Sunday, June 12, 2005

Life after Preeti

There’s something remarkable about condolences. People come to share your pain, to commiserate, to listen to you. And invariably, sometimes without realising it, they start talking about their own brush with grief and loss. Suddenly, your own tragedy isn’t the biggest in the world. Pain, you realise, is omnipresent, tucked away behind smiles, soft sighs and the occasional bitter word. Sometimes, your own load almost seems a flyweight as compared to someone else’s. The galling unfairness becomes easier to accept; likewise, the grief. You observe the dignity and detachment with which they accept their crosses. And rather than wallow in sadness, you begin to take your first steps away from it. There's truly something remarkable about condolences.


A few months ago, I had posted about a fire at my workplace and the prospect of ‘losing everything’. At that time I wrote,

“The reality and inevitability of loss never hit me harder.”

I mentioned how a man’s acceptance of losing his entire family to the tsunami disturbed me more than the images of devastation.

“Everything included three children and all seven grandchildren. He spoke in a sad yet calm voice… ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. It is the cycle of life.’”

At that time, I could not fathom his grief, nor how he and others would cope. Now I can. Anicca, (or impermanence) as I experienced it in Vipassana last year, has a much deeper meaning. As the old man said, the cycle of life trundles on.


P.S. Thank you all who've kept us in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for your lovely messages and for being with us through this time. We truly appreciate it.

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