The beauty of impermanence

If people were permanent, would their value in our lives be lost?

I do not have an answer.

The dearest people I have lost are my Aunt and my Grandad; they were wise enough to teach me things nobody could’ve. But all I know about their death is that it came to them in time and naturally. Yes, I always wish they could’ve stayed a little longer among us, just like they used to. I miss them dearly and would do anything to have a conversation with them as they happen to be among those people who made me feel deeply understood. But then, I also get this feeling that they might be better off, living in an everlasting solitude; whether their souls are lingering in freedom or in the embrace of a new life. They lived their life in full swing, left their precious footprints in the lives of those who mattered and no one will ever forget about them. In family meet-ups, occasions, and many other happy and sad moments, they always live in our hearts and conversations.

But how would it feel to lose a friend, a parent, a child or a sibling untimely?

The thought in itself makes my eyes water. Whenever I encounter people who went through such unfortunate fate, I see the pain they are going through and feel the depth of their emotions but I don’t ever dare to console them by saying “I feel you.” Because honestly, I don’t. Death, it has always been a matter that I am not the most comfortable discussing. However, 2020 changed it all. This year has brought so many things to light. We all saw death so close, and I believe we all found a new meaning to our precious lives. Most of my friends lost their dear ones and with millions dying around the globe, I just hope everyone finds peace in bidding their loved ones off on a new journey.

I like to believe that the person who left us is in a better place and their soul Omni-present: always around in the form of little things. I might be crazy but I believe that my grandfather might have been re-born as a bird; maybe he is the eagle that flies over our home every day or the pigeon that has recently started to visit my terrace, or sometimes the sparrow that accidentally gets trapped in our hallway. I might be wrong but is it necessary to always know everything?

The feeling when I imagine the birds to have the soul of my dear ones is just simply amazing. I feel like they have embraced a new life and greeted it with a whole new approach without forgetting my love. Their visits feel extraordinarily soothing and well, that’s all I want. To know that they are in a better place, watching over us, and happy is the greatest consolidation among all.

With the New Year approaching, I hope we can cheerfully bid goodbye to what last year brought into our lives: loses or gains, they make us who we are. Life has to go on and that’s the only rule of life. I know talking about death during the New Year is not the most appropriate thing to do but I just wanted all of you to remember the people you’ve lost and never stop loving them. Let’s begin our New Year by holding on to the memories of yesterday, holding us brave and powerful to encounter new things.

-Sonam Dolma Sherpa

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