HOW TO CONSOLE A BEREAVED?

Couple of years back I had to face one of the most difficult situations of my life twice. It was, talking to the wives of their deceased husbands. My voice was shaking and I was stammering. I was unable to choose my words while speaking to them. Somehow I managed to talk to them in two different days.

Afterwards, I was pondering on this matter deeply.  I recalled  the time when my brother died in an road accident in January 2011; I was in the same condition as they were now. I just tried to recall the messages and the calls and the consoling words of people for me at that time of bereavement. Some were irritating, overdone and some were quite comforting.

Finally, I came out with a list of Dos’ and Don’ts’, which will give us an idea about this matter. 

Listening Patiently: When we face a bereaved family, the first thing we have to do is just listen to them/him/her patiently. She/he will cry, sob, speak deliriously and we will have to be just quiet and listen carefully. That was one thing really helped us when people came and listened to us at that particular time of grief.

Give a hug: “Jaddu ki Jhappi” (Hindi), ‘a hug’, really comforts. If it’s possible on our part to give a hug then we should not hesitate to give it as soon as we face them. But be careful of the situation and when we are comforting a person of opposite sex. We need to be sensitive and responsible enough of our each actions. 

Don’t stop them from weeping: Some people try to stop the bereaved persons from crying by saying, “Please don’t cry… the person won’t come back… .” I will slap a person if I face that kind of comfort from him/her. We should never stop the bereaved from weeping in fact we should allow and encourage them to weep and wail more. That will help them to unburden themselves. They will feel lighter if they do so.

Cry with them: If possible when they cry or weep, we should cry with them. It will give them a sense that we are also sorrowful as them. It doesn’t mean that if we don’t feel like crying we will pretend to cry. It should be natural. We may not weep if we don’t feel like.

Don’t describe about the deceased: We should not describe about the deceased in front of the family members again and again with others. That doesn’t give them opportunity to divert themselves from the situation. Even sometimes that irritates them.

Don’t force them to eat more, if they don’t feel like: We should never force them to eat more or do something which they don’t want to do. We should give them enough space to gather their own strength and come back to their old state of mind. But we should always be careful about their food and physical health. Grief is highly draining. It sucks all the juices and energy of person’s body. 

It is really difficult to specify which are the correct ways of consoling a particular family or person. But the above points really gave me comfort and I think those will be helpful for all of us when we face this kind of situations in our lives.

Be blessed!

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME AFTER MY DEATH? WHERE WILL I GO?

woman-441415_1280“What?” “I have only one week in my hand?” “Are you sure doctor?” I was shocked and confused as to what words to choose to express my emotions. The doctor calmly replied patting his hand on my shoulder, “Yes…maximum 7 days.”

I couldn’t sleep that night. But after struggling for a few hours I didn’t remember when I fell asleep and started to dream.

I saw… I am standing in a solitary place and there’s light around me. Suddenly I see a medical scientist walking towards me. The thought of death was in my subconscious so I asked him quickly, “Sir, I am dying… Do you know what will happen to me after death?” He looked at me, smiled and said politely, “Sir, I don’t know… according to medical science there are no such proofs of life after death. Death is the dead end for an individual.” And he walked away leaving me in tears.     

Then as I was weeping I saw a Pandit coming towards me. I asked the same question to him in tears and he took out his book and started explaining what Hindu Shastra (Scripture) talks about life after death…

BrahmasoulsHe said… “Most of the Hindus believe in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, which is called ‘Samsara’.

‘Samsara’ or the doctrine of rebirth is also known as the theory of reincarnation or of transmigration of the soul. This doctrine is considered to be a basic tenet of Hinduism. According to doctrine of rebirth, differences between individuals, even at the time of their birth are due to their past karma i.e. actions done in the past birth. For example if one child is born healthy while another is handicapped or blind, the differences are attributed to their deeds in their previous lives. Those who believe in this theory reason that since all actions may not bear fruit in this life, there has to be another life for facing or reaping the consequences of one’s actions.

It is mentioned in the Bhagvad Gita –

“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless.”
(Bhagvad Gita 2:22)

The Doctrine of Re-birth is also described in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

“As a Caterpillar which has wriggled to the top of a blade of grass draws itself over to a new blade, so does the soul, after it has put aside its body draws itself over to a new existence. 
(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4:4:3)

After he finished reading and explaining he went away.

Then after sometime I saw a Maulvi coming towards me. I greeted him and trapped him too with my question.

He too smiled and started describing calmly. He said…

Jahannam“It is mentioned in the Qur’an

How can ye reject the faith in Allah?
Seeing that ye were without life,
And He gave you life; Then will He cause you to die,
and will He again bring you to life; And again to Him will ye return.
(Al Qur’an 2:28)

Islam states that a human being comes into this world only once, and after he dies, he is again resurrected on the day of judgement. Depending on his deeds he will either dwell in heaven i.e. Paradise or he will dwell in hell.”

(Source: http://www.islamandhinduism.com/ih/life%20after%20death.html#link2)

He too went away his ways.

Two different explanation made me think for little more. I waited and waited for somebody else to come and explain it to me little more. Suddenly I saw a Pastor coming towards me. I ran towards him to meet him and asked him the same question.

We both sat down on a rock and he started explaining what he knows about after life.

RaptureHe said, “What exactly does the Bible say happens after death? …the Bible tells us that after death believers’ souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:161836). For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation21-22)

(Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/what-happens-death.html)

After explaining the Pastor got up, said good bye and went away leaving me alone there confused.

My dream ended when the nurse woke me up for the medicine. I opened my eyes and saw sun rays streaming inside my room. It was morning already and I didn’t realize it.

The dream was in my mind. There were questions popping up and troubling me. I have to decide and believe in somebody as everybody said differently.

I keep thinking and praying: “Oh True God, the Creator of heaven & earth and the whole universe, reveal yourself to me. Let me see and know who you are so that I can believe you and you only. Oh Almighty, reveal the mystery of life after death and let me know what will happen to me after my death? Where will I go eternally?”

 Author’s Bio: Chiradeep Patra is a finance man who works in a NGO at Kolkata. He is a writer, motivator & counselor. 

DEATH OPENS THE DOOR TO PROMISED RETURNS

Birth and death are the truths of life. When we are born on this earth, we also have to face death one day.

Yes, death can seem messy, unplanned, tragic and extremely sad. I think about all the amazing people who have passed on to the other side. How many had time to process the fact that they are about to die and how many transitioned to the other side not having had the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Death is a natural part of our time here on earth…and it is not the end. It is only a transition from one realm to another. So when our loved ones die here on earth, it is only their physical body that dies. The soul floats away and continues to live.

Death opens the door to receive the promised rich returns. This body holds us prisoner to various temptations and weaknesses but death sets us free. Our soul sets sail from this world and safely arrives at heaven’s shore where there is no mourning, no crying and no pain.

That does not mean we should desire death and hate life. No, instead God wants us to live life to the fullest and to serve Him joyfully as long as we have life.

I have lost loved ones throughout my journey here on earth and how I long to bring them back again.I long for moments together, to hear them and see them smile again. Its normal to wish that our loved ones would never leave us.

Knowing that death is not the end brings me much comfort and our time here on earth is a beautiful journey, one to be embraced and celebrated. We all are made of pure love and we all will return to pure love when we leave this world

This earth is not our destination…we are destined for something much more beautiful and glorious as we wait to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter the joy of your master.”

— Indira Patra

 

THE BEST WAY TO FACE DEATH IS TO BE PREPARED FOR IT

To emphasise on ‘preparation for death’ would be an unexpected topic to speak about. But yet, today I would like to share about my personal view regarding death.

I’m brought up in a family where I have been hearing from my childhood about life and death not only physically but spiritually too. I was a girl at my teens who always tried to enjoy every single moment of life happily and uncared of the further consequences, follow my daily schedule of life, enjoy performing my hobbies, going ahead with my passion and so on……But yet the matter of ‘Death’ was of much significance to me, it was a silly thing always neglected by me. Until the day came i.e 9th April 2006, when my Grandmom passed away leaving us in grief. On seeing her lying dead on the bed, my heart was shattered and was over-grieved with so much pain and sorrow. At that very moment I felt as if I have lost something very much precious and dearer of my life.

This incident led me to a traumatic situation and I quietly sat in the corner of my room and wondered why she left us. It took me some time to be out of this unstable situation. I was praying for some miracle to take place so that I can get my Grandmom back but then, I suddenly realized the fact that every individual has to die someday or the other. Sickness, accidents….etc. are just matters of reason but the fact is that we need to bid adieu when our time approaches. My Grandmom’s death was a turning point in my life and I started focussing on this very matter. Now I’m aware that I too have to face death one day, so I feel the best way to face it is to be prepared for it beforehand.

Death is of course an inevitable thing which every individual has to face one day. But the matter is how prepared are we to face it? In our enjoyment of life we forget the fact that we enter a new world after death where we can make a choice i.e heaven or hell.  It is something untold and unseen which we are unaware when to face it, so we should always be prepared for it.

I still remember before my Grandmom passed away she was so excited and ready to face death. Her last words to my family was an encouragement not to mourn over her death, but instead rejoice for she will now abide with the Almighty God.  I felt more encouraged when I recently read a poem  titled “May Be” by ‘Monalisa Changkija’, where she too reflects on the fact that death is to come in our life all of a sudden with no notification. But the best way to face death is to be prepared for it. According to the poetess ‘to be prepared’ is the only way to accept death readily with no grief and sorrow in our hearts to bid adieu to this world.

— Arpita Dutta

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!