It is estimated that more than 100 billion people have lived and died on our planet Earth. That is roughly 14 dead people for evey person alive on earth right now. Nearly 1,50,000 people die every day. If you do the math that’s roughly 2 people every second. By the time you reach reading this sentence nearly 26 people have lost their lives. As the covid-19 pandemic sweeps through the globe wiping out massive amount of human lives I couldn’t stop my self from wondering “what does it feels like to die?”
Death is an important aspect in our lives and whether we like it or not we have to face death one day. Some die young, some die old, but eventually everyone’s heart will one day beat it’s final beat and their lungs will breath it’s final breath. And just like that we will cease to exist. Our body will become cold & it would be locked up in a coffin and be buried 6 feet underground for eternity. Our loved ones will mourn our death for year or more remembering all the good memories and the legacy we left behind. As time passes by they will also pass away just like us. As a couple of generations passes by, your descendants will not be aware of the fact that you lived on this earth just like every other person, being a good child, a loving father, a caring friend or a loving husband. You will be forgotten in time just like all your forefathers who lived on this earth centuries ago.
There are 365 days in a year. We know the day when we were born. Every year we celebrate the day happily with our friends and family, cutting beautiful cakes, celebrating another milestone of our lives. The rest of our days we live it simply as every other day going through our daily routine like every other people going to the office or the mall during the weekends. We do not realise the fact that every year on the 31st of December when the clock strikes midnight we have lived through the day when we die, doing our daily routine not knowing that a few years down the road we would breath our last breath on this same day.
A few years ago I came across a blog where a few people shared what it felt like when they witnessed death face-to-face and escaped a close call. Some of them met with a major accident, some of them had a heart attack, some of them just heard a bad news from their doctor that they had cancer and their days were numbered but they survived. I noticed the fact that they all shared a common thing. Their perspective towards life changed. They started living their Life to the fullest rather than “just existing” like others. For them every new day was beautiful day and they were glad that they were a part of it. I was curious to know what it would’ve felt like to witness death face to face and escape it. After all I was a growing teenager with a million unanswered questions rippling through my mind.
Since then, I was curious enough just to get the “feel” of what it’s like to witness death face-to-face and escape. I tried jumping across 3 storey buildings(not kidding) in my college and tried rash driving on my bike trying to go as fast as I can zipping through the intersection missing hitting the vehicles coming from the opposite direction by inches. Call me crazy, I’ve done worse. Even though I did all that I could only feel the adrenaline rush flowing through my veins which increased my heartbeat and occationally made my hands shiver. But I still couldn’t obtain the feeling which they expressed. After all you can’t witness death face-to-face when you are aware of the consequences because of your actions.
Thankfully I could one day witnessd death face-to-face and had a narrow escape. I would never forget that moment. All those small details are still in my mind as if it happened yesterday, yet it was unexpected and it came out of nowhere. It was 2 months back in the month of February when I was doing my final year internship at Keltron. I went to Keltron everyday on my bike. I loved zipping passed the traffic because the traffic drives me nuts and I loved the occasional adrenaline rush it gave me. One day on my way back home I was riding like every other day zipping passed the traffic. On my way back there wasn’t much traffic like it used to be. As I was riding down the road I was casually overtaking a Kerala State bus and just like that a scooter crossed the road to reach the opposite lane. I still remember that exact moment. The moment I saw that scooter while overtaking the bus I was like “ohh shit” because I knew what was going to happen when I hit the scooter. I applied my brakes and my bike lost traction and I hit the scooter head ON. Everything was very quick and happened in the blink of an eye. As I was falling down from my bike the only thing going through my mind was not to get run over by the bus even though I was sure that was going to happen. As I was falling down from my bike, I tried turning my head trying to take a glimpse of the bus tyre through my helmet visor hoping that it wouldn’t run over me. The first thing I saw was the thread pattern on the bus tyre. Somehow the bus driver managed to bring the bus to a standstill. I was lying on the road with the bus tyre less than 5 feet away. At that moment words can’t express the feeling that went through my mind. There were people in the bus scolding the person who rode scooter but I was there being Glad that I didn’t get run over by the bus. I didn’t get angry at the scooter rider nor did I feel any pain from my bruises. I was just glad that I was still alive. Finally I had witnessed death face to face and escaped it. As I was riding back home there was only one thought going through my mind. ” I’m Alive!” And probably my dopamine receptors were firing like crazy because I was having a burst of happiness!
Long story short, ever since that day, I started living every moment of life embracing my loved ones a bit more and my perspective towards life and death changed for the better. After that I felt like everyday was a bonus or a gift and I shouldn’t take it for granted. When I was a chid I used to be afraid of the concept Death. It would scare me like anything. I would try to convince myself at night before going to sleep that I wouldn’t Die. I couldn’t think of the fact that I would one day have to witness my parents dying and I would have to see their cold lifeless body lying on the coffin waiting to be buried in the church cemetery. I couldn’t imagine the fact that they would one day die and I would have to live without them for the rest of my life. I couldn’t imagine a world without them. As I grew older I started realising the concept of death and I accepted the fact that “Death is inevitable” I realised the fact that birth and death are part of our life and once I started embracing death I started living Life, as the great Buddha once said “Life is uncertain but death is certain”.