Somebody lost a someone just now

“Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4

He was a father, a husband, a friend.

She was a sister, a believer, a soul mate.

I hold the dead little sparrow that had fallen off its nest. In vain I had tried to nurture it.

At the funeral home there was a procession of people who had come to ‘see’ the person one last time. The person who was is now referred to as “The body”.

Nameless and impersonal.

One by one the relatives come to hug the widow. Each touch accompanies wailing which seems ceremonial and fake. Yes, we Indians are dramatic. The hustle of the activities keeps the true mourners distracted and busy. There is tea to be made. The relatives to be fed. Funeral arrangements to be made.

Some relatives fight over possessions and rights. Some things are left undone and messy.

The widow is alone. She takes care of the granddaughter. No, the daughter could not come, she did not get her visa yet.

Another thing strikes me, that of the 80 years that the influential, well respected and rich man has lived, the story of the last minutes of his life are repeated, over and over again. Assumptions are made and details added. The last few days are analysed for signs of his illness and wellbeing. His habits discussed. Not his accomplishments, nor his societal contributions. Someone will remember, later, during the funeral service, but not now.

And I think about the futility of life… like a breath…

Putting things into perspective.

“Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4

Someone has to die for us to realize that all in life is futile.

But then life’s circle goes on relentlessly and without mercy.

And we stand by.

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