My parents died, expired or as I say left their physical bodies in 2015. The last two months that I spent in the hospital were the best lessons for me. I had a sense that they’re dying but little I knew that their last days would teach me some of the best lessons in life.
I had more than 1,500 so-called friends on Facebook but to my shock, there was not one in the hospital to hold my hand or lend a shoulder or even to listen to what I had to say. I don’t blame anyone. Maybe, their priority was different, maybe they’re busy, maybe this or maybe that. No idea, but on a deep introspection, later, I realized that even I never went to support anyone in such a situation.
As you sow, so shall you reap.
Two neighbors, from my housing society, who I had known for just a little while offered monetary and emotional support, one comparatively new friend called me every alternate day from the USA to check on me, while old friends never called up. I used to sit in the waiting area day and night and post my thoughts on social media. Some would send positive wishes for betterment, some would send warm thoughts, some would just like the post but I was still and prayed that the best should happen to them—I read in ancient scriptures that death is not bad, it’s just a transformation tool.
All the relatives except my wife and brother had disappeared, and the best part is that they appeared immediately as both died. Really, I mean like it was a button that you ON or OFF—you press ON, they disappear, you press OFF, they appear. The doctor was doing their duty of being a stone and the hospital was doing its duty of being a money collection unit. No one really cared.
Every day, I would meet patients and their families who were in distress; mainly due to financial weakness. Sadness and grief were in every nook and corner of the hospital, so I used to anonymously keep smile cards on the seats of the family members. A moment of a smile on their face would do the magic and I would feel at peace.
After all our endeavors, they died but luckily, they didn’t suffer a long period of illness. They must have done some good deeds that they received a good death; almost. The best, and the funny part was that as soon as they died, they lost their names; they were coined as bodies—a minute ago they had names.
I knew that they had some broken relationships with other relatives and I made it a point to visit them and ask for forgiveness for any of their wrong action—this brought me immense maturity and compassion. Luckily, everyone accepted my forgiveness and forgave them.
As a human being puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. Bhagavad Gita 2:23
As the soul changes the body, the thoughts also change time-to-time and as they dissolved into darkness, I evolved to light. They turned to dust and grew into a flower. But the last lesson was the eye-opener. As I was putting the ashes of my mother into the river, I realized that we’re nothing; with all our ego, desire, hatred, love, wealth, anger and millions of other emotions, we’re nothing more than one handful of dust.