TELL TODAY THAT YOU LOVE THEM, BEFORE THEY ARE GONE

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?”

No answer.

“Naniji, you want water?”

No answer.

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.”

WORDS AND SILENCE BOTH GIVE COMFORT

It’s so easy to console a toddler. My son when he was barely 2 years old. He used to come running to me with all his problems. And it was so easy to comfort and console him. A small kiss used to make the pain go away. A small promise used to make all troubles vanish. He truly believed that I had solution for all the problems in life. I wish life was that simple.

In adult life we can’t wish away setbacks and problems and losses. Sometimes the loss is so huge that it feels like life has just stopped. Business going bust or death of a loved one or heartbreak the list is endless. It  feels like the carpet has been pulled away from below your feet. And we will never find our footing again.

If a friend is going through such a situation how will you help?

First and foremost words of courage, comfort and love do help. But generally what happens is where the loss is too recent or when you are actually going through the problem these words feel superficial. But somewhere deep in the heart they do register. And give inner strength to people. I will give you an example. A friend of mine was struggling with a heartbreak. She had just found out that her spouse was cheating on her. And while speaking to her I said the usual phrases “don’t worry everything would be all right”, “whatever happens, happens for good”, “God is there” and she lashed back at me and said “you don’t even know what I am going through, my world has fallen apart, how can you be so sure that things will be ok? You don’t understand me”. At that time I had put up with her bad mood but I knew her anger was not directed at me. Her anger was because of the situation she was in and it was a kind of defense mechanism that was making her strong from inside. And months later she confessed that she was angry and hurting from inside and my words were comforting her even though she was not ready to admit it then.

This brings me to the second point. Give an opportunity to the affected person to vent out his feelings. Be there for him. Just sit and listen. Like if a friend with an active life style, is suffering from some illness and is confined to bed. He is bound to be grumpy and angry. Listen to his issues. Let him whine for sometime. A patient ear is what he wants. He already know all the logic and realities. A little pampering is what he expects. Let him play the victim card for sometime and then gently bring him back to reality.

Another way in which you can help is by giving the person time to grieve. Like if there is a death in the household. Help in the day to day chores of the house. Give the family time to grieve and compose themselves. These days the neighbors are closer than relatives. So things like providing food or offering to take care of small kids or helping out in getting the bank formalities done go a long way in helping the bereaved. And these gestures are remembered for a long time by them.

HOPE – THE ANCHOR OF LIFE

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Plenty of emotions

flooding the thoughts

hard to let go the feelings

As I cannot see the weakness

the pain that is unexplainable

the suffering that is unavoidable.

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Pain is an integral part of any disease. Pain can be suffered but the pain given to the heart is always unbearable.

Nowadays there is a growing number of cases of cancer around the world. Yet people are strong enough to survive in some cases. Medicines are just a booster to your confidence, the main cure is only through love and care.

Nothing can beat the love and care given to the patient in curing an illness. The caregiver who is the closest to the patient must always ensure to give the best comfort they can at any point of time. Trusting and gaining confidence in life lets even the worst conditions become better.

I remember a boy from my school days, with whom I had not acquainted much. Years later even when I moved from one school to another, I had being in touch with many of my old friends. Unanticipated I remembered this kid in a conversation with my friend. She conveyed that he was suffering from cancer. It was a shock to me, as for me he was the brightest kid I had ever met. I was quite disturbed, yet a prayer evokes from my heart for him. Years passed, whenever I hear about someone suffering from cancer, this kid from my school comes into my mind. A very pale young kid who was very studious. Later I came to know he did not survive, but yes he did his exams excellently and passed with a good percentage. For a moment I felt so proud of him, as he did work hard even when he was in pain.

The struggles he had gone through, I could picture it, but never knew the pain. It was his mere confidence that took him ahead in life until is dreams were achieved.

One has to be hopeful in life to overcome all the obstacles in it. Hope is the only elixir of life. To bring in hope to a traumatized person is rather a difficult objective, yet not impossible.

“He is suffering because he did it”

“He is suffering because he is punished for his wrongdoing”

“Oh poor, she has cancer, she should have been careful”

All the illnesses are uninvited guests, we do not bring into us just because we enjoy suffering. It is something I wish to tell anyone who would love to quote the above sentences. Life is quite unpredictable. Hence who gets what is not in our hands. It is our duty as mere people to be with the patient, help them fight it.

The sufferer needs a healthy surrounding with healthy minds around. Only a healthy and sound mind can cure any worst illness. During the chemotherapy, they lose their confidence, their health, and their mental strengths too. Pain clouds their thought process, it is then we need to be around to hold them together. Let them not break down and show that life is not a cake walk.

Encourage them…

Show that there are many who need them…

Give them healthy food to eat…

Keep their mind busy…

Let them know that “Hope is the anchor of life”…

So never lose it…