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I see, hear, speak....Well, I write here too..
Irreversible loss 
30th-Aug-2010 01:56 pm
There is nothing as irreversible as death of a closed one. Till now, I have always thought of heart breaks as the worst pain, but I just realized death is a separation in which there is no room for future. My team-mate B came in to work today after a 2 week break after her dad's sudden demise.

Two weeks back on a Thursday morning when I logged in at work at 7.45 am, I got a call from B, who was sobbing on the phone. She kept saying pappa pappa in between sobs. I knew her dad was quite sick for some time, and she has made emergency trips home just recently. But I am inexperienced in handling this, I didnt know what to ask her. So I just asked her if she wanted me to accompany her to the airport atleast. I left a message for the boss and left to the airport immediately. I rushed to Mekri cirlce and luckily got into the same BIAL bus which she had boarded. The moment she saw me getting into the bus, she burst into louder sobs. I was totally clueless on how I am going to handle this. I have never been through this earlier. The only thing, I kept telling myself was that,  the girl sitting near me was just a 24 year old kid, and I had to really be with her during this great loss. I dont know what people speak when they want to console someone on somebody's death. I dont know if external words help a person especially during this loss or does it make them feel worse.

She had to travel to Punjab and it was going to be a long journey for her. So I just started scheduling her travel to Delhi and then to Punjab. We were joined by two other friends from office also, so they manged to get a known taxi guy for her from Delhi. I kept holding her hands  while she spoke few words between her sobs, I only acknowledged her during the conversation and assured her that she will feel much better when she joins her family back home.  I later called her up couple of times after she had reached, and she sounded much better than when I had seen her last. Today she is back in office, meeting colleagues and getting a bit emotional, I dont know if talking helps, I only asked her if she wanted to go out somewhere for a walk.  I am sure time helps.

I always fear the thought of losing my parents someday. Everytime I think of it, I feel positive about the time available for us to be together now. The first time I felt the loss of a near one was that of my aunt( my dad's bro's wife). There was a phone call and I heard my Dad asking when the funeral was, and the only thing I knew was, I am not going to get to see her in my life again. Its over 8 years now, I still miss the person she was in my life, I miss the person she was in her home, the wife my uncle had as his support, the mother she was to my cousins, everything has changed a lot for all of us. Every function, or an event in the house, we always remember her and wonder how it would have been if she was around. I am sure, it changes many things for everybody. But we all move on. We will always miss the people no matter how many years pass by, but we get used to living with their memories. 

My earliest memory of a friend losing her dad was at school when I was in grade5/6. I think her name was Betty, we all knew her dad though. Papachan driver was our school bus driver and we were all very fond of him, he was the most patient, gentlest and happiest person we knew.  We were shocked when we came to know of his sudden demise. I was too young to understand pain, but I knew losing a parent means life is going to change forever. When my parents returned from the funeral, I remember asking mom if Betty was crying a lot. That was the first time, I realized how life can change suddenly for anybody.
30th-Aug-2010 09:41 am (UTC)
A thoughtful post. life does mean such irrevocable partings...but we have to learn to take it in our stride and move forward...that is our ultimate victory over death. And those who are near to us ,live on in our hearts. That is their ultimate immortality.
30th-Aug-2010 11:29 am (UTC)
So true. Moving forward is the only way out here.
30th-Aug-2010 01:01 pm (UTC)
Very touching. Yes, I suppose one's life turns completely over the head with such losses. Never ceases to amaze me how a few people just seem to take it all in their stride. One of my best friends' dad passed away on the first day of his fifth semester engineering exams and yet, this guy managed to not only attend all but the first of his papers but also clear them all. He went on to get a distinction. I know that he was as devastated as one could get, but the grace and poise with which he seemed to accept the reality and move on was something really amazing and inspiring. Just a week earlier, I got a call from my 'the bestest' friend, and yes, it was to inform me that his father had passed away. I can think of the hours upon hours that we have spent, virtually growing up together right through school..going through the shitty parts and the nice parts, always knowing when to say what and how and when to just shut up and lend a ear... but this was a situation when I really did not know what to say or do.. I could not make it to my/our hometown, to be with him during his time of need, but there also didn't seem to be too many things I could say to make him feel better.. I mean, there is nothing that you can really say to make a person who has lost a parent to magically feel better. I just heard myself mouthing inane and bland condolences while something inside of me felt empty. There was a feeling of guilt deep down that there was nothing that I could do or say to make my friend feel better..and that the one thing that I could probably do which was be with him was not an option for me..

I last spoke to him last week and got to know that he has quit his job in the UK to be with his family. His going to the UK for higher studies was again something that really made us feel bad about going apart, not ever being able to do the things we used to do, like catching up with each other, along with a whole bunch of other friends, for a cup of hot coffee at an all night cafe at 3 am in the morning...now that I know he's back in India for good, a part of me is happy but for the most part, the circumstances forcing his return are still too raw to face.. Yeah, death can be very hard to face.
31st-Aug-2010 10:43 am (UTC)
Your friend must be a real strong person :) I hope you get more time together to relive old memories :)
1st-Sep-2010 05:54 am (UTC)
Yup. Strong indeed.. probably it was as deponti described in her comment.. I suppose he became stronger because the situation demanded it.
31st-Aug-2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
We all grow up each time we face death..and how we deal with it is different for each person.

Aneeta, I have a tip from my own bereavement...I wonder whether, if someone had given ME this tip years ago, I might have saved myself lots of worry and fear....so I am passing it on to you.

I used to think once in a while about my parents' death, and think that devoting a lot of time to thinking about it would prepare me mentally.

And when each of my parents died...my father very suddenly, my mother in a lingering, systems-shut-down one-by-one way...the reality was VERY different from anything that I had imagined I had worked out.

So...I could have saved myself all the emotions that I went through in my "death rehearsals"....and just faced the actual loss.

Strength...somehow comes to us in the dark hours...from inside ourselves, from others, from expected and unexpected sources.

OK, probably each of one HAS to also think about parents' death...but I hope this helps you.

And Prashanth...sometimes, just that one word on Gtalk or whatever DOES help immeasurably. So...just reach out without thinking too much about not being able to do more. Love finds its way across vast distances and comforts the other person.

And hugs to BOTH of you...for the losses you have faced..and, being human, are going to face.
31st-Aug-2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you Deponti .. I will keep this in mind for a lifetime, when I am older and more experienced, I will remember to pass this tip on to someone and I am sure, I will remember you for a lifetime :) of course, I am sure, you will be on LJ always :)
1st-Sep-2010 05:53 am (UTC)
@deponti: That was incredibly insightful and practical. Though the topic is morbid and morbid thoughts are generally relegated to the background, one cannot ignore the fact that we spend a lot of time worrying/thinking about how we would face up to such situations when we do need to. While you might not have had somebody giving you that tip, people reading this post will certainly appreciate your sharing with us..
31st-Aug-2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
I lost my dad to cancer and we had a lot of time to prepare for the "end" but then you really cannot be totally prepared I guess. My drew strength from a lot of sources. My mom did not want to face anyone and pretty much kept to herself, not many people understood that but who the hell cares - it was her way of coming to terms with life. My younger sister sat under a table for three hours before anyone noticed, but those three hours she said were when she found strength to look at my dad's body and not break down. My youngest sister was away from home and come home the next day - she leaned on my younger sister for support. And me - I was too busy getting things done to grieve at that point. I left to the US a month later and it was then when i really realized what hit me. My strength came from My husband who had also lost his dad over 8 years ago. He does not say much but whenever i had to cry he just was there.
I always though dealing with death is hard but I think the few days/weeks/months later is the hardest. When everyone goes back to normal and life takes over and every now and then we are left with the longing to tell the departed soul some random thing. For me dealing with the funeral arrangements was not hard - it had to be done. But dealing with raw emotions days/months after was hard. It was during those times I would pick up the phone call a close friend and just talk/cry and not having to listen to "don't cry - time heals" was the best comfort i ever got. there have been one sided conversations where i have poured my heart out and not a word was said from the other person on the line... just being there was comfort enough.
31st-Aug-2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you P, this was very useful, bcos I am very confused, what the person in grief is actually going through. My teamie B, sits just next to me, but she is lost and doesnt want to talk anything, I have left her to her own world these 2 days, but I was not sure, if that was the right thing to do. I did talk to her very few things generally, but I think I sensed she wanted some quiet time, so I preferred not to disturb her much.
6th-Sep-2010 04:45 am (UTC)
You might lose them, but you will never forget the sound of their voices ringing in your ears. Even today I can remember the voices of friends and relations who have passed away as if they just spoke to me.
20th-Oct-2010 02:35 pm (UTC)
Hi Prem, Thanks for commenting here, I couldnt reply back earlier, as I was on and off from LJ. I have been a visitor at your blog as well. Love your family and the lil girls.
21st-Oct-2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Aneeta, I too am LJing less these days than before, ie after migrating over to FB.
10th-Oct-2010 11:12 am (UTC)
hi ,
just came across ur journal.i know its too hurtful but tn terz nothing v can do abt it but just pray.me too smetimes i think wat wud i do wthout my parents:(
20th-Oct-2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks Resh. Your active comments on my LJ has helped me to bring it back alive.
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