“Death” is simply “end of life”. As I have grown older, I have been getting more accommodative about it.
Thirty years back, I was a kid and could not even believe loosing my grandarents forever. Even a thought made me restless those years. I use to talk to God in those years and dare him to do so.
I lost my grandfather 10 years back. I noticed that I was not even close to the extreme feelings I had as a kid. I visited him when he was unconscious lying in a hospital, breathing his last. I held his hand and called him, saying “its me” and he could just raise one of his eyebrow to acknowledge. He loved me a lot and I loved him too. He passed away a couple of days later and I did not return to attend his last rites. He is still alive in my memories. I still talk to him in my dreams talking to me the way he use to.
My grand mother breathed her last on August 22 2017. She was well past her 100 years in this world. She had lost her appetite 10 days before she left us.
She was visiting me in Chandigarh earlier this year. When I use to step-in to her room to touch her- as if trying to find the same motherly touch- she, at times, failed to recognise me. But when she did, she asked me a question that made me defensive and uncomfortable. Her question was, “Do you earn enough?” She said, “You have your parents and kids to look after.”
Today, when she has suddenly (yet predictable) gone from our lives, I am in tears. I regret being assuring her ‘all is well’. But given her age, I could have only assured her.
She said, “Grandson should attend the funeral of grandparents. And when I die, and it can be anytime, please do come.” My mother stepped in joking, “how will you know he is around?” My grandmother went mum. But her desires and expectations did not fade even when she visualised, she being dead and carried to funeral on shoulders of near and dear ones.
My parents who are also past their sixties, at times, sounded exhausted with effort in caring for her. They also sounded emotional while sharing their versions of conversations with my grandmother. Some of it being like “how are we going to live without you?”
I was informed about her demise at 8 pm on Aug 22, 2017, after I returned home from “work”. I cried in washroom. I cried before my wife saying, “the pain is same irrespective of whether you weep for soemone young or old, for an unxepected and an expected death.” Why did I feel so sad when even my grandmother wished she lives no more?
I have no answers. I am pained for her end. I am lost in making myself ‘prove’ at work. I am really lost, expecting any concession on being pained by the loss. I smile when at work. My colleagues can never know what I feel. They feel only for what they lose.
That’s life. Learning for me continues….
When Am I breathing last here?