September 6, 2021

3 Wise Lessons from my Late Grandfather.


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Every moment that has passed could be the last moment for another soul.

Life truly is precious when considering the fragility of it.

How many of us are locked into the performative nature of society? It’s all about gathering, acquiring, and “becoming who you are,” or attempting to prove it. How much of it would really mean anything if we were told today was our last?

Earlier this year, my grandfather passed away from this temporary abode, leaving me and my family with a longing to reunite. The aches in our hearts yearn for his company and to experience him once more. He was a man of wisdom, full of life, charm, and wit. The description that best suits him is, “He was an elder with the elders, a lad with the lads, and a kid with the kids.”

What was beautiful and healing for many of us were descriptions of his character told to us by members of the community. The common words used to describe him were honourable, truthful, just, and compassionate. From the way my grandfather lived his life, I have learnt lessons that have shown and taught me how to live in preparation of death.

The key lessons are:

1. Always speak the truth.

“Never lie; once you lie, you have to cover it up with another lie, and so on.” This was advice he repeatedly shared throughout his life. Speak the truth, even if it hurts, and you uphold integrity and honour. From personal experience, I have learnt that lying just leaves you and others hurt.

2. Be compassionate and serve others.

Servitude to others was a common thread in my grandfather’s life, from helping the elderly walk home from the local mosque and supermarket to helping neighbours with repairs. To serve others is healing for the heart. Be courteous. And, to hold good character is to speak kindly—if you don’t have anything good to say, better to not say anything at all.

3. Don’t hold onto anything.

We will all face troubles in life, often due to life’s challenges, or perhaps from being in the company of the wrong people. Let go of whatever has happened and continue moving on to live your life—otherwise, it only leads to more suffering. It is easier said than done, but we always have a choice to let go. Holding onto old pain bleeds into the present with new relationships and experiences. The physical realm is temporary—live each moment truthfully and realise each moment is precious because the next is never guaranteed.

How would you live today if you were told it is your last?

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