"How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams... at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? Twenty-one grams. The weight of a stack of five nickels. The weight of a hummingbird. A chocolate bar. How much did 21 grams weigh?"
He must have been so happy when I was born. So many times he must have carried me in his arms. So many times he brought me chocolates when he returned from office or market, brought me comics. How happy he became on seeing me and mom and my sister. And somedays ago, I carried his body on my shoulders and gave it to fire.
I always thought I was wiser then all are, that I knew and understood the inevitability of death. I could hardly imagine myself crying over somebody's death. Even that day when I reached home and looked at his body lying in the room, the sense of grief was more because of surrounding environment rather than inner grief. But when I finished performing his last rites and sat down by the burning pier, from somewhere those tears came and started rolling down my cheeks and I couldn't stop them. Yes I knew he had lived a full life, that now he was in acute pain and may be it was best for him to go but heart knows no reasons.
But it is all okay now. Mind has taken over, reason has won and good sense has prevailed but the sense of peace that I felt after those 2 minutes of tearful eyes is still with me. Its only so sad that some good Samaritan spotted me crying and took upon themselves to calm me down. Perhaps few more tears would have been much more effective.
But it's okay. Nobody dies by stopping to breathe. It is a much longer process. Till even one person is alive with memories of him, he lives on. God bless !
My mom was at his bed side when nana ji left this world. She told me it was the first time that she saw somebody leave the body. I have never seen anybody die. Never seen that final moment, just before that there is life and just after that there is no life. Medical science tells us that this is not a well defined point but that is besides the point.
The point is that this moment is unique to death. Birth on the other hand has no such moment. When we are born we are already alive and no matter how far back in time we go, there is no point, well defined or not, when we can say that at this point life started. Do you know why? Because there is never any new life created in this world. It is merely passed down from the parents to the child. And around that life, a body is built. The whole process of procreation just passes on what already exists, it creates nothing new.
And that means that the whole world, everything living in it is just the manifestation of that same life. There is no beginning or end for it, there are no two different beings. The same being keeps branching, sprouting in new ways, spreading around and death keeps trimming it, just like a gardener trying to keep some tree in shape.
There is little that this simple point of view explains about the complex phenomenon of life and death but I never thought this way before.