Mere mortals

I often think of mortality. Mine and of others. Death is to me, the most fascinating. If I were a more curious woman, I would spend my life researching death.

The faithful tell me that it is the lack of faith in me that fuels my enchantment with human exit. Is it though?

Does the “soul”, which is often called the immaterial part of ourselves; cease to exist the moment blood ceases to flow. If no, where does it linger? And for how long? Bereft of it’s vessel, what standing does it have in the mortal universe?

Would I be afraid in the face of death?

I am not sure exactly how I would face such a circumstance, but it is fair to assume that I would be terrified. I claim to be a woman of science and  if it were so, I should be comfortable with the notion that death is truly “the end”. Clearly, I am not!

Long ago, during my early training; I worked at a unit that dealt with cancer cases on the daily. India which it’s myriad ways of relishing tobacco and areca nut, is a simmering cauldron of oral cancer. The largest cauldron in the world, no less. We also do pretty well at being uneducated and ignorant.

An amalgamation of these characteristics almost ensures the late presentation of the oral cancer patient. And once the diagnosis is confirmed, and then explained to the person in question, he/ she nonchalantly accepts it and moves on. Ignorance must be a wonderful anti- depressant.

Many are stoic, some tearful. The truly depressed ones are the ones who survive. The ones who have to face post surgery and radiotherapy morbidity. The ones who are closer to leaving this mortal world, are surprisingly calm and accepting. I must at this point, specify the demographic that we encountered at that institution. Not the urbane googler, but the truly rural, otherwise sturdy, paddy grower. So what makes them so accepting of death and mortality?

I am not entirely sure what my thoughts on the matter are. Do I think, it is what it is and therefore there is no more to it. Or do I think I should hustle and get as much done as possible before I perish. Should I live each day, as it were my last and therefore be in a constant state of mortal awareness.

I am trying to live my best life. That is all I’m capable of doing.

Till next time,

J.

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