Hope, Encouragement and Peace

If I were to add one more word to the above list, it would be “satisfaction”; that too “Deep Satisfaction at Heart”. But these are usually not the emotions that one would experience in case of closest family member’s death.

I try to observe (or rather evaluate) every major event in life from both the angles: Material and Spiritual. I’m doing the same here i.e. in case of my father’s death. It is not a deliberate effort but something that comes naturally. A calling that makes me share this experience, to express what I feel.

It is my choice: I can be very upset, depressed or sad by sudden departure of my father. But instead I’m looking at this moment in light of Hope and as a result, I see the positives only. The death is inevitable, key is how one leaves this world. Easier to understand is the Material aspect.

My father was 73 when he passed away last month. He lived long enough to see full circle of life. All the joy of raising kids, seeing their education, career and successes. He retired in his late fifties, so had enough time to relax and pursue other hobbies. The joy of being with grandkids: my nephew was grown under his care for the most part.

All of us wish to die peacefully but often it doesn’t happen that way. We have to deal with the adversities of old age and disease. Though we don’t easily accept but there’s lot of suffering before we kick the bucket. The aches/pains, medications, surgeries and hospital visits become unavoidable. Many a times, the person would be helpless and bed ridden for years before giving up the body. My father escaped from all this for the most part. He did all the work himself, went for his daily walks and wasn’t on any specific diet. He had the energy of an 18 year old and he lived that way till the last moment.

Sometimes he used to worry thinking that none of his sons will be around in case something happens to him as my brother and I were out of India for a good number of years. But my brother decided to move back to India long back to be with parents. Our move back to India also allowed us to spend more time with my father. All of the family members and closest relatives were there with him during his last days.

Now coming to the spiritual side of things. I can say with conviction that how one departs from this world is what really matters at end of the day. And this usually depends on how we lead our lives. During last few years, I noticed my father spent more time reading scriptures and doing his prayers.

See Lord’s mercy, my father had the stroke in the hospital itself. All the critical support was readily available on site. The entire family and relatives were given enough time to be with him. We prayed for him and gave Lord’s mercy in the form of Ganges water, Tulasi and Prasad. He could have died in the hospital but instead Lord made the arrangement for him to leave his body very peacefully at home. Not only that, he took his last breath while hearing the Holy Names being chanted by us. He could have left in sleep or in our absence but that didn’t happen. Furthermore, he left during Pitru Paksha that ensures soul’s peaceful journey after this life.

There are many other details and events related to my father’s departure that proves His mercy being showered at every step. All of this was only possible by His perfect and flawless planning.

So what’s so encouraging and why I’m being Hopeful?  That He definitely makes all the arrangements (Be it Spiritual or Material) if we have faith in Him. Yes, it can be challenging at times but that’s the test of our Faith.

It would be quite appropriate to end this post with a relevant quote from Bhagavad Gita.

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