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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Death Diary

Is death like sleep? From which we arise to an eternal life of the spirit? Is the body a mere prison? As familiar people vanished one by one, the simple questions turn complex.

Death Diary
Illustration by Saahil
Death Diary
outlookindia.com
2021-07-02T14:49:35+05:30
Death, what are you?

I have often thought about death. Wrestled with it late into many sleepless nights. But never so intensely and deeply as I have during this pandemic. More so after the second wave that sliced through our lives like a knife in the flesh. It hit hard and real when people we knew just went away. One after the other. A young man I knew to be a healthy fellow, never regained consciousness after prolonged ICU treatment. A fit-for-their-age octogenarian couple—the man whom we called “uncle” was gleefully golfing when I saw last; his wife, “aunty” to many, was driving out in her car for a kitty party when I last exchanged greetings; a mother-son duo who succumbed to the virus one after the other in a span of 20 days. The list goes on. As India’s death count due to Covid soared, it brought home the vulnerability and fragility of life that we often took for granted.

Philosopher’s Stone

I searched deep within the recess of my mind to question and understand what death really is. Is it the end of everything? Is it the end of a story that we so blissfully script here on earth? I turn to the Bible, for it is my first exposure and introduction to any philosophical work on this subject. In the biblical context, death is described as “sleep”, which means that one would get up from that slumber into the Christian belief of an “eternal life”. Scholars and philosophers have studied and dug deep to piece together the complexity, or rather, the simplicity of death.

Plato and Socrates whose theories once fueled my curious young mind, have a rather straightforward view. It is the “ultimate separation of the soul and body”. They...

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