Saturday 8 December 2012

Will you be ready when the time comes ?

People write to share. Share the thoughts and memories. Some of them are as heavy as rocks and if not shared will sink your heart in deep dark burrows. Some are like bad coins which are meant to be thrown away to never to come back. But some are just gems. The gems that you adore and hide in the sweetest and deepest corners of your heart. Only to sneak a peak at, once in a while when you need to reboot your heart with joy and inspiration.You'd think twice before you share them. You'd want to keep it for yourself!

But this little gem of mine, I am gonna share with you all. This little gem, born and carved with tears, I will carry in my heart 'till the day I die, in the sweetest and deepest corner.I share this with you for you to learn a lesson. The same lesson that I learnt that day. 

Here it is.....

He was 91 and looked good for his age.I met him in a later hour of one saturday.He was calmly lying on a hospital bed with a pleasant smile across his face.Didn't realize how brave that smile was until I examined him.His tummy was bloated, tensed and definitely didn't deserve the smile he was wearing.He was in pain, which he made aware only to himself.My fears were confirmed when I saw his xray.His bowel was blocked with a probable cancer and was threatening to perforate at anytime, which would certainly bring about an unpleasant death. His only chance,if at all, was an emergency operation!

Had a long chat with him, where I explained everything to him.He was listening to every detail. Asked sensible questions and I could see that he was doing the math while we were talking.I didn't hide anything. He was aware that chances are he would not leave the hospital alive, if he didn't have an operation.I asked for his consent for the operation. After a pause, he said he wanted to wait for his wife before making a decision.That was fair enough.I knew his wife was already on her way.In the mean time I arranged everything for this man's operation and made all the effort to keep him comfortable.

Next time when I saw him he was holding the hand of his wife who was at the bed side. She smiled at me. 

Already knowing the bitter facts, yet she was not shaken.She was steady and making things easy for him as she must have done for him for all those years. Even I could feel the calmness and the ease in the air.You could visibly see the love pouring between them.

That old couple,in that cubicle, holding there hands in love was a feast to my eyes and has laid a permanat photo memory in my mind. I hope to god that it will not fade away !

Then he told me,

"You know Doc,I lived for 90 beautiful years. Fifty of them with this lovely lady of mine. We don't have children. But we had a full life, a full life. That's enough for me.I don't want an operation.I am ready !"

It shocked me.I was wordless.Not the first time people have said no for operations in my career before. But not like this. Not when there death is certain in hours than weeks or months. Most of all, not this calmly and confidently.

All I could mutter was " But you have only few hours without an operation"He gave that beautiful smile to me again and said 

"I am ready to go doc "

Something told me that at that point he was comforting me, more than anything.

I looked at the wife for help only to find that beautiful face, nodding in agreement and smiling. It's all final!

As it must have been for 50 years, no disagreements, no tears. Tears were all mine!

I couldn't wait any longer in that cubicle. My heart was squeezed with kind of mixed feelings.Sadness definitely, but the feel of that love was strongly trying to suppress that sadness.Also there was something else missing.I couldn't quite figure it out at that time.

Later on at home suddenly it hit me... I have never met a man in my life who was that ready to go!

Imagine If you are told you have only few more weeks or months to live. Just like me, how many unfinished businesses you might be thinking of?. Didn't eat that food, haven't been there, haven't done that. Oh what about money, the house and the car?. I want to see them, have my kids near me. How can I leave you my dear wife?....It will never end.

I am a Buddhist. So are most of my friends and family. We are trained and taught to be ready for the inevitable death. That's the bottom line of Lord Buddha's teaching.

But that little man from Newport, South Wales, who may not even had heard of Buddhism was packed and ready to go than any human being I ever knew. That's why he was calm. Thats why he was confident.That's what I learnt. Be ready. Nothing else matters when you get the call.

Next day When I came to work I learnt that he has passed away that night.....

Somehow,I was not sad !


  1. Inner side of you that I knew from the time we met
    This reminds me the human that I knew from my faculty! Thanks dear

  2. Oh I know you know me too well, Thanks