When Death Comes Like a Thief...
by Walter Nandalike
Mangalore, Feb 3, 2011
There have been a spate of incidents within a span of this one month which made me contemplate a lot and finally compelled me to write.
The Bible clearly says “Death comes like a thief”, which often makes us ponder over this aspect of death. Despite our herculean efforts to unravel this mystery of death we are unable to come anywhere closer in finding a satisfactory answer to this.
It is said that “birth is accidental but death is certain,” which means that death is inevitable and we have to accept this well-known and universal fact. But ‘how death comes’ is a question that we human beings need to ponder over, especially when we come across instances of sudden or untimely deaths.
When it comes to death, old age is one of the factors which one cannot avoid. Constant improvements in the medical field have helped us to delay death upto a certain age in many cases. However, it is the unexpected or unforeseen deaths that cause inconceivable misery and pain to family members, close relatives and near and dear ones, many of who are unable to come to terms with such sudden loss and rebuild their lives.
When death enfolds us in the form of accidents, I am sure, no one is prepared for it. But almost everyday we come across instances of precious lives being lost in accidents. People perish due to their own mistakes or pay with their lives for the mistakes of others. A small mistake or an error of judgment may prove costly for self and for the lives of others. One can only call it destiny. Unexpected murders or suicides too perplex us to a great extent. Here too, death is unexpected, except in instances of suicides where the person may contemplate the act for long or may commit it on the spur of the moment unable to control his own tumultuous feelings.
Ill health quite often comes without any indication and all of a sudden a person who we often presume to be in good health may fall sick and perish. Except in age-related sickness, many are able to overcome diseases or come to live with some common ones. A few others succumb to them.
At this moment, I recall the death of a relative of a close friend of mine, who was in his early 30’s. When I asked the cause of his sudden death, my friend told me, 'he collapsed all of a sudden while partying….' He confirmed that it was a massive heart attack that resulted in his instant death. But I was left dumbfounded when my friend confided that this young boy who was just 31, had no modern lifestyle diseases like cholesterol, diabetes or blood pressure. Just three weeks back he had undergone a complete medical check up and there was no complaint whatsoever and he was certified to be a healthy young man. With such a clean medical history, when I began to wonder and asked him how it could happen he just said, "Perhaps it was a call from God."
Maybe that is the only answer one could give because even expert doctors who went through his medical reports were astounded at the death of a young boy at a time when he was at the peak of his youth.
Deaths like this scare us out of our wits and I can only say that this true incident is a living proof to show that death indeed comes like a thief.
To tell you another incident, just last week the mother of an acquaintance of mine in Mumbai died all of a sudden at the age of 55. She was hale and healthy and had no medical problems. For her own satisfaction she used to undergo routine medical check ups every six months. Since her medical history was clean she was not under medication and doctors also did not advice any medication for her. She slept as usual at 10 pm after watching TV and saying goodnight to her children, never to wake up again.
Her sudden demise also became a subject of discussion and many still keep wondering what could be the cause of her death. One can only term her unexpected death as ‘a call from God’ and here too death came like a thief.
Now, coming to the passing away of the little angel Tanisha Rego, I am unable to say anything except to accept it as a call from God and that death came like a thief without giving us any indication. It is a hard fact that she will not be with us any more!
Pics by Dayananda Kukkaje
I am unable to come to terms with her death as I still have vivid memories of this little girl who wished me on my birthday just a few days ago. Exactly 10 days before her death, we had a small party and she kissed me on my cheeks and said ‘uncle happy birthday…’ with her cute smile. I must confess I cannot forget that touch and the cute smile all my life. That was the last time I saw and met her. Being closely associated with this family especially with Leslie Rego, I am not able to explain the despair and pain the entire family is going through in accepting this reality of life.
Though the pain of losing their child will always be there, both Leslie and Blossom have come to accept this hard reality of life, leaving everything in the hands of God. But Tanisha’s siblings Belisha and Nihal, are unable to digest the fact that their little sister will not be back into this world again.
Tanisha who was cheerful and healthy till Sunday was admitted to hospital for fever and vomiting. By Monday evening doctors lost hope of recovery sending the family in a pall of gloom. With doctors giving up hopes despite their best efforts, nothing could be done to save little Tanisha’s life. Doctors termed it as 'viral encephalitis’ where there are very little chances of survival when it afflicts children. Even if children survive this, they are likely to become mentally challenged.
We can only say that it was God’s call that took away angelic Tanisha from amidst us. Though none of us is permanent in this world, it is not easy to accept the untimely death of a blossoming child, especially for the family members. None can understand the pain or the trauma of the parents and the family members. We can only console the family saying that though little Tanisha is dead and gone she will live with us all with the fond memories of the little time she spent on this earth.
In the case of Tanisha too death came like a thief…
May God bless us all.
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