REST IN PEACE OR LIVE IN PEACE?
“Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75.”
― Benjamin Franklin
― Benjamin Franklin
“My mother has left her body,” yes, this was how Manjeet, my friend, conveyed the ‘sad news’ to me, yesterday, “The departure was peaceful.”
Manjeet’s mother lived with his family. She was very close to Manjeet and loved his wife and children immensely. Manjeet, his wife and children took good care of her. Except for stiffness of joints and a poor appetite, Manjeet’s mother had no other health problems. She was alert, mobile and affectionate. Often, I would see her sitting with Manjeet engaged in gentle discussions. She did not take any medicines… spent most of her time in silent prayers.
“She held my hand and left,” Manjeet narrated, “I could see her going.”
What kind of death you and I will have… well, we can never predict it. Like all, I, too, pray to God that the death of my dear and near ones, and my own, be ‘peaceful’. And, I leave it at that.
“You have been a kind soul… You have taken good care of her… She has been a kind soul and she has taken good care of you all… So, these good deeds are responsible for her peaceful departure,” I said to Manjeet in my condolence, “Not many get to go like that.”
All that we can - and we must - do is when we are alive… Love and care when alive… be kind and tender when alive… be forgiving and large-hearted when alive… be generous, be gentle, be supportive, be less critical, be light-hearted and spirited when we are alive… work hard and long and yet learn to let go all when alive… attend birthdays and death-days, weddings and funerals, anniversaries and thanks-giving’s… yes, all when we are alive… eat, play and pray together when alive… wear the best clothes, eat the best meals and observe the most sincere fasts all when we are alive… Saying ‘I am sorry’… ‘It’s alright’… ‘I love you’… yes, these have no meaning unless we say them when we are alive… Love has to be here and now… Peace, too. While alive!
The death of my friend Manjeet’s mother, was extremely peaceful. The soul, as Manjeet rightly said, has left the body… May her soul rest in peace… Like all, I too have said.
But, deep down I know this: ‘living in peace’ while we are alive is more important than ‘resting in peace’ after we die. Incidentally, last morning, Vishwanath, my another friend, had shared that hard-hitting placard:
“Why do we always rest in peace…
Why don’t we live in peace?”
Pic.: Azriel D'Souza