Osho talks about the difference between grieving and sadness; and the place of gratitude when we lose someone we have loved.

Mourning, grief and sadness


Yesterday I heard that my friend had died. Yet even as I wept, I found myself giving thanks for the sweetness of life. Is there a place for mourning?

If you have loved somebody, really loved, and you didn’t miss an opportunity to love, then there is no place for mourning because then there is no repentance. You never postpone anything, death cannot destroy anything. If you postpone, then death destroys. For example: you love somebody but you say, ‘I will love tomorrow,’ and that’s what you go on saying. You go on imagining tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. You go on postponing: you fight today, you will love tomorrow. You are angry here-now, you will love tomorrow. You go on postponing.

Then one day suddenly death comes, and it is always sudden. It gives no hint that it is coming. The foot sounds are never heard, the footsteps can never he guessed. It always comes suddenly, catches you unawares, and the friend is gone, the lover is gone, the beloved is gone; the mother, the father, the brother is gone. Then there is mourning because death destroys tomorrow, and you were depending on tomorrow. Now there will be no tomorrow. Now you cannot postpone, and the person is gone. Now you feel a deep repentance; out of that repentance mourning arises. You are not weeping for the friend who is gone, you are weeping for yourself, for the wasted opportunity.

If you really love, and love here-now,

death cannot take anything from you.

I say to you:

death may even become an opportunity,

an opening, a new door.


You loved the friend when he was visible, and you loved him so deeply that you started feeling, through your love, the invisibleness of him. Then death takes the body. Now in that gross element, body is no more there to hinder. Now love can flow totally. You may even feel thankful to death. You were already discovering the spiritual dimension of your beloved, lover, friend, and now death has taken the last obstacle. Now you can see through and through. Death has given you an opportunity to see whether you really loved or not, because if love’s eyes cannot penetrate that much so that you can see that which is not body, that which is beyond matter, that which is invisible, then it is not love. Then those eyes may be of something else, but not of love. Love always reveals the God in the other; that’s the definition of love. If it reveals the God in the other only then it is love, otherwise it is not. You will be crying and weeping and mourning, and will you be thinking that you are weeping for the friend who has gone? No, you are weeping for yourself, you are crying for yourself.

I would like to tell a very famous story. King Pyrrhus of Epirus was asked by his friend Cyneas, ‘Sir, if you conquer Rome, what will you do next?’

Pyrrhus replied, ‘Sicily is nearby and will be easy to take.’

‘And what will you do after Sicily?’ Cyneas asked.

‘Then we will pass over to Africa and plunder Carthage.’

‘And after Carthage, sir?’


Cyneas enquired, ‘And what do you expect as a reward from all these victories?’

‘Then,’ said Pyrrhus, ‘we can sit down and enjoy ourselves.’

‘Can we not,’ suggested Cyneas,’enjoy ourselves now?’

If you can enjoy yourself now, then there will be no mourning, ever.


I am not saying that you will not become sad when a friend departs, but there will be no mourning. And that sadness will have a beauty of its own, a depth, a silence that always comes when you encounter death. That sadness will be very meditative. It will reveal something within you that life could not reveal. Life remains superficial; just like laughter, it remains superficial. Death is very deep, like sadness.

But sadness is not mourning, sadness has its own delight; sadness is not sorrow, sadness is simply depth. Sadness means that thinking has stopped. How can you think in front of death? Thinking may be useful in life. Life may need your thinking because cunningness, cleverness is needed; but what is the point of thinking in front of death? If you are sad that simply means that suddenly, the thinking has stopped; the death has been a shock – you are stripped to your very depth. You cannot laugh, but there is a subtle delight in it, a silence, a sacred silence. The vulgarity of life is gone, and death has opened a new door; the door of the beyond. You will feel thankful towards death, but this is possible only if you live now. If this moment is lived in its total intensity, in its utter wholeness, only then is it possible.

Don’t go on postponing. Tomorrow, tomorrow – drop that word from your vocabulary! Tomorrow does not exist, it cannot exist; it is not in the nature of things. Only this day exists.

Sadness will be there, but that is as it should be. When somebody departs you feel sad, but in that sadness soon you will discover a door: you have fallen to your own depth. Don’t feel guilty. In fact, this is how it should be.

If you have loved the friend you will feel deep thankfulness; not any complaint against death but just a gratefulness for life, for its sweetness. The very possibility is almost impossible: that one exists!

Jesus is perfectly true when he says this, and it is one of the most fundamental laws of life: If you have, more will be given to you; if you don’t have, even that which you have will be taken away. That is mourning.

Use! Be creative! Let life be a great adventure. The only sin there is, is if your life is not an adventure. Then, you are a sinner.

(Osho: Come Follow to You Volume 4)

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