Death, my friend.

As she lay there suffering, I looked into her eyes and saw death. She stared at me. She had a faint smile. Her wrinkled face revealed a melange of peace and pain. I ran my fingers through her hair. I caressed her soft but loose skin. I attempted to make her laugh. She did, for a moment. Her laughter broke my heart.

She is 90+. I’m just 40. I always believed I have so much time.

But then, I visited a young friend who had just lost her father. He was just 44. I held her in my arms. She was still. She smiled at me numbly. There was helplessness on her face. Without any warning, her life has been turned upside down.

The next morning as I returned home from the gym, death came into my thoughts once again. I became so aware that I can become the recipient of death’s embrace anytime. Even before I complete writing this paragraph.

Whew. I made it. Every breath I take, is in fact an opportunity.

I quickly went over and hugged my children and my wife. I touched their faces and felt my heart bloom with gratitude. All my anxiety and worries about the small and large issues in my life seemed irrelevant. They fell off like the dying yellow leaves of the branches of a big Ashoka tree. I smiled. I felt light. I thanked life.

Since then, death has become a part of my every breath.

I have so many dreams, and so much to do. I often wait for a better moment. But, now I know I may not ever get more time. All I have is now. The present is a gift, from death. Thank you, death! You make me want to live each moment to the fullest. You make me want to make life more alive.

I want to remember you every single day, and every single moment.