life beckons

A 40 year old died in his sleep due to a massive cardiac arrest. No diagnosed health issues. In fact, he was a sportsman. A man who was on social media chatting till late at night, the very same night he passed away. Leaves behind a tween child and a stricken spouse. His death a huge shock for them.

A 36-year-old man collapses while taking a bath at his sister’s house. He is declared dead on arrival bat the hospital. He leaves behind a toddler son. No history of any disease.

A 46-year-old high profile HR professional in a multinational company just gets a massive heart attack and dies two days later after slipping into a coma. Again no history of any disease.

What is common in all these cases is that they are real; all those who died were very young and had no prior history of disease. While death is the only uncertainty in life, sudden, unexpected death rattles you and turns your world topsy turvy. No, these people were not even close to me just acquaintances or friends of friends yet they were in my thoughts.

Strangely the first thing that went through my mind was about their families specifically children. It breaks my heart that very young children have lost their mother/father. Perhaps, it has something to do with me being a parent but the biggest fear I have is to not live long enough to see my children grow up and stand on their feet. Being a parent is not only a responsibility in terms of giving birth to life and raising them to be good citizens of the world but also in ensuring that you are around them physically, mentally and emotionally when they need you the most.

There is never a good time to lose a parent. I lost my mum 15 years ago and I still miss her. But at least she was around in my formative years, and I will never cease to be grateful for that. I wonder what is to blame for this sudden spurt in deaths at young age – stress, obesity, emotional fragility, depression, burn out? But, it throws you off guard and makes you think long and hard about your own life about the tiny immaterial stuff we take to heart and the larger picture that escapes us. That is why practicing gratitude is so important. It heals you and emotionally stabilizes you.

Health checks, physical and mental fitness, insurance, financial stocktaking are some of the thoughts that fleet through my mind. Every time you indulge in road rage, drink and drive, burn yourself out while working on a job you hate, never vacation, binge eat or drink, give in to temper tantrums, indulge in negative thoughts, do not forgive, stress out the small issues – you are doing massive harm to your mortal body which may be invisible.

As we completely crowd our plates with packed schedules and bone-numbing monotony, expecting our bodies to run a marathon everyday, somewhere it falters and caves in. Don’t just expect it to give and give more till it breaks down. Do give this some thought. Do give yourself some thought. Remember there is someone waiting for you at home who cherishes your presence much more than you’d ever know.

On that thought, here’s wishing everyone a great Monday and week ahead. Do something good for yourself this week, no matter how small.

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. — Nietzche

Do share your thoughts in the comments.



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54 Thoughts on “Life beckons

  1. I completely concur with this. I’ve lost two good friends this last year and one was very sudden and unexpected. She was hale and hearty and had no history of ill health either. The sudden nature of death always makes me stumble. The death of the old I can take in my stride. I do feel terrible for those they leave behind. What must it be like? I shiver and say a prayer for them.

    Life is too short for us to hold grudges, don’t you agree? I let go of so much these days and spend more of my waking hours in gratitude. Hope you have a good week too, Rachna.

    • Yes, true. The death of someone elderly is painful but at least there is the satisfaction that they have lived a fulfilling life. A life cut short so rudely hurts a lot. Yes, indeed it is a wakeup call to let go, to not let the ordinary grow into extraordinary and most of all to take care of oneself. Thanks for your comment as always.

  2. I agree with everything you have said.

    I lost my brother when he was just 38. He had no bad habits, he didn’t smoke, drink or eat fatty food. He walked every day for an hour, and yet he died of a heart attack. The only thing perhaps was that he was in a very stressful job.Apparently he had a blocked artery and though he had trouble breathing, he had never bothered to get himself checked. So yes, I’d say show yourself some love and don’t wait till something bad happens. Get an annual checkup.

    • Oh God! That is so terrible, Shubhangi. I am so sorry to hear that. Yes, stress is a silent killer. We believe that we can handle it but we cave in. Thank you for sharing this. I am sure it is a wakeup call to us all.

  3. Life is so unpredictable.
    We can only do whatever we can. Imagine falling in the sea while taking a selfie! And road accidents are so common. Just like that. Life changes in seconds.

    • Accidents I guess no one has control over. But, I was wondering about how we neglect our physical and mental health and then end up paying precious price for it. Just too sad.

  4. Lata Sunil on January 11, 2016 at 11:06 am said:

    Rachna, this post somehow also echoes my latest post ‘Life goes on’.. We should stop trying to be superachievers. It is important to be physically and emotionally fit. We may realise it too late, sadly.

  5. Hmm…it is a scary and sad topic, yet, it must be discussed. We should all show ourselves some love. Stay healthy, keep negative thoughts at bay and be grateful for what we have. Have a happy and healthy week ahead, Rachna.

  6. Death rattles us, yet it is the ultimate reality. I lost my dad on 24th December 2015 and I don’t think I can ever come to terms with the loss, for my mom lost her father 31 years back and she still misses him. So it is not the death of an old or young it is the death and that too sudden death that rattles us more. Dying in the sleep due to silent cardiac arrests are becoming way too common and the only reason experts can see is what you have already mentioned Rachna! I am sorry if the comment doesn’t make any sense. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I will never hear papa’s voice on the other line.

  7. Whenever I read about untimely deaths, I feel a certain heaviness that I can’t quite explain..And now that we have M, I’m scared about so many different things…You never know what may happen when, such a scary thought…

  8. Yes to all of this! It really does make you think because it is natural to assume we will have time and these deaths are reminders we may not. It is sobering to think about.
    Like you I hope both myself and my husband are able to watch our boys grow up. There can be so much turmoil and damage when one loses a parent during their formative years.

    Take care and have a good week. <3

  9. Rickie on January 11, 2016 at 6:17 pm said:

    Why such a morbid post all of a sudden?

  10. I have lots to say on this…actually wanted to write a post too…but it is not forming yet. The thoughts are in my head. An incident that happened last year has totally shaken me as a person and how vulnerable….I don’t know what else to say…

  11. A post like this serves as a reminder to slow down and savour life. Coming to think of it, I myself focuss so much of my time on negativity, rather than utilising the same for more things productive. I take a break every now and then, but then, is that enough? It is part of my resolutions to spend sometime each day doing something I love. I hope that keeps me sane and healthy.

  12. Life is so unpredictable. it just takes a moment and our reality changes.All the things we cannot control are what captures our attention for most of our life span – running this rat race, all that builds up stress. And we happily go on collecting it, but in all this we forget what we should do, Cherish ourselves and what matters to us. Slowing down from time to time and revisiting our priorities is necessary.

  13. Thats so true,Rachna! This unpredictability can be so scary!

  14. a relevant post

    A week back a father committed suicide and his wife and children got to know only the next day since they never knew when he came home or if he came home at all, for that matter.
    Good thoughtful effort

  15. The need to be regular and avoiding overindulgence plus a simple lifestyle helps in combating stress but then there are still many uncertainities which one is not prepared for! happy New Year, Rachna , though a bit belated:)

  16. A great reminder, Rachna. This morning I read that the brave young man who attempted to save the life of a girl drowning because of her stupidity, left behind a wife and three children including a mentally challenged son. To think it was all for a selfie!
    Wishing you and the family a wonderful 2016.

  17. I have started getting grey hair while my mom and her sisters flaunt beautiful dark hair. That itself shows a huge difference between ours and our parents health. It’s so important to just chill !! World is not going where … it’s right here. Loved the quote by Nietzche. Brilliant post Rachna.

  18. We keep hearing such stories with increasing frequency these days. If a couple of generations ago people died young, the causes were different, but now it is mostly pushing oneself beyond enduring and running after impossible targets and goals. At the end of the day, who gains, and what? Even something as routine as a gym workout can kill, if it is not done after proper health check up or supervision. I know of one young man in his late 20s who just collapsed during workout and couldn’t be helped, so sudden it had been. You take care dear. I know something must have shaken you enough to have written this post now.

    • Yes, I remember doing a post on that. It is scary that some people are distressing their bodies in their quest to achieve a perfect shape. Then there are those who are killing themselves with work. And there are others who are eating themselves to death. There hardly seems to be a balance. Thanks for your warm words.

  19. I understand what happens when a child lose one of its parents. I lost my mother when I was 5. But that’s life……..

  20. “Remember there is someone waiting for you at home who cherishes your presence much more than you’d ever know.” That one sentence speaks plenty. You just brought us back to the important things in our life which we sometimes tend to take for granted.

    Beautiful post that makes one think long and hard! 🙂

  21. Great post to start the week Rachna. We can do whatever it takes to prevent risks , but ultimately its destiny and while we live, let’s live each day to the fullest and full of gratitude.

  22. Honestly I fear for myself a little. A while back I was sitting at home and there was pain in my left side of chest. Of course it could be some indigestion but the idea that I could be overworked fell so real I suddenly snap shut the laptop and paced about the house taking in deep breaths. And this is something that has funnily put a thought in my mind- Am I doing enough to ensure fitness in multiple ways?

    • Yeah, I guess we keep pushing, thinking that the body will cope. The scary part is that we do so little for our bodies and expect so much in return. I think an area many of us ignore is mental health.

  23. Important reminder, Rachna.

    I am reminded of the famous dialogue between Yuddhishtir and Yaksha in Mahabharata, about the strangest phenomenon in the world, namely, death being all around us and yet human beings living under the illusion that death won’t come to them. Perhaps death is the only certainty in life, to speak philosophically a bit.

  24. ‘Give yourself some thought.’ This sentence says it all for me. We tend to put others first- and put ourselves on the back burner!
    Thank you for this beautiful reminder Rachna. As always- beautifully written.

  25. Yep, the reality of life – one days it ends! My word for 2016 is ‘appreciate’ … because one never knows 🙂

  26. I love that quote. It is quite a coincidence that after putting it off for ages I went for some health tests today. I was actually aghast at how expensive they all were and then told myself that this was way more important than that new pair of jeans I’d been wanting to buy :-). You’re right – we owe it to our loved ones to take care of ourselves.

    • I recently did my annual check. I found a slight iron deficiency and low Vit D levels so on supplements to rectify them. Yes, these tests are expensive but I guess necessary. I am glad the message resonated with you, Tulika.

  27. This is exactly what me and my hubby were discussing last night, Rachna. Life is so uncertain,none of us are immortal, yet every day we go about our lives as we are going to be here forever. But practically, we must accept reality, and ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to safeguard ourselves.

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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