Thursday, 1 March 2018

On Death

My grandfather passed away on 5th January 2018. He celebrated his 85th birthday on 23rd November He was probably one of the most amazing people I knew. :) 

There are a lot of reasons why he was amazing. He loved his wife. They died within 30 hours of each other time wise but 13 years apart. They were inseparable. They would take care of each other. They would protect each other if someone else was scolding them. They would calm each other down. They would explore new restaurants together up until the ripe age of 70!! They would fulfill all social obligations.

My grandfather was not a rich man in monetary terms. He invested in people and got amazing returns. His four kids took care of him over the past three decades. He had a band of friends who used to hang out together every single evening and share stories and wisdom. He was adored by all his grandchildren and he adored them back! 

My grandfather taught me dignity of labor and respect for every single person irrespective of their socio-economic status. He did this not by telling me but by showcasing it every single day. He had a very clear idea about what he wanted to do in life. He prided himself of his knowledge of how the world works. He taught me it was okay to be proud of something that you do well. He taught me that not everyone can do everything well but everyone can do something well. 

My favorite story of my grandfather is how he almost raised his maid's daughter by helping the child with homework and giving the maid extra money during the start of an academic year just so that she did not have to borrow from someone else. The daughter grew up and got married last year. Before they fixed the marriage, the maid got the daughter and her future son-in-law to my grandfather for an 'interview'. They said yes to the boy only after my grandfather had approved of the boy. 

I met the maid during his funeral and she shared so many stories of times when my grandfather had helped her and a lot of other people in both monetary and non-monetary ways. I felt incredibly proud at that time. I remember thinking "Wow. This is the kind of life, I want to live." 

The reason I am writing this now is because I have been thinking about death and wondering how do people remember the people who die? What do they remember you for? What do they say after you die? Is there anything like honoring someone's memory? If you know your end is near, how would you change the way you lived? Why can't you live like that everyday? 

My grandfather taught me a million things when he was alive. I now know that he will continue to teach me things till the time that I am alive. :) 

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