I was four years old when I first encountered death in the family. It was my grandfather (my father’s dad) who faced death in 1979. The funeral was already done when my parent’s reached home with me in their arms. I had no understanding of how it feels to lose someone you love, at that time of my life.
But it was when my granddad (mother’s father) passed away unexpectedly within the three days of his sickness it felt quite hard and deep in my heart. I was a witness of his falling off his bed till his life going off his body. I was close to him and his contribution and investment in my life were huge. He was instrumental to bring me up with love, care and good health. He died of heatstroke in 1998 and it was very pathetic because one afternoon he fell down from his bed and never opened his eyes till he passed away after three days. We really were broken in the family of seeing a righteous man dying so unexpectedly but as the Psalmist testifies about God, “My times are in your hands”, we know, we had no control over that particular time of our lives.
Next, it was when my Badima, passed away when her sugar shot up so high that she had a massive stroke. It was so shocking and unexpected and was so heartbreaking. She was the soberest lady in the entire world who never even reprimands in the softest way ever. It was truly very difficult to pass through those days with lots of Why questions in our minds but at the end of the day we all knew and remember the same Bible verse as the Psalmist recites, “My times are in your hands”.
I still remember that morning when I had a lot of hope that he will bounce back and I will hear the good news that he is doing better, but God had different plans for him, for his parents and for all of us. This was the worst death in our family that literally dried all the joys from our lives for a few months.
It was at 3:30 am in the morning on 28th January 2011, when my Mom called me. I was shocked to see her number flashing on my cell at that hour of the night. I answered her call in fear and she told me crying, “Danny is no more…”
On 25th Jan 2011, my 21-year-old cousin met with an accident. His bike slipped and he went under a running bus. The back wheel of the bus ran over his hip. He was waiting for help for almost an hour on the road in that condition. When he was being carried to the hospital by his friends and other people, he was searching for his father before becoming unconscious.
Danny was such a wonderful boy. He used to play the guitar in his church. He was an ever-smiling guy and was very helpful, caring and adorable. He was a dog lover. He loved them like anything. I can’t believe or imagine till now that he is no more with us.
“How does one cope with the loss of someone you had expected to live longer?” When I was reading Pradita’s article and came across this question that she posed, I remembered my baby brother who is not with us anymore. The experience was horrific for all of us and we took months to come out of the trance we were in. Whenever we used to meet, it was not a smile but tears became a common medium of greeting each other between us for months. We used to weep remembering him but used to keep consoling and encouraging each other. We used to read the words of comforts from the Bible and pray for each other to cope with the pain we were experiencing after Danny’s sudden death. Even after 10 years, we all feel that sorrow deep down our hearts even when we know and understand that our times are in His hands.
Recently, I lost my dad, in the horrific year of 2020, though not in Covid but he suffered a massive heart attack. It was my parent’s anniversary yesterday and my mother expressed while I was talking to her, “he never let anyone to serve him a bit”. I still could not believe that when I will return home I won’t find him beside me on the dining table but when he died, my heart was in so much peace knowing that, my father is safe and secure as his times were in His hands.
I have been going through a lot of pain and suffering since my birth and have experienced many more deaths in the family that had saddened my heart momentarily, whether for a shorter or longer time but all I have learnt to cope with death in the family by knowing, all our times are in His hands.