There is Sorrow, There is Death

There is sorrow, there is death
There is grief, there is sorrow, there is solace, there is hope, there is beauty and there is joy…

A colleague of mine, our Senior Medical Advisor, came up to me this morning seeking approval for her annual leave. Since we share a great rapport, I enquired if she was planning to travel to some place special for her holiday. She had worked extremely hard, had a very difficult year on a personal front and I wanted to encourage her to get a good break.

She paused for a few moments, looked at me and replied with a flitting smile “yes Shumon, I will be going to a special place – I need to go to my village and do up my daughter’s grave. That will take a week or so”.

My colleague had tragically lost her only daughter and her mother last year. Doing up her daughter’s gave was yet another means for her to come to terms with the irreparable loss. I had a sense my colleague was choking while speaking. I got up and hugged her. We remained in silence for some time and then I said “Yes .. go! ”

Death is the ultimate truth of our lives. Rest is mere illusion or “maya”. We need to welcome the angel of death with tranquillity.

But then the death of a child before that of the parent, in many ways goes against the very order of nature and is the biggest blow a person can receive. I realized that tending to her daughter’s gave was one way my colleague was trying to come to terms with it and be at peace.

At the end of it all there is solace, there is hope, there is beauty and there is joy. For in death lies our immortality.

Because I could not stop for Death
He kindly stopped for me
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.
  – Emily Dickinson


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