It shouldn't have to be so, but it always is. Death to remind one of life. Pauses to remind one of effortless continuity. Adversity to help count the blessings. I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but it took the death of another wonderful person to make me want to do it. To really put my fingers to the keyboard and express this lust for life that seems to be growing on me with every passing day.
I used to romanticise death. Dying early seemed like a fantastic idea. Why would one want to turn into a bumbling old fogey? Why would one want to live past his 'best before' date? Why would one want to carry the burden of a body no longer watered by the fount of health? Not so long ago, slipping away at the prime of my life, my career, my everything - a time when I was wanted, needed most - seemed ideal. But it's changing. I am changing. I am realising my life (and my death) isn't just my own. There's a selfless, hopeless, love growing rampant roots into the deep recesses of my heart, and these are binding me down, down, down. This love has me pinned to the ground, hands tied, gagged, bidding me to do its bidding. No, I cannot, must not die. Love will make live.
But this love hasn't come easy. It has come through nurturing a life with my own blood, sleepless nights, endless annoyances, loves lost, and missed heartbeats at every first. Jishnu, my firstborn, is almost three. As with most 3-year-olds, his zest for life and his neverending reserves of energy are amazing. One moment, I could be tearing my hair out in frustration at his ceaseless string of questions; and crying silent, joyful tears the next just watching him play. He makes me laugh so much. He is such a goofball, an affection machine. I could hug him all day, I could say things about him all day...
How can I leave this? How can I leave him? I cannot bear the thought. I'd even accept a senile, diseased, loveless life if it means I can see him shine, see his beautiful mouth break into a smile that so overwhelms my heart. I want to live some more days, some more months, years, decades. I want to savour the air in which he grows. I want to taste the labour of my love. I want to hold him to my breast in his darkest nights. I want to comfort him, love him, bless him everyday. I want to watch him bloom and smile. I want to be proud at his achievements, shed tears when he fails. I want to watch him sleep like the angels do, to watch him wake up like a thousand rays of the sun. I want to build him, protect him. I want to live; I so want to live now.
You, my son, have given me such lust for life. I now fear death.