We were all set to celebrate the 50th marriage anniversary of my Buaji and Fufaji (paternal aunt and uncle). It was going to be a great event with most of the family members getting together for the big celebration. Dresses and gifts were decided and I was making a photo album for the “Golden Couple”. Creating a customised gift takes time and when the network or website issues come, then the effort grows manifold. It was late night when I was having trouble in putting up a picture on a page. I gave up finally and went to bed, thinking to start afresh the next day.
It was in the morning when my mom called me up. I thought the call must be regarding the golden celebrations only, because that’s what we have been doing lately, planning what to wear and what to gift. When I answered the call, my mom was freakishly crying and told me Fufaji is no more. I couldn’t believe my ears and asked her twice. My Fufaji, who was a retired Major General passed away the night before, just around the time I was preparing the photo album. As everyone else, I was shocked. I just couldn’t believe that it was possible. I thought instead of making the photo album, I could have called him up a day before to tell that he was special and I loved him. But, it was too late.
Death is the bitter truth of life. I wanted to talk to Buaji. I usually feel shy in calling up the relatives of the deceased, don’t know how to console. But I don’t know where the courage came and I called up my Buaji instantly, as I wanted to tell her that we all love her and are there with her.
We didn’t want to leave Buaji alone on the day of her 50th marriage anniversary, so it was decided that we all will get together on that day and have an evening of singing prayers, remembering the departed soul.
It was a gloomy day. We all shared our feelings and recalled our memories with Fufaji. The lady who was called for the bhajans asked us to feel the changes that are there in the house and in our lives within him. Almost everyone was shedding tears on remembering this. And we all stopped crying the moment she said this- “How will the departed soul feel if you cry for him? He is not here with us physically, but feel his presence. He wants you to stay happy.”
My grandparents passed away when I was young, not able to understand deeply the pain that comes when anyone leaves you.
The first death that I saw was after my marriage. My husband’s Naniji (grandmother) was not keeping well and had become too fragile. We knew she would go soon, but I wasn’t prepared that she will go like this. I was sitting beside her, when all of a sudden I heard her sound that as weird. I was alone with my younger sister- in-laws at home that time.
“Naniji, are you ok?”
“Naniji, you want water?”
I took her head in my lap, kept rubbing her head, chest and hands.
“Naniji, say something!” I was shouting and crying simultaneously.
I could sense something was wrong, but I didn’t want to accept that easily. I kept her head in my lap till my in-laws came and told that she has gone. I felt helpless. I only thought if I could have spent more time with her.
“Death is not the opposite of life, it is a part of it”, everyone has to face this harsh reality.
Life is short and uncertain. Don’t wait for big moments or occasions. Tell your beloved ones, your near and dear ones, that you care for them, you need them and love them.
“Cherish those in your life because you don’t know when they won’t be there anymore.”