Death can be accidental, suicidal or natural. In all its form, death is something most difficult to comprehend. Today I met a father whose son had committed suicide yesterday. Sitting beside him, I kept my ears open all the while. The father was trying to explain to me as to why his son chose to die. I just shook my head as if I understood it all. Leaving that house, I wondered at the enigmatic nature of birth, life and death.
History points to people who fight for survival. I love reading such stories. I hate films and stories that personify suicidal plots. Stories with suicidal plots leave within me a negative vacuum that questions the very human spirit of survival.
One of the most profound writings to come out of the Second World War concentration camps is that of Dr.Viktor Frankl’s. His book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ is a classic bestseller that has had tremendous impact on post-war humanity. While in concentration camps, Frankl used to ask his fellow prisoners, “Why do you not commit suicide?” He was surprised at the answers he got: in one life there is love for one’s children to tie to; in another life, a talent to be used; in a third, perhaps only lingering memories worth preserving. Dr. Frankl believed that to weave these slender threads of a broken life into firm pattern of meaning and responsibility is the object of ‘existential analysis’ (a theory he developed). He believed that every life, however broken, shattered or poor, is worth preserving.
Each suicide is a constant reminder to the living about the fragility of life and our responsibility to take care. God is the author of life. And, life is intangible. We are only users of what God has wonderfully authored. Shatter it once...misuse it once and the intangible life might all be gone forever...'from dust to dust'.
Photo: On the way to Roopkund (Himalayas)