For me he was a very beloved Uncle who loved my sister just as his own daughter. He was a grandfather to my nieces. He was a friend to my mother when she was dealing with grief. He was also an advisor to us – for all things financial. He helped me get my education loan to come to this country. He raised an amazing son, who is not just my sister’s husband; he is also a brother to me and a good son to my mother. He was unwell for past few years and I see his death as a release; from the illness he was dealing with. But I cannot fathom the sense of loss my Jeeju and Sis are going through. May be it is their destiny to share the grief of losing their fathers together. To not have a father, is like not having a roof on your house. Amita shared this analogy with me when I was recovering from my Dad’s departure. It is very true.
Uncle and Papa are both smiling at all of us from above. They played this wonderful jugal-bandi of teaching all of us some lessons. With Papa’s sudden departure and Uncle’s departure after a prolonged illness – there is a good lesson I learnt; it does not matter how smart you are at making decision and evaluating choices in your life. When it comes to the end, you do not choose it. I don’t know if my mother is feeling thankful that she did not see her husband die a painful death; or if she is sorry, that she could not do much to save him. I myself am not certain if this is better than that. I am certain though, that either way, I will have no role to play in my own death.
On one hand, Papa’s death taught us to live every day as it was the last. Because it might very well be the last. And Uncle’s death taught us to be prepared to face the eventual. And here we are – two loving families who have seen the best of times together; and are now dealing with grief – and that also together. Destiny?
What does not kill you makes you stronger. I am a stronger person today. I learnt that life never goes as planned. I leant that you need to value people when they are around you, because there is just a moment, between life and death. I learnt that god plays no role in life and death. If at all he exists, he is there in the background. I learnt that tears are not a sign of weakness. I also learnt that life moves on…and memories stay.