I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite a long time. Somehow – it kept getting delayed – or may be I do procrastinate sometimes. Just a couple of days ago while on a vacation with some close friends in Harihareshwar – one of them, out of the blue asked me how I am dealing with my mother’s loss. Since we were on a vacation I didn’t really want to go into that direction. We talked about other things. Besides most of what I feel – is either too personal or way beyond my level of comfort to be discussing with most people. But I can put it here.
I lost my mother to Liver cancer a couple of years ago. She was 63.I can go on and on about her. Anybody can do that. That’s not the purpose of this post. Like any other human being – she had her fair share of virtues & vices. But I must mention 3 qualities of her that I admired the most. Positive, Perfectionist & Hard working. I inherited the first two. As for the third – I’ll let you be the judge of that.
She wanted to live long(There are many who don’t). Not just for the sake of it but she had this zeal for life. She loved travelling – which is what she wanted to do the most with the money she had saved. She wanted to do a lot of things. You could feel her presence. You could feel the energy she radiated. The positivity she brought to the not so positive atmosphere at our home back then(more on it later). Even today when I go home from office – the house feels empty.
For almost till a year after her death – I kept getting seeing dreams(most of them I’ve forgotten) almost every day where she’s crying because she doesn’t want to die so soon. Crying, she’s asks me and my sister – “aa mane shu thai gayu?”(“What has happened to me?”)- clenching the quilt. I still get such dreams although not so often. A month before she passed away she told me she saw in her dream a little kid walking in our verandah. She didn’t say anything more than that and I didn’t ask.
I guess She died wanting to see my first child.
She was diagnosed with Cancer about 3 months before she passed away. 3 dirtiest months of our lives. And I am not talking about the excruciating pain she went through. When the diagnosis came in, it was very clear to everybody – including my mother that she won’t live for more than a few months. And it’s the way we spent those few months that still gives me sleepless nights every time I think about it. The house that we live in was in her name. Plus she had the money that she had saved. That property had to be distributed. There was really only 1 way for her to distribute it and that’s what she did. Nobody in the family had absolutely any objections to it. But the implementation(paperwork, signatures etc) or a part of it at least had to be done BEFORE she passed away. And that’s where the problem started. I am not saying this paperwork wasn’t necessary. It was. Only not the way we did it. All those 2-3 months my father, and an uncle kept discussing this. I tried hard to stop or stay out of that discussion. All you could hear all day was “DEATH” – literally every single day. What to do with this a/c after her DEATH? What happens to that FD after her DEATH? We should transfer these shares before she DIES. All of this while she as very much ALIVE and sitting right there in the living room. I tried talking to my father about the way this whole thing was going. I said we could just leave these matters for the time being. It will cause a lot of hassle later on but it was okay. It didn’t happen. There was no love or grace or prayers or any kind of peace at home. She didn’t die peacefully.
My relationship with my sister back then wasn’t just not cordial it was on the verse of collapse. That’s something that bothered my mother the most. I have had and still have differences with my younger sister but never to the extent that I would disown her. Something that my mother failed to realize. And just when they moved her to the ICU it struck me that I must give her that assurance – that no matter what – I’d always be there for her. She immediately slipped in to coma. It was too late. How much I regret not being able to tell her this. It would have meant a lot to her. It would have brought some peace to her in her last moments.
I can’t close this post without a mention to her relationship with my father. One could write an epic on it – or I can describe it in one sentence. 32 Years – they had their knives at each others throats. Me and my sister were the reason my mother didn’t call it quits. That was the sacrifice she gave for us. And that not even once in her last days could I express my gratitude towards her – is a regret I am living with. She was this oasis of positivity and optimism midst the vast sea of negativity and pessimism that is my father. His negativism ruined us – pulled us down every time we tried to do something. Something as simple as booking a railway ticket – “Oh but it’s too late now, you won’t get confirmed tickets”. Without even trying? You see what I mean. How did she spend T h i r t y T w o Y e a r s !!! of her life with this man? God…I shudder to think.
So this is the baggage I am carrying. I don’t intend to forget it – because your past makes you the person you are. But am trying to move on. To being a better person and not repeat the mistakes I’ve made in the past. It’s a long journey….so help me God.