A long time ago, there was a man who was quite hesitant when it came to appreciate what he had in his life. He had a wonderful partner and a doting family, yet not even once he had expressed his genuine feelings. Eventually one by one, he lost every person from his life. Year after year, he kept losing people, friends and loved ones. He never had a good chance to sit through those people and tell them how much important or loved he felt in their company. As years kept on rolling, he realised how shallow is life. He neither excelled in his personal life or professional, he neither achieved successful relationships nor valuable networks. In the end, he remained a lonely person throughout his life.
One day, he had a chance to meet a monk. Looking at the frown on the man’s face, the monk asked “Dear friend, what is wrong with you? You seem so worried and look defeated”. To this, the man had tears rolling down his cheeks and he sobbingly told the story of his life. The monk patiently listened to his story and gave him a pitiful look. He said “Mate, that is what life is all about. Death and parting is an inevitable phase of life. That is why it is very important to express your feelings and appreciate the good people when they are alive.”
Feelings of regret usually resurface only once the person is gone from our lives. We never make time for those who genuinely care for us. We seldom realise that each day they are one more moment away from death. As I was browsing through the net, I came across this TED video by award-winning artist Tony Luciani and his journey dementia of his mother. I must say this was by far one of the most heart touching TED talk I had ever seen.
Tony Luciani takes you through his passion for photography in a series of wonderful portraits of his mother. Each photo speaks volumes of how a patient with dementia struggles to live a normal life. It also throws light on how those families struggle along with the patient. It is heartbreaking to see a fragment of their memory breaking down every day. The artist explains the painful moment when his mother forgot to recognise him. Tony’s talk is one of courage, resilience, nostalgia, empathy, and moreover a living tale of making the most of life through art, one frame at a time. People like Tony fill light on the joys of caring for elderly parents. Most importantly, it teaches us to acknowledge and appreciate our loved ones while they are alive.