Fear of Death and Dying #FridayReflections


Talking about death and dying, more than my own I fear the death of my near and dear ones. The inevitability of it all hasn’t yet settled in. Acceptance hasn’t come to me, yet. There was a time during the early teenage years, I used to speculate life without my family, and plan my survival if such a mishap ever did happen. It was depressing, almost dysfunctional. I was going through a bitter phase, and such thoughts just heightened the melancholic feelings. But now, after years, these thoughts have become a part and parcel of life. Every time a kin doesn’t receive the phone call; every time a family member who isn’t home doesn’t respond to messages and calls; every time the friend is out on a drive and the phone’s unreachable, this creepy thought does peep from some corner of the mind. And it’s intimidating.

I haven’t experienced death from close quarters. The demise of someone from the extended family, two suicides, and fatal accidents of certain college juniors- I have seen how my parents react to it, how affected they are by the sad and sudden news, and it does bother me. I feel the pain and the helplessness. It’s excruciating, almost killing. I just can’t imagine what it would be like, when I myself would have to go through that phase, sometime in my life. I haven’t known grief, denial, emptiness, anger and final acceptance personally- except through friends, family and such touching poignant tales in books and movies. I don’t know how I would take it. I don’t know how I would fare. Sometimes I think I would become detached, stop caring and feeling. Then, I think I am more humane than that. And this speculation keeps that fear alive in me. I wish I wasn’t so afraid every moment. I wish I could just accept the greater forces working in our lives.

Thinking of my own lifespan, I speculate a lot on that too. I think perhaps everybody does. They say life is shorter than you think it is. I wonder so many things. Would I finally find my purpose in life? Would I write that novel I’ve been trying and failing at? Would I be able to strike off all the things in my wish list? How far and wide would I be able to travel? What would I regret? Would I be able to leave my mark? Would I ever marry? Would I be a mother? What would life be like in about twenty years- would I be here to see that? No amount of time can be enough to spend with loved ones. Even if someone wanted to hand me a deadline, I would refuse to have one. I wouldn’t want to know my future, my deadline. And perhaps this fear of death is a boon in disguise; it does make us feel alive. It’s fear that makes you feel alive. So, in a way, sometimes, I am thankful for it. 

PS: This is last week's prompt for #FridayReflections ....

Living my Imperfect Life


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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