India Update #13

As we floated past a funeral possession I asked the youngest of the boatman, Perkesh, if people were sad when a loved one died? He replied “when someone has lived a long time we cannot be sad, we can only be happy.  We celebrate their passing for they have lived a long life”.

It made sense. We had floated past a dozen plus cremations along the Ganga.  Although I had no clue who those people were or what status they had attained in their life, the reaction was always the same. We never saw tears or heard cries. We often were greeted with waves and the odd person proclaiming “hello!”, all too eager to practice their broken English. Death was no more a stranger to these people than the birth of a child, the delight of a good harvest or the challenge of overcoming illness; it was all just part of the human experience.

On my last full day in India I found out my Gramma had passed away on Christmas Eve. She had lived a full 83 years of good health and comfort.  With that in mind I was still shocked and saddened of the news. That evening just before sunset I walked the beach alone to reflect on her life and to say goodbye to India. As my bare feet met the wet sand, I looked out over across the ocean at the setting sun. For me, being out in nature has always been the best healing agent and the only real opportunity to make sense of things that one can never truly make sense of.  The colours, the beauty of the sky and ocean, it was then that I realized something I had not realized at home, something that India, the Ganga and Perkesh had taught me.

As the day came to an end here in India a new day would begin back home.  If the sun never set here than night would last forever back home. If this was reality people in India would never be able to appreciate the beauty of a sunset nor would people back home be able to see the calming power of a sunrise.  One needed the other just as the other needed it.

The same can be said about life and death.  Without death, life would hold little meaning. It may be something we fear because its something we cannot control or ever fully understand, but it is as purposeful as a setting sun.

So while I am saddened by the passing of my Gramma India did teach me “when someone has lived a long time we cannot be sad, we can only be happy.  We celebrate their passing for they have lived a long life”. With that said I say goodbye.

5 thoughts on “India Update #13
  1. Was very sorry to hear of the passing of your Gramma, that was a beautiful post Brett, safe trip home.

  2. Thanks Brettie, so true! Love Mom xoxo

  3. Great read Brett. Brought a tear to my eye.
    RIP Bubba xo

  4. Brett, I am glad that you had a great experience in India , the purpose of life and death.
    When I lived in India I could see the fire burning all night across from our house on the other side of Ganga. Wish you a safe trip back home and a happy 2013.

  5. Hi all you India Team followers.
    I am here again trying to snag more money for Mohd’s operation, although Brett has not got a final figure for actual operation I know that we are way short of the needed amount at this time. I really thank the few people (12) that have stepped up but with only $1065.00 to date we do have a fair way to go. With Christmas over and done with I would ask that you may be dig in your pockets or purces for that $20/50 or hundred and lets give Mohd a great NEW YEAR’S GIFT, “ A FULLY FUNCTIONING ARM”.
    I thank you all in advance for your gifts, as I know how generous you all can be.
    You can send a cheque to either Roy Quinn or Brett Rogers made out to
    Roy Quinn (Mohd Ahmad) savings acc.
    or tranfer direct to The Royal bank Bank 003
    acc# 00752 5007356.
    you can also use Visa at your bank and then transfer as above.
    ps. Brett said he will update us all as soon as the lawyer ( who contacted him on the missing phone whilst on the India trip) has got all the numbers together so we can deside if Mohd has the operation in India or may be over here in Canada. I will also publish the list of doners then. Thanks again Roy & Brett.

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