Tag Archives: Death

Grace in the time of grief !

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It is not something I would write about on a normal day. And yet, it is something that touched me. I write this to remind myself, that even in the most unlikeliest of situations, grace is possible.

A very very dear friend of mine lost her husband exactly two weeks ago in a road accident, when he was heading back home after a bikers trip. This happened in a place a few hours away from the city. A local called up the last dialed number and traced the family, meanwhile their bikers group went back and did all they could to bring the mortal remains, with some family members help.

It was unexpected, cruel and unnerving. My friend was totally inconsolable. The children refused to believe it happened. His daughter refused to see his face. I grieved, like never before, that day. Theirs was a cross community marriage, my friend, a Tamilian married to a Bengali. He was the only son to his parents. His parents were quite old and his father was already undergoing treatment for cancer for several years. My friend was dreading to tell his parents about it. They were flying down, unaware that he had passed away. They were told he was hurt as under the circumstances that seemed a better option until they came down.

So apart from grief, there was a certain restlessness in everybodys mind as to how his parents would take it. My friend was nerve wrecked.   Finally a couple of hours before the cremation time their flight landed. One of his family members, who went to pick them up was informed to sound them off before they reached home.

So they walked in, informed during the journey from the airport, of their loss. His mother, was naturally shaken and grieving. His father, an old man went to his son, looked at him for a while and then reached out to his daughter in law with a warm hug and said, “we lost our son but we still have our daughter and grandchildren. Now you mean the world to us. We are with you and will always be”. That, and I mean that, graceful gesture turned around the terse atmosphere. He called for his grandchildren. Again their granddaughter refused to come. So he went out to meet his grandchildren, spoke to them, like a man, a dad, hugged them, assured them and came in. He then tried to understand what happened and went with the flow, cremation rituals, etc.

Had he reacted any other way, had he broken down at his age, it would have worsened the situation that already was. Surely he grieved too. But he knew it was beyond him and went on to handling this crisis in a kind way. I was deeply touched by his graceful act, in this most unlikely situation.   Somehow it reinstated in me, that sometimes a little act of selfless kindness could make a lot of difference.

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My Dad & I

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Recently while I was checking for something on my email account, I stumbled upon a mail from dad in April 2009. It was a picasa album of his visit to Germany,his only trip abroad. I don’t know how I had passed it then, but had. The pics were so perfect, the narration impeccable…ought to be, from someone like him. But my heart tore, as he is not a part of this world any more.

They say time heals. In a way, its true. Life goes on. But what people leave behind make a ocean of a difference to those around. When you miss people it is not necessarily, the physical aspects of men and matter . Its in the smallest of things, in the beautiful memories and the inspiring moments.

Unfortunate though, to a man who meant the world to me, i dont think I did enough. I had never been that expressive kind of person with feelings (until I found some respite in blogging). Anyways, fact is, I had never felt a need to express and I would like to believe what a friend said – they know, parents always know.

The last blog he read of mine was an inspired poetry called ‘best friends’. He read it just before he left to the hospital for his first time admission for a tumour treatment and all he said was “I think you are missing your best friend but you always have the option of also choosing your parents to be one”. I just totally scoffed at the idea in my ever so usual manner of ‘Oh come on!’ (little did i realise i would lose him in a month from then).

And yet…today am inspired to write about him and am not going to resist myself from the flow… He made me feel so special and worthy. He was always ready to talk to me about things and hear anything I say (which over a period of time was practically very little). He was my reference point on anything I wanted to know. I still remember I learnt the meaning of the F letter word from him. Someone mentioned it at my school as an unutterable word and I went back to check with him. If he was surprised, he never showed. He simply gave an example of what a pair of street dogs did a couple of days back and said humans do similar things and proliferation happens, and that it was a slang.

Sometimes when you see a man living a life of a Buddha you do not want to accept it. Not because it isn’t obvious but because in practicality you think Buddhas are not made for real worlds (my poor version of real world here). Such was my take on my dad.

But am the proudest daughter today to say I grew up with a person who simply by his deeds showed how life is to be lived .   He stayed humble, curious (with a highly scientific bent of mind) and strong, facing life alike in adversity or otherwise.  He had no regrets and carried no unnecessary baggages. He had an unimaginable way of treating everyone with love no matter what. Somehow he was simply incapable of finding shortcomings in anyone. If he found value in doing something for someone he would do it – no matter who it was.  He was always abreast of the happenings around and would never sit idle.   Learning, doing & serving – in other words simply living without further thoughts – that pretty much sums him.

Here is something I wish to say to anyone reading this.   Its easy to believe life would always be the way it is. But, everything will change and there will be a time when the very things you thought were yours will be no more. Retrospective thoughts and theories are futile.   A big difference a human can make is in the way he lives, and in the way he makes his people feel….worthwhile, special or otherwise!

There are times you feel hollow

Like a life without a soul

When you lose someone

Who inspires you the most!

 

In such times though you grope for words

They feel so shallow

And justice it does not,

To express the depth

Of the way you felt!

 

But true gratitude or in memory of

Would be to immortalize

The best of the values you learnt from them

By passing it on to the rest of the world…

Then the flame of their wonderful memories

And good life, would go around

And live a befitting life, in the souls of men

Who would never let them die !

A man I once knew…..

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There once lived a man who led his life with striking humility and simplicity.  He was quite knowledgeable and well read .   He was a very endearing and helpful person and was always there for his family.   He spent a lot of time with his children teaching more than what the books ever would.  He was there for anybody who needed him, no matter who it was, whether it was family or friends or even the neighborhood plumber or electrician.   He would always help with whatever he could, including a lot of physical assistance.    He would every now and then display amazing acts of kindness and walk through the next second as if nothing happened.   To me he was an epitome of humility.  In all his life, I have not once heard him complain, even during the times, when the odds were so much against him.    He passed away about a year back, after a  brief illness, against what could have otherwise been an excruciating and prolonging sickness with a  third grade tumour.     
 
During his last leg, the specialist doctor in the hospital once brought another patients’ family to meet him, stating no obvious reason.  I was there at that point.  After that family left, the doctor explained he had brought them in to show how courageous a man could be and to give them hope.   The doctor appreciated this man from ‘the bottom of his heart’ and stated that in all his experience he has seldom met anyone who could carry himself with such grace.
 
Yes, that’s the man that was, who inspired me, my family and a few others,  by just being who he was.     No philosophies, no preachings, just living life the way he did, without ever a twitch or a scorn or a complaint.  He had no expectations for return favours.  
 
He was my hero when I was a child and continues to be an inspiration till date.  Unfortunately, though, am not sure if he ever got to know this as I don’t remember expressing myself , when I could have.
 
It feels great to know someone like that.  Every time I think of my dad, I just feel the loss is a lot more than personal.  This universe has lost someone who truly strived to make this place better to live in.    And yes, my eyes swell and my heart aches. 
 
 

When its time to say goodbye!

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A Rose in full bloom, Knows not the day

               When the petals will fall,    And wither away!

 
I know not when, my time will come
I know not if,  I‘ll be ready to go
But the time will come
And I will be gone
Whenever it is
That destiny beckons!
 
 
When I become history,
This ego of mine will stand no chance
The deeds and misdeeds, no difference
The love, the undying love, a myth
The achievements of a lifetime, a mere timepass
The unrequited dreams, a futile effort…..
 
 
This blessed creation,
Will be in ashes, as should be –
Stripped of all emotions in a snap
The pain, the love, the joy
And all other feelings
That mean the world today
Wiped off in a clean slate!
 
 
I am sometimes curious though, to know
If I will leave feeling complete
Or with a huge wishlist
So privy, that none can anyway see !
 
 
The things that seem immeasurably important
Drifting me into this everyday trance called life
Will hopefully help me see sometime
The purpose of this creation called me
And the legacy I wish to leave behind.
 
 
In a contemplative mood like this
Perhaps I must let my little secrets out
And let people know the difference  they make
Right on their face, than on their grave!