We all are very well aware of the fact that whosoever comes onto the earth has to leave also. Yet, we mourn and cry over the loss of our loved ones, the loss that is irreparable. It’s a strange process that God has made. Soon after the birth, a person makes so many connections, develops love and affection and when the time comes, the invisible cord is just snapped, leaving behind only memories.

A few years back I lost my cousin brother. His death was a shock for all of us. But, for me, it was an eyeopener, as if trying to reiterate the fact that death can arrive at any time. I was there for the funeral with my cousin Prabhjot and we felt sorry for our older generation who watched the dead body on a pyre, crying helplessly. It was the first time in my life that I witnessed all the last rituals being performed, right in front of me. I stood there, remembering my cousin brother’s laughter, the way he used to tease me, helping me out of the way and all the good and bad times we shared as a family. The next day, as a ritual, we had to go to the funeral site again for phool chugna, i.e., collecting the last remains of the body- bones and teeth. Since there was no one else to accompany our fathers, Prabhjot and I went with them. I couldn’t stop my tears from falling down as I searched the ‘phool’ from the ashes. The bone in my hand could have been his finger that held me when I was little. The tooth that I found reminded me of his smile. The huge body who once guarded me was down there, turned into ashes. For a weak-hearted girl like me, that moment was overwhelming, but it suddenly filled me with strength, making me realize that my cousin was near me and he would feel bad to see us all cry. So, now, whenever I miss him, I talk to him in my heart.

As they say-

Those we love don’t go away

they walk beside us every day,

unseen, unheard,

but always near,

still loved, still missed,

and very dear”


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