Is death the greatest loss? Or is it forgetting to live and passing each day unaware of how grateful we are to be blessed with life. The world is still reeling with the aftermath of the dastardly attacks on a city which is considered the epitome of love, the city of vibrance and exuberance, the paradise of romance- there are several posts flooding social media wherein people are expressing their solidarity, a few people who were amongst those present when the attack happened, recounting the horrific experience and how it has changed them as a person. One of them that particularly left a deep impact on me was a lady who happened to be in the theatre that unfortunate night. Though she escaped unscathed, she recounted those horrific few minutes when terror struck. She thought she would not survive the attack and her last thoughts were of her family, the people she loved, how she wished she could let them know how much she loved them, the best moments of her life spent with her loved ones which lingered as memories flashed before her eyes.
As I read her candid confession, for a moment I envisioned myself right there. In the midst of mayhem waiting with fear and knowing the dreaded truth that life that may be snuffed out any moment and what came before my eyes- the angelic far of my daughter and I wish I could whisper in her ears “I love you Angel and you shall forever remain God’s best blessing in my life”. My mother – to whom I want to say you are my rock I know I am rude at times and I have hurt you but I love you from the core of my heart and I am sorry for all those times when I could not be your ideal daughter. My husband who has patiently put up with all my mood swings and terrible outbursts after I became a mom, with whom I have hardly had a meal or a heart warming conversation since months, who might be wondering “Is this the woman I married 3 years back? Yes I am the one and so is my love. Love you to the moon and back. My little brother who till date remains my bestie, my dad, grand mum for their unflinching support and I wish to tell them I love you and I am fortunate to be blessed with such a great family.
Friday evening which is usually one of high spirits as its weekend time, was not a pleasant one for me. The long and stressful day at work, the ever piling up load of “To do” things on my plate and the worry of how do I clear them off next week and at the same time manage to balance my time for my family, my unanswered questions of where am I headed in my career, will I achieve my goals within the time frame I have set for myself, am I doing justice by spending so long hours at work, after all this do I get what I deserve- just too many thoughts clouding my mind. And then to add fuel to the fire, my thoughts wandered in the direction of friends who were once besties but each one moved on and are hardly in touch- made me think did I choose the wrong people? These thoughts threatened to spoil my weekend looming over like a dark cloud.
I saw my daughter’s infectious smile as she came crawling towards me and the unpleasant thoughts vanished. But they did visit me in the middle of the night in the guise of bad dreams and I failed to completely shake them off. Saturday morning I saw #PrayforParis trending on twitter and read through what had happened. It left me deeply grieved for those innocent souls who lost their life, their families who were still struggling to pick up the broken pieces and mend them, fury and angst towards the men of Satan whom I cannot by any means call human. It made me feel vulnerable as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend for this could be my city, my vicinity. But on reading about the survivor stories and specially the one I recounted above, it made me pause for a moment and think- what mattered to me the most. My treasured possession is the arms of the people I love, the smile on their faces and the countless memories we have made and continue to make each day- When I breathe my last – how much I earn , what’s my designation, what my appraisal says or does not say, did I get promoted a year early or late will not even matter . I don’t think they would even momentarily flash before my eyes. So why do I waste my life grieving over them? It would be a sheer waste of this beautiful gift God has bestowed upon me. This attack has made me value my life much more and also resolve to spend each moment more fruitfully.
Life’s greatest lessons come sometimes in moments least expected, in moments of grief, despair and sorrow, they come to make you realise there is hope, love and goodwill, They still exist in this world. May there be peace and love and may each one of us live and rejoice each moment and make the most of this gift of life.