When I was in Nagpur, Papa had a quick happinesses trick for me – 5star chocolate. Bad exam, home sick, lost a debate, whatever the situation, a 5stars switches moods like nothing else does. Tara has obviously taken its place now. But when I came back today to an empty home, I wanted a 5star. It was that kind of a day.
Today I felt like I was finishing an exam that I thought I had passed nine years ago. But as it appears, I had left some questions unanswered and the professor really wanted to make sure I understand the concepts behind those questions. So He/She presented the question paper back to me and asked me to re-take the test and answer all questions. Did I pass? I don’t know.
I will be forever grateful to my friend and her Mom for what they let me experience today. Through them I experienced the pain of sending your loved one away. To see them go, in front of your eyes. To see finality. To accept our fragility and our end. To witness the going, and experience the closure. Tears there were, but none to be ashamed of. Suffering has meaning. And as Viktor Frankl says, courage to suffer, is the greatest courage. In bidding farewell to Santosh Aunty I also bid farewell to Papa, one more time. This time with a lot more acceptance, and closure.
I was barefoot when we took a short walk from the chapel to the crematory. The sun was scorching hot. And the ground was burning. I squirmed in pain, and then wondered how intense is the pain that my friend is feeling right now. As I thought more about it I could not feel my pain any longer, and we walked back to the chapel. Over the last 24 hours I have felt more human than I ever have in the last few months, may be years. When you have a why, almost any how becomes bearable
After the cremation I decided to immerse myself back into the world I belong to and powered through the rest of the day. I even found my giggles right around the corner. I was tired. But I had made a choice and I was going to live it. So I did. In Frankl’s words, “Decisions, not conditions, determine what a man is.”
I decided to live with suffering. This suffering has some meaning. I will find it some day.