these dreams, they take me back home.” In her dreams, she saw her home, her family members and everything she loved. Sometimes there were speeches, or dancing or singing.
Day by day, week by week, the dreams, the visions, came oftener, grew deeper. They were not occasional now but occupied most of the day. Her eyes sometimes closed, sometimes open but unseeing, and always a faint, mysterious smile on her face. If anyone asked her something she would respond at once. It seemed she was in another world, a dream world where she was happy. Oliver didn’t want to disturb her, but his curiosity led him to ask her, “Bhagvanthi, What is happening?”
“I’m dying,” she said peacefully. “I’m going home. I’m going back where I came from. You may call it my return” she added. Within a week, she stopped responding to external stimuli. She was completely immersed in her own world. Three days later she died. She returned to her home!! She was happy, content and peaceful and I guess everyone won’t get a death like that!
Bhagvanthi’s incident reminds me of few lines which someone had sent me years back…
Dekhne Mein mout bhi kam khoobsurat nahin hogi,
Jo koi bhi uss se milta hai
Kambaqt jeena chod deta hai!
Shruthi Rao, Sagar