Macabre Life and Merciful Death
Everybody dies. Every one has to. No matter how young or old, rich or poor, powerful or weak, die you must. Sooner or later. Life prepares you only to die while death leads up to the interesting possibility of an everlasting life.
Some die in their bed, blissfully serene and poised, a picture of serendipity and contentment after leading what some would call a full life. Like a cavalier swain having a momentary lie-down with a cognac in one hand and an expensive cigar in the other, after a sumptuous dinner, waiting for the music to start to sweep his lady off her feet as only a finely accomplished dancer could, to the mirth and merriment of an appreciative audience. Having cavorted lifelong enough before the fizz is gone, they susurrate ever so gently into the ears of their attentive admirers how they are raring to go to meet the lady unknown, in life hereafter so unimaginatively named death. Life, with its effulgence gone, is not for the discriminating nobility. The hoi polloi and the riffraff can take over, for all they care, and commit their own follies.
There are others who simply don't want to die as if they had a say in the matter. They feel they have not had their fill at the fountain of life yet. With several more rounds of introduction to go through, how can they be expected to pack up and go away as yet? There are more wild oats to be sown and saucy toasts to be raised; more escapades and spectacles to be accomplished. Nonetheless, they are carried away too, kicking and screaming, willy nilly, head or feet first. There, there, your time is up, old chap, keep the stiff upper lip up and look as dignified in death as in your soon-to-be-gone-by life. Walk into the valley of death to embrace the finality of life, with equal elan as when you sashayed down the aisle of the church on your wedding day. After all, the two events are not far too removed from each other. Marriage or death, we are equally appalled at. You are obsessed by the fatality in either case and walk into a theatre of the absurd with no exit, to do a solo fox trot or tango to the accompaniment of imaginary music on a highly polished non-existing dance floor.
In either case, notwithstanding how the person who is about to die feels, and in utter disregard to his sensitivities about the single most important event of his precious life about to end, his kith and kin manage to distance themselves from the mawkish sentiments bandied about by them for the poor sod when he was physically capable of taking care of himself; and discuss his funeral arrangements such as the simplicity or ornate nature of the coffin to be ordered, design of the tombstone and related sacerdotal matters.
There is yet another category of people who are thoroughly fascinated by death. For them, morbidity is the new serenity. Indulgence is the in thing. Excesses are cool. Drugs, fast cars, and such are the tools for experimenting with life. They are ever ready to go. For them, what matters is that you go, never mind where. With a high inflow of adrenalin in their veins, they do macabre stuff which they miraculously survive to live for fighting their battle another day. Death eludes them like a coy lover, only to spring a surprise when least expected.
People would not know what to do with themselves if death does not come some time or the other. Life without death would be like one long row of days without nights, and with no possibility of restful slumbers. Who wants a world inhabited by soulless zombies going about aimlessly, neither being able to refresh or recharge themselves after a perennially continuous stretch of endless programmes nor being allowed to crash?
What begins must end. Macabre Life, with its inherent tripwires and inbuilt booby traps, must give way to Merciful Death, in due course of time, for sanity to prevail. In the meanwhile, prepare for the inevitable, not in a sombre mood, but laughing and merrily. If you truly love life, you should learn to let go. Death is not an end. It is a new beginning. If you don't prepare for it here and now, you would have to hit the ground running when death comes.
© 2014 Kalyanaraman Raman