Monday, January 17, 2011

Mourning for a life gone, fearing for a young one

It's disgusting and shameful how we take someone for granted, when they are alive. We realise this only when they die. My aunt who'd been staying with my parents died last week. Dear R, may your soul rest in peace. But I know it won't. Because you will be worrying about your young son you've left behind. For a child to deal with his parent's death, I think, is the most traumatic and challenging phase of life.

She was less of an aunt, more of a mum. She, along with grandma raised me when mom was busy earning the family's bread. She was the repository of all my childhood memories. She knew me through and through.
She wanted, even till about two months ago, wanted to start her own enterprise, and we had sat down to discuss the pros and cons of the idea.

Just days before she died she chided me, saying "You're not taking good care of your skin. How we used to pamper you and make sure your face was oiled and nourished when you were young!" It was, I think, one of the last conversations I had with her. She was the beautician who taught me how to massage my face, make banana-honey facepacks as I grew into adolescence. She embroidered beautiful saris and salwar kameez-es for me. She stitched me perfect white lace tops and pleated skirts when I was young. When I first sprouted boobs, it was her hand-me-down bra I got to wear till I could be bought one.

Now I can't sleep a peaceful sleep. Somewhere deep down is a guilt that I didn't do enough for her in return. That I didn't pay as much attention to her as I should have when she took ill. I took it for granted that she will undergo surgery and that she will soon be back in the business of life. It was never meant to be.

What I feel still worse about is her 13-year -old son. It's such a terrible, confusing age as it is. Add to that your mother's death and I think life for the child will be traumatic. Every night and morning when I kiss my own Sonny Boy, i feel miserable thinking my little cousin will never be able to feel his mother's hand on his head, or her embrace again...ever. He won't have his mom lovingly cooking his favourite food when he comes back from exams. He already looks lost, plodding through life at home, and pushing off to school amidst the chaos of weeping/mourning relatives.

I fear for his future, what he will think and do, what his father's attitude to him will be and most importantly, who will be there to hold his hand and walk him through life the way a mother does? His dad's going to drown himself in work, I just know it for sure. His paralysed grandmom will not be a source of much consolation. Which leaves The physical distance between our homes I know will ensure that after a time, when we get sucked into our daily grind, will not allow for much time to be spent together. I feel I owe it to my aunt to make sure her child does fine in life, but fear my uncle will see my interest in him as "interference", and so an insult to him.

I don't suddenly feels so unlivable. So full of things that shouldn't have been and so full of promises it held out but we couldn't achieve...


Aparna said...

So So sorry to hear about your aunt. Life is cruel, very very cruel, especially to those who are left bereaved. I feel for your 13-yo cousin too. Not knowing anything abt the family dynamics, I still think its worthwhile to 'interfere' once things settle down, even if it only means having the kid over for weekends at ur place once every month. 13 is such an awkward age to be left all alone.
Good luck. Virtual hugs and hope ur family can get through this pain/grief in one piece.

Anu said...

i really wish i can say the right words to make you feel any better.But i know i cannot.I just said a little prayer for you guys.I prayed that He will guide you through this and protect the lil one and bring him abundant love and joy -somehow,damn He is god,he better do that!

Garima said...

Hey, So sorry to hear about your aunt. A life lost is irreplacable. I guess, the memory of your aunt will live in his son. Tender Age that too.
I wish you and your family all the strenght in the world.

Aparna said...

My condolences for your loss dear. That's a really tough thing to lose somebody without having any time to come to terms with it. And I cannot imagine a 13-year old needing to figure out how to carry on without his mom :(. All our love and prayers to him and all of you.

A blessed mom said...

Hi there, My condolences to you. Its an irony for me to be reading your blog today, because I lost my oldest sister 3 years ago and she left behind an 18 year old girl and today is/was my sister's birthday. I can relate to every sentiment and emotion you are going through because I still feel the same way. My sister raised me, she was more mom to me than my mom and I can't believe she wont be there for her own daughter's major milestones like chosing a boy for marriage etc.

How I wish to give back the gestures (of love, security, confidence and help) I received from my sister to my niece. But as you said the father will always see it as interference. So I only pray for the best and try to do things as and when oppurtunity presents itself. I hope you will find the way to help your cousin too. Hang in there and God bless you and your cousin.

Forever mother said...

Dear Aparna, Anu, Garima and Aparna,
Thanks a lot for your condolences. I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier, but it's only now that I'm beginning to realise what it was and what it implies was a shocker. Thanks again for holding my hand and being there.
I feel reassured when I tell you that my li'l cousin seems to coping ok now -- probably because he still doesnt understand what his mom's loss means. He along with his friends planted saplings for Republic Day and hoisted the flag with his friends down the I'd like to belive he's coping...for now.

Dear blessed mom,
Thanks for dropping by and I know how it is when how you feel is expressed by another soul sister. I can completely understand your situation, just as you do mine. All we can do I guess is give out positive vibes, do our best, and hope the best for the people we love and care for. Hope you are able to do for your niece whatever you want, without any hinderance. Prayers and hugs
Forever Mother