Today I was away traveling to my mother to spend some time with her and back and so could not think of anything to write about. With a blank mind as I opened my social network page, I was taken aback by the sad news of the demise of a near one. When I lived in the hostel, around thirty years back, I had two sisters living there. We had much in common including the organizations we worked for and jelled very well. They lost their father this morning. I sat down to have a chat with them and console them but found out they were much stronger than me. As a mark of respect, I just post the edited conversation between us.
Me : My heartfelt condolences to you both. May the Almighty give you and everyone else in the family the courage to bear the loss. I know the intensity ‘coz I lost my father recently in May this year. Though we know that it is inevitable and that they are safe in the hands of God, there is always that pain associated. Was your father not keeping well? Was he with you? Where and when will the rites be conducted?
Younger sister : Father was sinking down since Friday evening. On Saturday he had a big cup of oats porridge for breakfast and towards noon he had loose motions and was almost weak. I had reached home by 4.30 pm after work and tried to give some water to drink. He did not respond and had started becoming stiff and cold. With the help of a caretaker whom I had engaged to look after Dad I had admitted Dad to the hospital at 7.00 .pm. He was administered drips and showed slight improvement in responding to our calls. He breathed his last at 7.05 am this morning. And he has quietly slipped into history. I will miss my father terribly and the reality is difficult for me to accept.
Elder sister : Thanks dear for being there. He turned stiff and cold and we rushed him to the hospital where he passed away in his sleep. He lived his life and still was going strong though the physique refused to fall in line with his mental energy levels. Imbibed a lot from him which we still apply to our lives…a life well lived and we are relieved that he passed off in his sleep with no pain. We will always miss them. Some things come with a lifelong warranty and parents occupy a premier position. He was living with my sister and my brother. They will both blessed for putting up with his age related behavior. My dad was a foodie and remained a foodie until the last two days. The last rites will be performed tomorrow before the cremation between 9 and 10 am.
Me : Its two months since I lost my father but even now my eyes moisten at his thoughts. Even as I’m typing this tears are streaming down. I’m always reminded that I should not feel sad for him as his atma will not be at peace if I feel sad, I just can’t help it. Please don’t grieve dear for those who have already reached the abode of the Almighty….. Grief is for us, those who are left behind, to cope, to miss, to love and yet lose…
Younger sister : We are both facing similar tragedies this year and true it is difficult to accept the inevitable loss. My sister is here with me. Tomorrow we will do the rites as my cousin will arrive from Kerala tomorrow morning. All my relatives have left and I am here with my sister and brother and with the mortal remains of my father. Thanks a lot dear for your consoling words. Yes I should be happy for my dad for having a peaceful departure. But still we are not able to come to terms quickly. Time will heal.
Elder sister : I come here every weekend to be with them. Yes I was there. My sister gave a SOS last evening while at work and I rushed in.
Me : Please try to be as normal as possible ‘coz that is the only thing that can be done now. It is a great blessing that you were able to look after your father especially when he needed you most. That was a great relief as you could be with him during his last stages. I was so unlucky. I was with my father in hospital from 21st April to 01st May but he passed away near my mother on 02nd May. Yes dear, just think how bad your sister must be feeling. Indeed, everyone has their own issues, but you were blessed to be able to look after him. Thank God that He chose you to be the blessed one.
Younger sister : That In fact is a greatest blessing and I am consoling myself. True dear, my relatives also said the same. My sister also consoled me saying that I am blessed by having Dad under my care till the end.
Elder sister : Well yes …I am worried for her.
Me : Since he was with her, it will be very difficult for her to cope up. It will take time
Elder sister : Precisely. And I am travelling out of the country at the beginning of August for my daughter’s graduation ceremony.
Me : Oh! She’ll be lonely then.
Elder sister : That was when my dad was alive. Now she will pass through with the work assignments being an excellent balm to your personal problems.
Me : That’s true, you are so caught up at your workplace that you have nothing more to think of.
Elder sister : That’s true…life is a journey..
Me : We have to draw consolation and strength from somewhere by ourselves, nobody can help. No amount of consolatory words will work
Elder sister : You have to be spiritual and its hard.
Me : Yes dear. However spiritual you are, a little of that worldliness remains, strings remain attached.
Elder sister : Understand the reason we are born, live the life in a meaningful way and leave footprints. We have all come here for a purpose and we go after the work is over.
Me : Yes, exactly.
Elder sister : Yes, and we stagnate…we have to move on. Everything happens for a reason and it happens at the right time and we are not aware of it.
Me : Yes dear, the time and venue are fixed. We just play our roles and leave the stage called life.
Elder sister : The only thing I believe is do no wrong, help if possible, empathize, and be true to your conscience, control your mind and you come out strong.
Me : Absolutely right
Elder sister : Yeo yep…but not many people know how to live life. 99 percent do not live their life only one percent live and you don’t get to see them even though they live amongst us. That’s because we are sleeping with our eyes open like a fish. We spend time squabbling knowing fully well that we all go naked with open palms.
My father once told me …know to live in this world without being with the world, and I live that.