We have all lost one or the other person in our lives. Someone who meant everything to us. Or someone who we are indebted to. Or someone we can’t stop loving ever. And all that was left was the pain. The pain of losing. The pain of being unable to have had a last good conversation. The pain of few things left unsaid. The pain of not having been able to get a last glimpse or a parting smile. It sucks. It does.
But then we are alive. Even after many more years to that tragic day. The pain reduced to a memory. A memory that is totally up to us to be included in the happy or the sad list.
We have all cried bucketfuls, written our heart out or at least complained to the Almighty. But what about the pain of those who live every single minute fearing death, fearing what would happen to those that we leave behind?
What will happen to my loved ones after my death?
A question that troubles us till the very end.
It was in last September that we lost my niece (just eighteen years old) to that Big C. It wasn’t that I was very close to her or was friendly and constantly in touch with her. But she was the only child. The perfect child as many spoke of her. An all rounder. And her illness made me worry for her parents. As a parent, most part of my day is occupied in finishing chores related to raising my kids. So after her, what would be her parents doing when they realize that most of what they did was not required any more? These questions troubled me. I kept worrying for her. And for them. And after her death, I met them. They had accepted the fate. Or may be they had seen her suffer so much that they wanted her to get rid of it. My brother mentioned that she wouldn’t leave any of them and cuddle as tightly as she could. What if there’s no tomorrow?
They are fine now. Or at least they are living. They have found out ways to keep themselves occupied and not sulk over the loss forever. I respect them.
But I always think about my niece. Her feelings. Her pain. She was knowledgeable enough to know what she was going through. Probably much more aware than her parents. She chose to live through it gracefully. But somewhere deep down, she would have always cried thinking about what happens to her parents after she dies. I’m sure about this because of the last WhatsApp status updated by her on 21st September, 2014. Just six days before she left for what they call the heavenly abode. Exactly a year ago on this day. Her message reads…
“Going through the worst time of my life. I owe my life to my parents.“
That makes me feel that the pain of the person leaving this world is definitely more than the rest of us. Apart from fighting the pain of the illness and death itself, they have this unending, excruciating pain thinking of the fate of their loved ones post their departure. The pain of imagining their plight in a world devoid of themselves. Such a helpless feeling it must be.
My decision to take a sabbatical and be with my family was strengthened by Keerthu’s suffering and death.
Just a few days ago, I had some similar fears as the pain in my lower abdomen increased with some other symptoms. Preliminary diagnosis by the doctor increased my fear. Thankfully things are still under control. At least for now. But when the pain was at its peak, I was alone with the girls and I was literally worried about them in case something happens to me. It took sometime, but then I persuaded myself that the living ones can and will manage without the dead ones. That’s life.
I just saw this movie, the book adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars. To keep it short, I loved it more than the book. A quote that will remain with me.
“And so I went…
Not because I wanted to or because I
thought it would help. But for the same
reason I did anything these days…
… to make my parents happy.“
In memory of the many that have left. And sending prayers and strength to those that are fighting.