On Living and Dying Day 3 by Sanaa Rizvi

The Journey of Life and Death

by Sanaa Rizvi of A Dash of Sunny

In the words of Madame de Stael; “We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.”

That is precisely how I came to understand death. Around the time of autumn a few years ago, the tragic death of a beloved cousin shattered the world I lived into bits and pieces. It seemed as though time had come to a complete standstill. I experienced feelings of void like never before. Thus Hera’s transition to a better world changed me forever. As I recall the expressions on her beautiful face were ones of calm and peace. It was almost as though she was smiling. Even today I can still hear her voice giving me perhaps the most cherished advice ever given to another human being; “In life, never turn a deaf ear when it comes to listening to your heart.”

Have you ever imagined life to be so short so as to change in a matter of forty-eight hours? I had called to visit her just two days before at her house. She seemed strange as though she knew that her time had come. The way she had looked at me haunts me even after all these years. Not a day goes by when I wish that I had known that she was going to die forty-eight hours later. Had I known I would have poured my heart out to her. I would have let her know that she meant more to me than words could ever say.

Why is it that we always tend to procrastinate? Why can’t we seize the moment before us and attempt to share our feelings with the ones we love? The one thing which I learned afterwards was never to put off things until tomorrow. Because let’s face it. Tomorrow never comes.

Image via www.rebloggy.com
Image via www.rebloggy.com

According to Diego Marchi; “In life we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream and an unforgettable love.” The years that came to follow were shades of longing, pain and regret. Hence an impossible yearning to go back in time arose within me. By the time I became a writer, I decided to honour her by composing a poem. And so, along with the emotions stirring inside of me I penned down the following words:


Now that you’re gone

I reach out to the falling stars;
Gaze upon to shape your face.
Bestow a moment – truly ours

Though learned to cope over the years;
Memories are all I have left to cherish.
I reach out to the falling stars.

These eyes are dim with burning tears;
The life we live is harsh and long.
Bestow a moment – truly ours

The soul is inked with fervent scars;
Blossoms do fall from trees afar
I reach out to the falling stars.

Though the emotion overpowers;
Oh! Let me feel what I have lost
Bestow a moment – truly ours

She whispered softly from ear to ear;
Live untroubled from woes and fears.
I reach out to the falling stars;
Bestow a moment – truly ours


It’s strange how death can re-invent the meaning of life. Often at times we fail to appreciate life with everything that it has to offer. Faith leads us to believe that everything we do in this life plays a significant role in paving a path towards heaven or hell. And while I strongly believe in this concept, I cannot help but wonder if it creates invisible boundaries. I believe that we should follow both our brain as well as our heart. Of course that doesn’t mean that I live my life recklessly; it simply means that I choose to keep an open mind when dealing with situations that prove to be out of my comfort zone. Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t want to wake up one day when I am sixty years old and say; “Hey, I wonder what would have happened if….”

You see that’s the thing! I simply cannot allow myself to even think like that. I want to experience everything – be it good or bad – because guess what that’s precisely what shapes our life. It’s what leads us to transform into the person that we are meant to be. A few months ago while thinking along the lines of the concept of loss and death; I realized that I wouldn’t want anyone to mourn me when I am dead. As strange as it sounds I would rather have people commemorate and perhaps list the number of things which I would have accomplished during my lifetime. And so the words spilled upon the page:


Dulcet Death

When slipped in lucid bonds of earth; shall hear
them pine and suffer dearth. When time of dawn
dispels the dark; I watch in time for song of lark.
Life’s embroidered with bloom and thorn; I bade
their eyes not weep or mourn.

Let smiles adorn beloved encased; to form
a lovelier vision with pace. Breathe not on
world with timid breath; those whose gentle
hearts do fear. We leap where others refuse
to tread.

With fervour the poet began to bless
As friend converse with dulcet death.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wisely states; “Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever.” Hera’s death was something close to an eternal life lesson. Though it pained me to have lost her, yet somehow I became stronger. When faced with impatience and feelings of despair I would close my eyes for a brief second and strive to think as to how she would have dealt with it. Out of numerous things Hera also taught me patience and perseverance. There are often times when I wish that I could be as strong as she was; to have the power to smile even in sorrow and pain. To thus possess blind faith that everything happens unto His will and furthermore to have the grace to accept it.

I struggle to embrace life on a daily basis especially when it seems uncertain. And so as I continue upon this journey of life I tend to glance towards the moonlit skies as though to hear her sweet and gentle whisper;

“Until we meet again.”



Sanaa Rizvi aka Sunny, from the A Dash of Sunny blog, is a 20-something fun soul who loves all things poetry and literature. Having done her graduation in English Literature, she found solace in the world of poetry and quickly realized she has a knack for it herself.



Written for the On Living and Dying series.  If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more info here: 365 Days On Living and Dying.  But first leave a comment and let Sanaa know how you feel about what she said, and be sure to visit her over at A Dash of Sunny when you’re done.

Featured image via www.wallpaperscraft.com

About the author

I am a King without a Kingdom, in a world with many masters, wrapped in the spoils of a jealous heart, and my people’s callous laughter.


  1. Both the poetry and prose are so heartfelt in this. I like what you had to say about how special the time you spent with your cousin was to you and how your perspective on living shifted.

  2. I love your point about death reinventing the meaning of life. As always, a very thoughtful and heartfelt write. I’m am very grateful for your dedication to the Seeker’s Dungeon – your posts, your comments, and your enthusiasm. Thank you for it all.

  3. It is difficult to lose a loved one. And when said loved one is still too young, the lost is heart-ripping. I understand your loss in ways I wish I didn’t. I loss my little brother three years ago, and I still can’t truly believe that his gone. Sometimes, I look at his picture and break into tears… wish for one last moment, for one last time to tell him how much he mattered… I’m sure that both my little brother and your cousin knew they were loved. All we can do now is to honor them by keeping their memories alive… with this kind of sharing, with poetry, with smiles to look like them.

    I’m sending you tender hugs, my sweet Sanaa. For I know that regardless of how many years might go by, it always hurts to remember them gone. ((♥))

  4. This is such a beautiful and emotive write Sanaa, the love you have for your cousin shines throughout. Hera was a wonderful human being and was an example for us all. She will always remain in our hearts ❤️❤️

  5. Heartfelt words, Sanaa, your words are pristine and reflect your loving feelings for her. It’s so touching and, I absolutely agree with the opening quote. Wherever your cousin is, she must be proud of you…<3 May her soul rest in peace 🙂 …

  6. What a wonderful post about life and death….It is never easy to lose a love one but this was a wonderful way to remember her. Great writing Sanna and Thanks Maniparna for sharing it.

  7. Sanaa, your words whether prose or poem really manage to connect me to our loved ones who have passed on to a better world. This article which you have written as a tribute to Hera is heart warming and has truly touched me to the core❤️ I completely agree with what Magaly has said that we can honor our loved ones by keeping their memories alive.

    Your love towards her is so clearly visible here. No doubt she will always remain in our hearts. She was a remarkable person whose courage remains unmatched. Thank you for sharing this post with us❤️

  8. I am so glad you had Hera in your life. You learned so much from her, and those lessons will serve you for the rest of your life. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your wisdom with us.

  9. This is such a powerful write, Sanaa. I like your viewpoint on the topic of death. When we lose someone we love, a part of us dies too. But it is in keeping their memories alive that we find comfort and a renewed perspective on life; the shortness, the fragile and making best of the now. Sending love your way.♥

  10. I could not agree with you more how death defines living…I was only 6 when I saw my grandfather die in his home and truly believed he was somewhere always looking over me. It made death seem …not so final…but rather an continuum …yet still a mystery. You truly are a gifted writer and poet!!

  11. What an awesome thought. As an oncology nurse I have to deal with dead almost every day, but every day again I hear what my patients learn from their illness and how cancer learns them to see the meaning of life. They all give me positive feelings and thoughts about dead as part of life.

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