Tag Archives: death

The show must go on!

Couple of days before my father passed away, he wanted to come back home. He called us from the hospital in the morning, asking to be discharged. We thought it was a temporary burst. But he called again in the afternoon, this time demanding that he be taken home right away, despite the potential outcomes of us trying to take him out of the ICU.

He was heavily oxygenated and experiencing breathing troubles and chest pain. Perhaps he knew the end was near. He just wanted to be back once in his familiar circumstances, next to us, near his parents’ photos.

We could not bring him home.

My mother said, when my father was initially sick with Covid and at home, he’d mentioned that he would perhaps not get a chance to meet anyone ever again. My mother shrugged it off, thinking how people think negative thoughts when they are ill. Maybe, he really knew.

Do people really know their time is up?

Families that are dealing with Covid do not get much closure. Your loved one is fine one day and the next day they are being hospitalized. Then, all of a sudden, you hear the news they are no more. You don’t get to perform their funeral because you need to be safe. All in all, it is surreal.

We still are in a state of shock of whether it really happened. We still feel perhaps one fine day, he’ll just walk up the stairs and knock on the door and if we open it a tad too late, holler, “Where are you all? Open the door right now!”

I wish it would happen that way.

As we battle this pandemic, everything feels so uncertain. There was a point when I was saving money for retirement. Most of it is automated, so I haven’t put a stop to any of those. But all the additional investments that I used to make have been put on hold.

Life is so, so fragile. You plan one thing and another happens. I know hope is our only way to move forward, but when you’re this low, sometimes, you’re afraid to even hope. For my dad, I had written so many positive chants. I had visualized positive outcomes with him back home and us doing the things he’d love to do. All came to nothing.

Yet, till the time one is breathing, and breathing fine, one must be grateful for all that is. Once you close your eyes, for the final time, the world stops. There can be no more dreams. No more expectations. All debts are squared off, all credits are collected. It is the end.

While it is not, the show must go on.

Forging new relationships off the crumbs of that are no more

Both my father and mother grew up in large families. My father had seven siblings, my mother had three. Of the two, my father was the one who liked socializing the most. He was someone who would try to connect with a random stranger, ask them where they were from and try to find a common acquaintance in the most absurd of ways.

Now that my father is gone, we have been getting so many phone calls from so many different people who have been touched by him in some ways at some points in their lives. There have been relatives with whom we had fallen out of touch, few who we have never spoken to before, several with whom we sort of stopped contact because of differences. In spite of my mother’s frustration, my father kept up with them all. He never would explain why it was important for him to stay in touch with people. He fought with my mom when she got upset about him calling people who didn’t speak to us.

Now that he is no more, those people are calling us and treating us with so much kindness. When our hearts are so broken, their voices and the way they speak about my father are helping us cope. It reminds me how powerful keeping in touch is.

We have all taken our lives for granted, our relationships for granted. We do not forgive easily, we hold onto hurt and anger. Yet in times like this, every morning when I wake up and feel fine physically, I feel gratitude. Even when I console my grieving mother, I tell her that while we have lost something, we still have so much to hold onto.

I try now to spend a bit more time speaking to friends and relatives over the phone, trying to get to know them, learnings bits and pieces of their lives. Maybe this is how I am subconsciously channeling my father’s spirits.

It’s true what they say: the people we love may not be physically present with us, but they are always with us in spirit. It’s true because when you’re faced with a loss so deep, you learn to base your decisions not just by your worldview, but by those of the ones that you lost. In that way, our dead are never dead. They live in us as long as we live. Or as long as we keep them alive in our memories.

Of ends and beginnings

I had a series of life-changing experiences since the last post.

A few hours just before we were about to board the train, we were informed that my maternal grandfather passed away. At first I was shocked. The tears came later. The very day I was about to start a new journey was the day Grandpa’s journey came to an end.┬áThe suddenness of Death caught me off guard, because I talked to Grandpa just the previous day and he was just fine! I only talk to him once in a while on the phone, but I am so glad we had the last talk.

The toughest blow was on my mother, of course. She was already sad with me leaving and then this news. I felt like leaving all the luggage at the station and taking another train to see grandfather one last time – I knew that was the right thing for mom. But my mother, grieving and speechless and crying, took the toughest decision to come with me to see me off to this new city instead, where I start working from Thursday. The moment my mother took the decision was the moment I realized the weight of reality. And suddenly, I was not afraid anymore, not nervous anymore. I knew if I had to face this side of Life, I had to be strong. The fact that I had never travelled long distance before, the nagging worry of what kind of a place I’d be reaching and what kind of people I’d meet, somehow faded away for some moments, and all I knew was that no matter what, I had to be there for my parents and take care of them.

Rest in peace, Grandpa! You will always be in our hearts. And my mother, she is the strongest person that I’ve ever met. I don’t know what I’d do if I were in her position.

Presently, I am at the office-provided accommodation and thankfully, it has good internet,which is the best thing to happen to me since the internet on my phone doesn’t seem to work at all! I couldn’t take many pictures on the journey because of the sad memory that haunted us. But Nature can heal everything, I guess. I took these pictures from the train.

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