Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The essense of a person

We each look at life and death a little differently I believe.

I have known people who have died. I have known people who were younger than me, people who were older. I have had relatives die, and clients and co-workers, but I have never had a friend from that inner circle die until now. As fate must have it, it won't be the last time either. Some people might wonder why it was a shock to have Om die. After all he had a double transplant, and has had health issues his entire adult life. Maybe the answer is, it is a shock for two reasons. Om has battled and won, and perhaps, we were lulled into the belief he could continue his victories for a little while longer.
Or maybe...maybe its a surprise because he was one of us.

Today was Om's burial. Over the course of the past few days there was a Christian service, a Hindu service and finally this burial. It was people's time to say goodbye. To me it is somewhat odd to stand over a body to say goodbye, especially one that in the end failed him, because, that body is just an empty vessel. Om doesn't occupy that space anymore.

In both the Christian and the Hindu services this point was made. The body is not the person. The soul is the person. It is the soul that gives us our humanity. The twinkle in someone's eyes comes from this essence. The brilliance of a mind emanates from their soul. The humor and kindness, the artistic flare and the inventor's creations all are sprung from this intangible essence that makes us who we are.

It was evident that Om's soul had touched and continued to touch many people. As one after one, people rose to speak about those things that made this man uniquely Om. Looking around the crowd from tear streaked face to stoic stares, each person was trying to come to terms with a world without their Om Lal.

People turn to you at times like this and ask why? The answer is because we all have our time to go. When we are blessed by knowing truly special people, it is sometimes a hard truth to accept. Om fought and beat death many times, because that was who he was, a fighter. But ultimately this is a fight we cannot win, not any of us. I am just thankful, that while he graced this earth, I was blessed by knowing him.

The future will be different for all of us who knew and loved him, but no one more than his wife Ena. The one thing I know is that Om would want us all to be there for Ena. I envision some good long walks in our future. We will be there for her and help her hear the music again, because in the music she will find Om.

My eyes open and I hear the music

It plays as I watch my mother's eyes

I feel my heart beat in rhythm, rising and falling with the days.

When I found my true love my heart could not contain the beat

My feet moved in a dance with my beloved

As we spun and moved to the music around us.

But the day came when my heart stopped beating and

I wondered where the music had gone.

I closed my eyes and awoke to become

not a listener but a creator of the music I sought

And I danced the dance of angels.

Goodbye Om.