I remember all the times I have broken down into bits when I heard about the death of some one dear.
Last night, I broke down. I didn’t really know the gentleman that has passed away. I only met him once. With so many people around and food to keep me distracted I don’t remember having a conversation with him. But I know the people who have lost him. I can only imagine their loss. I don’t know what it is to lose someone that close. Even then, I cried. I cried like I lost someone very dear.
My husband who has survived such loss was there to support me. He reminded me that those people were looking to me look for strength and hence I would have to be strong. I continued to battle with my emotions. All I could think was that it is my parent’s generation that is slowly wiping out. One day I will get a phone call about one of my parents.
During my last trip to India a very dear friend had lost her mother. I went to meet her about fifteen days later. While we ate some Diwali sweetmeats, and ordered Chinese food, she told me about her mother’s clinical course. She recounted how rapidly her mother deteriorated and how quickly everything went downhill. Her calmness and practicality bothered me. I expected, I guess a more dramatic expression of loss. She continued to tell me about all the paperwork she would have to take care, now that her mother is gone, while I was struggled not to ask her to please cry and let me feel better about her loss.
My mother-in-law told me that it is much later that you realize you don’t have some one to come home to. It is much later you miss the way your loved one sounded, or felt or smelled. Right after some one dies, she said you are thinking of all the one’s that still need support, the people who have to come to sympathize with you. The legal and social obligations that one has to fulfill take up a lot of time, energy and probably even help to tide over the initial shock of loss.
Time they say is a healer. Some times I really wonder.