IS DYING A CHOICE?

Every beginning carries with it the inherent message of an end. Verily so with our lives! No matter how much exalted or how much wretched a person’s life may be, it is bound to reach an end. Scientific advancements have not yet discovered the elixir to immortality.

But, is death a choice that you and I get to make?

People in mere vegetative states lying on hospital beds for years together are pitiable sights before loved ones – brain dead, yet clinically alive. With the prospects of survival very bleak, what should the wisest course of action be? Would it be best to relieve them from their suffering and their loved ones from the daily hassles? Yes, one of the most controversial solutions offered is Euthanasia, otherwise known as mercy killing.

hanging-151491_1280The pressures of their day-to-day lives take a toll on many people. Unable to come to terms with financial losses, performance pressure, broken relationships or merely the monotony and purposelessness of life, several people contemplate suicide.

Complete-and-Incomplete-AbortionAbortion is considered to be the safe way out of an unwanted pregnancy, the possible fear of giving birth to a baby with mental or physical defects, the familial and social stigma of giving birth to a baby girl or the financial burden of feeding yet another mouth.

people-315910_1280Marrying outside the community or religion incurs the wrath of elders who contemplate snuffing out the lives of the erring individuals. Yes, that’s honour killing which is practiced even by many educated and affluent families in India.

All of the above are instances where man decides to play God.

Yes, death is inevitable. Once born, we all are bound to die. But, death is not a choice you and I get to make. Our times are in the hands of the One who has created us and has breathed life into us. Each life and breath is precious in the eyes of God. Preserve it!

DEATH DEMANDS A REALITY CHECK FOR THE LIVING

2It was at 3:30 am in the morning on 28th January 2011, when my Mom called me. I was shocked to see her number flashing on my cell at that hour of the night. I answered her call in fear and she told me crying, “Danny is no more…”

On 25th Jan 2011, my 21 year old cousin met with an accident. His bike slipped and he went under a running bus. The back wheel of the bus ran over his hip. He was waiting for help for almost an hour on the road in that condition. When he was being carried to the hospital by his friends and other people, he was searching for his father before becoming unconscious.

Danny was such a wonderful boy. He used to play guitar in his church. He was an ever smiling guy and was very helpful, caring and adorable. He was a dog lover. He loved them like anything. I can’t believe or imagine till now that he is no more with us.

16Death is always tragic especially those which are sudden. Danny’s death was really a tragic one which shook us all. We went on discussing the incident with each other for months. We cried together, over the phones and alone seeing his pictures. One of my sisters told me that it’s time for a reality check that how we are living on this earth.

Danny’s death made us feel how fragile and uncertain our life is. It is true that we are created fearfully and wonderfully by the Almighty God, but we should not forget our frailty. We and our life are always safe in God’s hands… No doubt about it, but death… Death is a deadly truth for every individual.

The psalmist says, “My times are in your hands” and truly so. Our times on this earth are in His hands. We just have to surrender our lives and live for His purpose before everything comes to a stand still.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNT FROM DEATH

We are born to die in this world. That’s the paradox of our lives. Everything must come to an end. If there is a beginning there has to be an end and without an end there can’t be a new beginning. I hope I am not sounding morbid. Nobody likes to talk, think or discuss about death. It is a difficult and uncomfortable topic. But I would like to share with you certain perspectives which I have learnt from death.

woman-71735_1280Death breaks people:

It is a self-evident fact that people breakdown after death of a beloved one. It can be the most difficult phases of one’s life. Few years back a close friend of mine passed away. We knew each other from childhood and studied together at school. I still sometimes find it difficult to believe that he is not here with us. Another close friend was gravely affected by this. She had feelings for him and had wanted to tell him about it that December. My friend passed away at the end of October that year. She fell into depression.  Gradually with the help of friends and family she was able to come out of it. Not that she has forgotten him but she remembers him in a positive way as a happy memory.

turkey-848420_1920Death can be a source of inspiration:

Those who follow Manchester United must be aware of the “Busby babes”. The great Sir Matt Busby was a great visionary and a brilliant football coach. On that fateful day of February 1958, the chartered plane carrying the Manchester United team on their return from Munich crashed while taking off. A whole generation of United’s players either lost their lives or were so badly injured that they had to end their careers prematurely. Few of them miraculously survived with minor injuries. Bobby Charlton was among them. He took upon himself the unfulfilled dream of those departed souls and lead Manchester United to their maiden European cup title in 1968; a whole decade after that tragedy. He still lives strong, knighted now and Sir Bobby Charlton carries the never-say -die and never-give-up-on -you- dreams attitudes through and through. A tragedy which served to inspire one of the greatest ever legacies in the history of Manchester United football club.

Death teaches us how to love:

Sometimes the guilt of not having loved our beloved one enough makes us do a lot of things for them after they have passed away. Collecting their pictures or creating or constructing a monument in their memory. Speaking well about them and remembering the good times with them. Instead of waiting to do all this before a beloved has passed away we should do all the good and shower all our love on them when they are alive and around us. It’s much better that way. To love and to be loved are the most beautiful of emotions. We should never delay to express our gratitude or affection on our beloved ones. I know it is not that easy but believe me, the effort is worthwhile. And one can peacefully rest in peace after that.

Death teaches us how to live:

I once saw a video for the song “saving me” by a band named Nickel-back. In the video a guy who has just been saved from death can see the lifespan of other people over their heads. A person who is about to die has a rapidly decreasing life span and the saved-person is able to view this and saves that person. And now this saved person can view other people’s lifespan and it goes on. Unfortunately we do not have the gift of knowing when exactly we are going to die. It’s our biggest gift may be if we look in hindsight.

Also, a person who has just escaped death gets a whole new second chance. A chance to restart his life, may be rectify all the wrongs. Not that you need a near-death experience for this to happen but a person undergoing that experience has the best understanding of it. Not knowing our hour of death gives us a wonderful chance to live our lives in the best possible way.

As the great man, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has said, “Life becomes livable only to the extent that death is treated as a friend, never as an enemy.

Author’s Bio: Peter Minj, is a B. E. in Electronics and Communication. He works as a Software Engineering Senior Analyst at Accenture, Bangalore. He loves Football, Reading, Writing, and Music. He is an optimist, who enjoys the simple things of life.

(Image Sources: Pixabay.comderwseesds.blogspot.comquotesgram.com)