Death is the best teacher of life

Skull and new plants (instead of cross bones

I walk past the wards, mindful of the pitiable state of those on the beds. I don’t like to stay here for long. They are all sure to die within a day or two.


I have decided to share my wealth with my daughter in law. I do not know why I chose to be blind all this while. My fine jewelry cannot pick maggots from my oozing wound, comb my hair and hold my hand.  My daughter in law has been doing all that and more, day and night. And all that I have to give her is what is no longer of any use to me.


Call our son and the girl he has chosen to marry. Remind me again why I have been opposing this marriage bitterly. Forget it, don’t remind me. Just ask them to get married and come here right after that. I want to see them both in their wedding best. Soon, I will not see anything at all.


No, I did not know I could sing. I just cooked and worked and then the husband happened and the children happened. Nobody told me I could sing. I didn’t have the time to find out. Now, everybody has left me alone. Today, I am alive. Today, I will sing.


I will die but I will never talk to him. Wait a minute, how does it matter? I am dying, am I not? I might as well see him and talk to him. I will remember some of our old jokes. Perhaps, he will remember to laugh, too.


Each has a different story. Each is on the verge. However, they are not prisoners resigned to their fate, but new graduates in life.

It is so easy to plunge in, stir things up and gather the muck—hoard, hate and hurt. Then, suddenly, all is still. On the surface, you see yourself for what you are—a flimsy reflection at the next ripple’s mercy.

They are all in the wards and I am outside, striding confidently past the bandaged and the weak, all sure to die within a day or two. Then it strikes me. So am I.

I have just become a student of the best teacher of life, death, ever imminent .


8 thoughts on “Death is the best teacher of life”

  1. It’s true – when we let death be our teacher, our lessons learnt are different – positive, full of hope and kindness. The question is how soon in life’s journey we hand over the teacher’s podium to death. Sometimes, it is too late, and the lessons learnt, futile.
    Rumi suggests a good practice is to hand over our souls every night to god for safekeeping, just in case, we don;t awaken tomorrow. I like that idea… every night is temporary death.
    Thanks for this sensitively done powerful idea.

  2. I agree, Death is a great teacher, a great equaliser! Anita Moorjani is lucky to have met this teacher and got an opportunity to practice his teachings and I am luckier that my Yog teacher taught me to die every day!

  3. I like your insights on the famous Death taboo. It fascinates me too. I stumbled upon your blog through LinkedIn while I was looking for some work in the writing/editing industry. I write quite a bit on random things that touch me, affect me or those that just need to be written about. Do visit my blog and tell me how you like it. Happy writing!

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