‘Death is inevitable’ a fact that is told multiple times by many. When there is the occurrence of a death the sadness, irritability, sense of loss, unable to move on are all inevitable to the person/persons close to the deceased. I have gone through this umpteen times in the last 13 years, but each time the feeling is as different as the person who left the earth. The first time I experienced it was when I was in 6th when Muthashan’s best friend who, was as much a maternal grandfather to me as my own was, but the loss of his demise didn’t strike me till a few years later.
Then in 2007, I lost Muthashan (maternal grandfather), whom I adored and loved beyond measure. My Muthashan was everything to me and he is sorely missed whenever I am happy or sad. Amma had a tough time getting me back on track. The person who loved him the most and had been with him the longest was Ammamma and trust me she was strong and made me realize how weak and incapacitated I was in the emotional department. Two years later, in 2009 I lost my Vallyachan (paternal grandfather) whom I adored, loved, and most importantly admired for he was a Freedom Fighter. Both grandfathers’ had been great men of their own accord and I feel immense remorse they never met Mr. B.
A week after our wedding in 2010 I lost a grand aunt who was a universal Chachi to all from my father’s paternal side of the family. My parents did not tell me about it over the phone, we met before they left for Muscat, in person and Acha told me. I was sad as she had told me that she wanted to meet Mr. B after our wedding and that I was to visit her at Kozhikode when possible. End of November the same year I lost another Grand Uncle in relation through Mr. B, but whom I had seen since I was a child. Who was very loving and concerned of the well-being of a few of us girls his grand-nieces as he would have said as he was a bachelor all his life. The other two were older to me and one was his own grand-niece. He had many quirks, but all said and done he was a great human and I am sure that, who had interacted with him at close quarters miss him immensely. He was famous in his own profession, but the profession never got the better of him, like it happens in some cases he was probably as level-headed when he started till he stopped working . He had a few tricks under his sleeve when he was behind the camera. The next year began with another death in the family this time Mr. B’s paternal grandfather. He had no major ailments, just that it was time for him to go to his beloved spouse.
A few years down the line I lost an Ammavan, a grand uncle (Ammamma’s brother), who I held and continue to hold in a high pedestal for he was a person, who showed me how much ever you help there is no end to it, as there will always be people who will need help of one sort or another. Then a grand-aunt (Vallyamma) with whom I spent my Saturdays in my mid-teens and who didn’t add a bit of spice in her food be what may, as she couldn’t have spice.
Noted ones were Ammamma (maternal grandmother) in 2016 March, and in the last one year Achamma (paternal grandfather) and my Ammavan (maternal uncle) and Amma’s 2nd Ammavan. Some of them passed on after a prolonged illness, some went with no definite ailments which we can say caused their sudden departures. I lost 3 aunts and 1 grand-uncle in the last 4 years in this criteria. There sudden deaths though they were aged beyond 60 and the Indian Law categorizes them as ‘Senior Citizen’. The desolate feeling they left behind on a spouse, sibling, child, nephew, niece or grandchild isn’t something those relations can ever explain how much ever they try.
I write this today as I have again seen another aunt a Vallyamma, I held dear pass on and her only daughter or granddaughters’ pain is something I can understand. It being Covid-19 times, they couldn’t get the flights instantly to come in from Mumbai and see their loved one leave on her last ride. People commented she was lucky in terms, she did not die of a prolonged illness, or suffer in that manner, true. My doubt here is, Was she lucky? She did not get to see her only daughter or her beloved granddaughters or her only brother before she departed, was she really lucky or is it just a sentence that’s been coined to comfort those who are hurting because of her departure.
I remember an incident long back where a person who had come to pay condolence after Muthashan’s death mentioned we shouldn’t go out to a movie or do fun stuff. At that time I felt so insulted by their attitude towards what the people in the house were going through as if we would and lets just say we did do it who is there to judge us, the society? Well am of the opinion that the departed soul would never want their loved ones to sit gloomily the whole day, cry and wail out non-stop. The departed one would definitely hope that the people they held dear moved on in life as death of a loved one doesn’t stop the oxygen of those who are alive.
This philosophy strengthened in magnitude about 2 years back, when our neighbour an Uncle whom I adored for he was sweet, kind and considerate and spoke what was correct with no hidden malice, passed on and his wife, children and grandchildren did mourn his death, but celebrated his life for what it was worth. His spouse the aunty who I realise today I cherished immensely passed on earlier this year, 2 days before their Wedding Anniversary, her daughter, whom I call Aunty and I joked that she left as she wanted to celebrate it this year with Uncle above.
People who come home to pay their respects/condolences to those living should remember that the ones in the house have a lot of pain and are finding it difficult to move on and they don’t need the fact that you tell them how they should lead life in the mourning period, for as far as am concerned for the loved ones the mourning period never ends as you constantly remember your loved one in sickness and in health for you wish they were with you to celebrate or give you a shoulder to cry on. People can be insensitive in terms that they tell/ask absolute CRAP to people at home regarding what might have caused the death of the loved one. My next irritation is with the word BODY yes the body is a word that defines a physical structure, but as soon as death has occurred people around seem to be inconsiderate to the people living by calling the deceased material substance body as if the person had no other identity, she or he happened to be a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, to someone and as far as I am concerned you are insulting their memory, their life on earth by calling them that. All should remember where you point fingers today, will also be your place sooner or later, as ‘Death is inevitable’.