“When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found”
– Sufi aphorism
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1st November, 2003 is an unforgettable date in my life, for that was the day my mother left the earth peacefully. She never wanted to trouble anyone in the family. I recall many times when she used to say, that she will never want to get bed ridden and suffer for a long time, but prefer to go peacefully the moment her body stops functioning.
The last time she spoke was on her birthday, wherein she was sitting on her hospital bed, and talking to all who came to see her, she looked so happy, vibrant and appeared fine, as if she has come to a state of reconciliation with everything around her.
Within a week she took bad, and went straight into the ICU, she managed to fight for her life, but could do so only for 3 days and when she found it difficult to carry on in the intensive care unit, she gave up the fight, surrendering peacefully to the Lord letting go of that one last dream of her life, i.e., to live in HER HOUSE and be surrounded by her children.
I understand the plight of a widow, with no financial security after her husband’s death, and to be dependent on children for everything is definitely a challenge. Despite the fact that all the children try to do their bit, by reaching out to her in their own ways.
Being a very social person, she always wanted to socialize and move around to attend all the functions within the family and extended families. At times it was difficult for her, as her knee gave away, and once she also had a fall – but the desire to be part of every celebration never stopped her from moving. I used to get angry with her, and ask her why she came, when she had such difficulty for walking – and she used to smile and say, I want to meet every body.
In the end of October, 2003 evening hours as I returned from work, feeling quite low thinking of my mother who was a great support to me. I felt very helpless in my own situation of carrying on my second pregnancy; with doctors already predicting for a special child was too much to bear.
My pain of not being able to be with my mother, in her last journey was too much handle, and I clung on God for strength and courage to face the news. I sensed she had already decided to leave us for a better place, where there is no more suffering and pain. I felt shattered to hear the news of my mom’s death and I stood bravely and continued my work; my mind fully disturbed telling myself, no point in going to see her lifeless body in the late night.
I chose to wait for the morning, and left all the work related to the last rites for my family members to do. The next morning I was comforted by my close friends. I went with my 3 year old daughter to attend my mother’s funeral, participated in the funeral mass, sang for her and later on went for the burial; she was laid to rest on the 2nd November, 2003.
Ten years has passed, but the memories are still so fresh in my mind, and till today I feel sad at the way she went away from my life. I pray for her soul to rest in peace and allow her to live in my life by imbibing some of her good qualities of cheerfulness, kindness, hospitality and generosity.
“Say not in grief that she is no more,
but say in thankfulness that she was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
but the putting out of the lamp
because the dawn has come.” – Rabindranath Tagore