How does it feel to sit with grief? How does a person’s life compensate for an important person’s loss?
I think to say that life is unfair would be an exaggeration but who determines the fairness of life? It is equally wrong to say that life is fair. Yesterday sitting with an old family friend of my grandfather and listening to all stories about his wife and times with my Baba with such shine in his eyes, I realized loss can also be made of happy moments if we choose to. He was a tenant of my Baba more than 40 years ago and that is how they turned friends. My Baba was an amicable personality, loved by everyone and my most favorite person in the world as somehow I always felt he understood me inspite of coming from a very different time altogether. I remember when I got admission for Engineering, he would proudly boast ” Meri Poti Engineer Hai” whether it be his friend or our milkman, I was always embarassed.
The kind hearted person he was, our house was always surrounded by street kids and he made sure everyone was fed well every day. Amma got a little furious sometimes but that is how Baba was, always helping, always caring and making the world a better place.
Yesterday, uncle spoke about his late wife and how she was such a lively person as opposed to him. She would gather everyone and have a party whenever she felt like. When cancer struck, she fought like a warrior and defeated it once. However, the last days were difficult for her when it knocked again and that is when she knew it was time. Uncle was sitting with grief in that moment, telling us about how his wife already knew and told him that she won’t be able to move with him any further. She was not in her best mental health and anxiety caught hold of her. During peak winters she used to go and sleep in the balcony suddenly at night and when asked she would reply “Andar ghutan ho rahi hai”.
He shared her stories and the time they spent together with such gleam in his eyes that it faded the moist and sitting across the table and listening, I realized, grief is a culmination of all the happy moments that made our heart happy at some point but to live it again is all about memories. With all the things we talked about, my Baba is my most favourite memory and I wish he was here with me cheering me when times get tough without him even realizing. I think he was there, watching and smiling as I sat there in that moment with grief in my eyes and memories in my heart.