Why do we have to die?

Coming to terms with death

When I got married and had children, the burden of responsibility and emotional turmoil flooded my life.  I loved them so much and had bouts of anxiety when they fell sick, fearful that I would lose them.  However when I was in my late forties, I had to overcome the greatest hurdle of my life; my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  After a botched surgery, he passed away.  Why did he have to die and leave me?  Why do we have to die?

I was left in tears and hopelessness as I grieved for months.  It was only when I encountered the Buddha-Dhamma, that life started improving and my attitude became more positive.  I attended Friday sermons by late Chief Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda at the Buddhist Māha Vihāra, and I could feel that my life of obstacles and difficulties was a thing of the past.

I began to see life through the lens of Dhamma and within the frame of the Four Noble Truths; I understood that with birth, there is death.  It is the only certainty after we are born.  I no longer questioned why we have to die, but instead focused on how we should live a meaningful life.  The Dhamma gave me so many answers that I became energized to give unto others the joy that Dhamma gave me, through service to the Sāsana and community.

Now in my 70’s, I have written my will, made financial arrangements, and am progressively letting go of worldly possessions.  My daily routine comprises the essentials: making wholesome aspirations, meditation, and morning walks.  Simplifying my life allows my mind to be clear and accepting of what may come.  Until the day this body stops breathing, may I continue to learn, practise and realise the Dhamma.  Sukhihotu.