Sunday, April 18, 2021

Accepting Grief - 2

Trigger Warning: Death, Chinese Virus, Grief

Kindly read '
Accepting Grief' , incase you haven't, earlier.
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Over the last few days, I have been in the midst of conversations around...


Mother-in-law's...

"I can continue to wear the taali (mangalsutra) right? or am I to remove it now? What about pottu (bindi)? hmm.. I don't think I will wear my pattu (silk) sarees now... What if someone says something?"

"May be if I had practised Reiki and prayed for him on time, we wouldn't have lost my him..."

(referring to her husband) "I asked Appa who this actor on TV was, just yesterday... or was it the day before?" 

(referring to her husband) "He had mentioned his will a fortnight ago.. May be he knew..."

Husband's...

"Yesterday I opened dad's draw and saw some documents / papers and told myself, "I should ask Appa about these..." and later realised "Appa dhaan inime vara maattare.." (Dad won't be back ever again).

"....When I met Appa and held his hand on Sunday (the day before he passed away), I saw a tear drop in his eyes and asked him if he was crying because he never does. He brushed it off. But I sensed he was relieved seeing me, after being in the isolation ward for 3 days with no visitors. Now it feels like he was almost waiting for his son to see him before he decided to leave..."

"I missed informing him that he became a great grandfather once again a few days ago...I should've...cha!"

"The doctor's certificate mentions 8 am. May be he passed away in his sleep..."
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18th April 2021:

Bumped into a resident of the building the other day in the elevator who asked "How is dad?" and we had to tell him he'd passed away. The husband tells me he was the same guy who was doing his daily walk around the building that night and saw my f-i-l struggle to get into the car. The moment the husband said this, it brought back scenes of the night when we admitted my father-in-law in the hospital. So vividly. My f-i-l struggling to walk down the little ramp at our building, trying to get into the car, the drive to the hospital, he being taken in the wheelchair in the hospital and me waving bye to him.
And I ended up crying uncontrollably. Even now, as I write this.

We've all hardly slept over the last one week... One wakes up in the middle of the night to see if the other ones at home are doing ok (Read: alive). Apparently I woke up the other night, agitated, screaming "I am unwell unwell!" The husband checked for fever and calmed me down. I have zero recollection of this.

And there are times when we find ourselves laughing - when the m-i-l , watching Naattammai, tells us emphatically that Khushbu is married to Saratkumar... or when she asks if Jayalalithaa , Sivaji Ganesan are alive. Yes, that #GandhiSetthuttara moment only.

Growing up in the midst a huge joint family in Madras, I remember the house teeming with people every time there was death in the family. A month of nonstop visitors, never ending kaapi rounds, food for a crowd of 20-30 folks every day and rituals. The 13th day ceremony had a Sorpozhivi of sorts, where a learned person would talk about the soul that departed.

I don't know whether it's a blessing being confined to the four walls not having visitors pouring in, or it's a disadvantage to just have 3 people discuss the same thing repeatedly to console each other, for a week now.  Eyes well up every time we discuss my father-in-law. 

Just a week ago on Monday, the 12th of April 2021, the husband sat his mother down to say "Amma, oru bad news... Appa poittaru...". The lady who believed her husband was chilling next door for over a week, to be isolated from her, was just told she was not going to be able to meet him... ever again. For the first time in 19 years, I saw both my husband and his mother break down. It was heart-wrenching. I keep going back to this godawful Monday morning and wonder what was going in my mother-in-law's mind hearing this. Did she process the information?  Was she given time to process the information? She is yet to come to terms with the fact that her partner of 61 years is no more. It is not easy and it's never going to be easy.

But I can say one thing. Her unflinching faith in her family and extended family and friends to standby her forever, is what keeps her going. More than the trust, I'd say it's the kallankabadamilladha warmth she exudes and love for people and conversations is what has given her strength and comfort. And I sincerely hope it continues to be that way.

Thank you again, to all of you and to our family and friends for being with us virtually, all through this week. ❤️

2 Responses:

Unknown said...

Life is just not fair...someday it hurts less...stay strong

ashok said...

Stay strong.