The Grim Reaper & Me

Its been 4 years since Y & I have been involved in rescue and rehabilitation of injured street dogs & cats. Rescued pets are often low on immunity, in spite of the medication & efforts you take, some make it, some don’t. Y says,

Its a tragedy waiting to happen. Even if they make it, they can’t outlive you.

A couple of days back, our 11th rescued pet died. This was the 11th pet that died in our arms. We saw this tiny paralyzed kitten breathe her last. I haven’t seen death more closely. This was one of the many deaths we saw in the past few years.


How do I deal with loss?”

“What does grieving mean to me?”

“How do I perceive death?

Death is not in the moment, death begins the day we were born. Each day something within us dies, cells, thoughts, emotions until one day we stop being. Death carries a certain settling feeling with it. There is closure in death, unlike when your pet is lost; perhaps he ran away, perhaps someone took him away, perhaps he died. You keep searching for him days on end and the doubt haunts you. There is an abrupt finality to death.


I believe in this finality of death, ‘there is’ and ‘there isn’t’ and in between there are breaths. People are what they are and one day they will cease to exist. They will carry their moments, their good, bad, ugly secrets to the grave. Unlike death, secrets never die, they keep affecting people around them in mysterious ways. Secrets are immortal. Y says,

Secrets are like a monster. The deeper you bury them, the bigger & stronger they get. You bring them to light & they fade away.

Death is harsher to its survivors. The dead have died and have left behind their memories.

How do I deal with death?”

“No, I haven’t been able to accept death, anyone else’s and the thought of my own.”

Do I allow myself to grieve?

“They say grieving is healthy and has no time limit. Grieving is an art and I am no master at it. I mostly cry, sulk, be angry, act obsessive. I don’t let go, I just don’t let go.”

Why do I rescue half dead animals?

“Because more than death, what moves me is pain. Death isn’t as horrible as pain. And yes, also because I couldn’t have been any other way.”

What do pets mean to me?

“I am still figuring out.”

What do I think of death?”

“It is therapeutic in a weird way.”

What helps me deal with death?”

“Humour. The irony of it.

Louis C.K. on death –

Louis C.K. some more on death –

Louis C.K. on pets & animals –



1 Comment

  1. This article reminds me of a discourse by Osho.
    Osho says our society has tried best to keep us distant from the thought of death. All cities have graveyards and Shmashana bhoomi at one far end. Instead, the cremation ground should be at the heart of any town, so that every passerby is reminded of the inevitable.
    Although the idea feels a bit gloomy, I feel people would behave differently if they remember their, and others’ time is limited.

    PS : The comic strips are perfect !


    Liked by 1 person

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