I am learning to accept what is and not to resist or to deny the presence of what is. The first suffering I experienced was the passing away of my dad. I did not want him to leave me. What helped me to accept his passing away was the way he embraced his breath leaving his body. He used to recite the verses from the Bhagvat Geeta shedding light on how to live with equanimity, how to remain centered and balanced in the midst of the rising and falling waves of life. He lived that way and died that way. He used to teach me how to live by the way he lived his life. He was walking his walk.He planted the seeds of the art of living and leaving.Breathing in and breathing out are the wings of the bird of living fully.
Three years ago, my beloved wife passed away. She had very aggressive breast cancer. Six months before she passed away, she asked me looking into my eyes, "Jagdish! Do you think I will survive? I trust you. You will tell me the truth." This was the most difficult question for me to answer. I was holding her hand in my hand and this answer emerged from my heart: " Everyone is going to pass away sooner or later." That answer was enough for her. Without any hesitation, she accepted the truth. There was a glow of acceptance on her face. And that's the way she lived her life.She was ready to go when the time would arrive. Before she passed away, she asked all of us- me, our grown up children and grand children- to face her face. She touched everybody's hand, looked at all of us and said, " Is everyone OK?" She lived that way caring for all and left the same way showing her caring for all. These were her last words and these words deeply resonate with me when she comes to my mind and heart. Like my dad, my wife taught me a lesson of how to live and how to die.
Suffering is an integral part of living fully. The evening is born in the womb of the morning sun. There is no morning without evening and there is no evening without morning.The river of life flows in between the banks of joy and suffering. They are intertwined. They are the wings of the bird, the tide and ebb of living.
May we cultivate this art of living and dying to live fully and die fully.