I’m tired of grieving. Really I am. And it’s not even been a week since it all began. We lost a family member last week and now today on the 4th Anniversary of my brother’s passing; my Mom called in the morning to tell me of my uncle’s passing – my Dad’s older brother, whom we called Bhau (brother). He had been unwell recently, nothing serious, but a few chest pains and a couple of trips to the ICU later, he seemed to be doing okay. This morning he was fine and even opened the door to his younger brother, over for a visit, then went in and sat down, had a massive heart attack and was gone all in the space of a few seconds. C’est la vie.
When it comes to death and condolences what can one say or do really that makes a difference? Nothing. Perhaps being present is enough in that the bereaved family feels comforted by the presence of people who loved the one gone as much as they did. And for those of us who cannot be present, we call, we write, we mourn silently from afar. My uncle had a fulfilling life. He was 79 and leaves behind a loving family, both immediate and extended that loved and respected him when he lived, and will honor his memory and miss him terribly now that he’s gone. If that isn’t a sign of a life well lived, I don’t know what is. Mom says my aunt and he would have been married 50 years in 2014…a milestone missed. Still, he didn’t suffer and went peacefully, not a bad way to go, inasmuch as these things go I suppose. And so another family member lost within a matter of days.
All the events of the past few days fill me with a longing for my childhood, a time when life was so much simpler, carefree and joyous. When tragedy meant a scraped knee, a lost pencil, missing the school picnic, getting yelled at by the Principal, exams…you know, the little stuff that seemed so catastrophic then. Oh that life was as simple now! How I long for those days when the worst of my fears and most of my tears could be kissed away by Mom. I do it now for Ishaan and I dread the day, all too soon, when my Mommy Magic won’t be quite so magical any more.
I’m generally a happy person, or at least I try my best to be. So these past days, grieving as I’ve been, have drained my spirit more than I care to admit, more so because the onslaught seems unrelenting. With all that’s happening, I haven’t had time to think about my brother and the fact that I’ve survived 4 years with him being gone…all of us have. It feels strange that this day will now be in memorium for two members of my family. I remember entering the house on that fateful day 4 years ago, my brother laid out in our living room, people everywhere, blurry faces and anonymous hands, leading me gently, guiding me to his side, holding me as I wept…and I remember Bhau, sitting next to me, holding my hand and weeping with me. I had never seen him cry before and somehow his tears strengthened me. Thank you for that Bhau. You will be missed.
As for B, what can I say that I haven’t already said before? I lost a part of me forever when you left, and although I miss you every second of every day, I feel your presence by my side always, sometimes invisible, but most often in Ishaan. Love you forever – always have, always will.
And now, I’m asking, no, I’m telling whoever is in charge…my family needs a break. Send us some Joy.