“He was a big giant of a man…” said the lead protagonist of one of my favorite binge-worthy shows: ‘Newsroom.’ Will McAvoy of Newsroom was concerned about being reductive – his good friend, the producer of the show had passed away and the whole team was looking to Will for some words in memoriam. Strumming the guitar to the tune of ‘went to Memphis…” Will finally finds the words that could somewhat do justice to what was in his heart. The pain, the gratitude and the power of moving memories all gushed forth in a few pithy sentences that served as a soaring memorial to a great character.
It was one of those moments that many of us feel moved by – I certainly was.
In the last few years, my family has been losing at least one family member with the steady, inexorable consistency of the seasons. Death is the great leveler – cutting across demographics and geographies. When my grandmother passed away a year ago, I felt a strange mixture of peace and grief. Peace at the fact that her worn body was finally laid to rest and grief at the anguish of never being able to see her again – never again. The very thought of that finality has almost a physical force coursing through the body. Grief can be a powerful force – much more compelling than most other emotions we deal with. It was at those moments of grief that I realized the power of meditation – all over again in a new, sterile light. In the context of Sahaja, we talk of an elevated state that goes beyond thoughts – when those thoughts are paralyzing, we do want to escape their talons. Meditation may not be easy at such times of strong emotions but truly reveals inner reservoirs of strength.
I remember wanting to pull myself into this abyss of self-flagellation, upon news of my grandmother’s death. “Did I really express my love to her?”- I wondered inside? The mind is incredibly good at throwing up new combinations of questions, especially at such stressful times – I was so fortunate to have been invited to a virtual meditation session the very next day. I remember it was a struggle to commit myself to the process at first – “I need to grieve!” stormed the emotions inside. Gradually, the inner squall receded and a calm returned – group sessions are so much more effective at such junctures.
“So this fight is just getting started,” Will emphasizes, “because he taught the rest of us to be crazy, too.” In dealing with the grief of losing loved ones, the idea of permanence can become a bedrock of strength. The personality traits, perfect imperfections that we will remember forever – much like that ethereal soul that we talk of in songs and prose. Meditation can help dissolve the pain, the asphyxiation and the shroud of melancholy – leaving us free to rest on the best of what our loved ones leave us with. Meditation is that silent space where we find the words to express the inexpressible.
Alternatively, there is always the possibility of the binge on Amazon Prime.