Since I heard the news of Karthik’s sad demise, I have not been able to stop thinking about how unfair it is. I just returned from his funeral, and had an opportunity to see the spontaneous outpouring of grief, born out of the love & affection he inspired in everyone whose life he touched.
While I battle my own grief, however, I have been able to turn my thoughts inwards, and reflect on our lives & how we choose to lead them. This is an attempt to jot down some of these points (in no particular order) to ensure I don’t lose track of them.
1. Almost all reminiscences start with “the last time we met/talked…” Given that, isn’t it strange how little an effort we put in to ensuring we have many more such moments of togetherness? Meet to your friends & loved ones every chance you get; you never know which meeting will be your last. Because after that, there are only regrets…
2. If you can’t meet, call every once in a while. Saying “I can’t do it” is not an excuse. You’ll miss these people when they’re gone. And they’ll be gone sooner than you think. All of us lead busy lives, full of things we MUST do. The question is: do we make the time to do the things that we WANT to do?
3. When someone you know & love dies, make the time. To visit. To call. Or at the very least, to write in. Yes we know you are busy running the world, but there is always time for a phone call or an sms. And in case you are thinking you won’t know what to say, here’s some news: it doesn’t matter WHAT you say, as long as you say it. For the spouse, the parent, the sibling, the son/daughter who’s in grief, the same words work no matter how many different people say them. The effort is more important than the exact words. The fact that someone took the time is usually helpful, as is knowing that they don’t grieve alone. And if my words don’t help, do this: close ur eyes & imagine losing the person closest to ur heart. Now imagine no one comes to the funeral, no one calls…open your eyes. Go, do the right thing!
4. Say the magic words, “thank you”, “sorry”, “i love you”. A lot! Reach out. Never underestimate the power of a touch, a hug, or a smile.
5. Make your calendar reflect the important things in your life. People say the most important things in their life are their kids, wife, friends, hobbies, etc. And then they spend hours everyday watching tv, chatting with perfect strangers online, mindlessly surfing the net, playing games! I know, because I’m as guilty as anyone else. (Hey, if those things are important to you, go ahead & do them, by all means. All I’m saying is, just take the time to think before you do it, okay?)
Evaluate your calendar: are you spending time on things more or less in proportion to the importance you place on them? If yes, great. If no, start making small changes today.