How can one achieve immunity from fear? Like how a vaccine works, perhaps, one may become sterilized by confronting, or being forced to confront what is threatening.

I had been scared of losing my mother since childhood. But when the most undesirable moment eventually dawned on, and when pain asserted its truth, all senses of uncertainty vanished, and even fear itself lost its meaning. If there was any sense of relief, it was certainly a relief of threat.

I recall my little self - at 6, or 7, or 8, certainly under 10 - suddenly gripped by such haunting fear that I vowed to my beloved (and young at the time) mother that I would break the clock the moment she would leave me. She was puzzled at such erratic suggestion, but was consoled at my explanation - that I would be very angry about why time could not be suspended before she passed away.

Of course time would never be suspended for anyone passing away, in fact, for anything. Of course, I broke no clock, but was painfully reminded how fragile and precious every moment of encounter with the loved ones really is, therefore, should not be missed. Or it just vanishes into thin air and vague history.

Luckily, as I became immune from the fear factor, the power of condolences and kin/friendship makes itself felt and clarifies what really matters in life. Suddenly I long for keeping in regular touch with all the cousins whom I shared plenty of childhood memories with, let alone brothers, and all those well-intended friends whom I crossed path with at different stages since my earlier life. Suddenly I think of my own funeral - who I want to come along, how I want it to be, what music I want played, and what messages - if any, and if not legacy - I want to leave behind.

As fear evaporates, everything - even the funeral, the coffin and the cadaver - turns beautiful; and as the sky clears, it soothes to believe that Heaven has taken her in, where she will forever be peaceful and happy.


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