Discussing Death

My dad lay cold in the ambulance and the doctor at the hospital declared him “brought dead”. I fell on the doctor’s feet to check again. But no use.
A father’s loss was a huge shock at the young age of 20, for a girl who had never heard people talking about death. I had not even been to a funeral ceremony or condolence earlier.
Talking about death was considered an ill omen in my house. A death scene on TV in the evenings, was considered ill for the family and I was always forced to change the channel.
My parents thought I was too young to be disturbed by such unwanted discussions – after all who would want to discuss about death to their lovely kid. But it only ended up in me, not knowing how to face death.

Facing a death has brought so much courage into me. These few years, I can see myself not closing my eyes to a dog lying dead on the road or a horrible accident. I am surely not that girl, who screams and runs seeing a poor little cockroach in the kitchen. Coming back to death, I never had the courage to read the obituary column in the newspaper earlier. Now I do read it. The loss of anyone means attending their condolence meeting or funeral and consoling their family members. It happens to everybody. What is there to be scared of.

Please do not think I have become stone hearted. I have just learnt to move on in life. But I learnt this lesson the very hard way. I overcame severe depression by keeping myself busy all the time. The idea was – “Spend time doing so many things that you don’t have time to get depressed” . This might answer the questions many people ask me – “Why do you keep studying? Sanskrit, M.Tech, Arts.. Girl !! Why???? ” This is why. I just wanted to keep myself BUSY AS HELL !!

But I do wish this – My death should not be a shock to my family. At least they must have an idea on what has to be done immediately.

Death Cafes – this is the new thing which is in. People sit and talk about death there. But why wait to get there..
I have a few questions for myself.

1) Have I told my immediate family, how I want my death to be treated?
2) Have I told them what is the backup plan once I am gone?
3) Do they know where have I kept my savings?
4) How do I want my funeral to be held?
5) Do I want them to follow a particular custom or not to follow a particular custom?
6) In which dress should my dead body be draped?
7) How should they decorate my dead body?
8) Have I decided how my grave should be designed?
9) Are there any priced possessions which I want to gift to specific people after my death?
10) Should I harvest my organs?

These things are never discussed. So imagine this – you die. Your dear ones won’t even have the mindset to think about the above things. But his may mean a lot to you as a person. What if they drape you in a dress you have silently hated all these days? What if you do not wish to donate your organs and they think otherwise???

I do not know if I will be a ghost and watch my funeral happening from top. But as a person, as a living human being, I want my dead body to be treated the way I want it to be treated !! The way I treat my living body now !! I am surely going to take the time to try and answer the above questions and help my family cope up with my loss when I am gone. Hope you will too..

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