Sunday, April 09, 2017

Missing

I've been missing for a while. Or at least my words, the largest part of me, have. I can hear them, they even come all the way into my mouth. And then in conversation I stop. Instead I start to write and they wander past my wrist at speed but then they sit, fat with emotion in the palm of my hand, too stubborn to move. I'm hoping the summer will bring a thaw and live in the anticipation that an impending and full monsoon is on its way. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Definitely the wrong way round

I'm always catching up. With the blog, with other blog, with podcast, with Tv shows, with movies and with the news. This morning I was listening to an old (2016)podcast 'This American Life' podcast titled 'One Last thing before I go'. The first act of it is the story of this old phone box that a man in Japan put in his garden. And how so many people come and talk to their loved ones - lost and dead in the Tsunami. The next story is of brothers, 80 and 85 years old, creating some semblance of a relationship after more than 20 years of not speaking over disagreements and imagined slights. It was a sobering episode to say the least. 

As this year has begun I have been thinking a lot about death, life and everything in between. From images of small children dying of malnutrition and people escaping across treacherous seas from unimaginable dangers to my own family and those of my friends. The world is in sure meltdown and the only way to wake up and not want to curl right back under my duvet is to see V and Kid smile and get on with the business of living, of chatting with my parents and siblings and loading up on the teaming mass of friends and family on various social media. 

There was new life last year with friends having babies and getting pregnant against medical odds. So the Circle of human life continues. With older people giving up gracefully and often fighting the good fight. But equally in the last month of the year it showed us about the blatant unfairness of it all. The absolute waste for we have lost a very young soul, the daughter of very dear friends of my parents. A woman just a few years younger than me; mum to two littlies, wife and beloved daughter to her wonderful parents. It's the situation that no parent ever wants to be in. The stuff of my nightmares is losing my child. It's unimaginable and I am heartbroken for them. In time they will learn to cope with the pain and she will live on in her children and the hearts and minds of everyone around her. But it is not on, nor fair and not right. 

Considering it's the most hopeful month of the year, January, when everything is meant to show promise, it is not that at all. It's hard for me at the moment to find solace in the phrase 'live in the moment' and 'que sera sera' even though I know that's good advice. Off to recharge my batteries with the love only my parents and brother can give me. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nani

Seeing as I haven't written for months I'm guessing some kind of explanation is due. Also as we are well into the new year I should be wishing everyone a Happy New Year. But there are no explanations and those words ring false to me at the moment. The reality is that I am struggling to balance the hope for good things that the new year brings with the loss of my last Grandparent just 6 days into the year. 

As I wrote last year, my wonderful Nani had Alzheimer's. In August she was hospitalised and I came to Calcutta to see her. She had no clear memory of me but with a lot of prompting from my mum and mama she remembered both my name and our connection. Even at her fuzziest she always began our meetings with the words 'Hello, darling' while she established who I was and how we were related. Having used those words in greeting for me as far back as I can remember I felt as loved by her this August as through my entire life. 

Loss is not easy. 2016 was tough - both being a world citizen looked less attractive and watching a few friends lose parents was hard. It was a year when my Nani's memories turned further back into her own youth, leaving behind much of the present and past 60 years. Looping language and confusion over time of day and what was going on left this once vibrant person a shell of themselves. And all the illnesses of old age left their marks on her body. 

And last Friday, the 6th of January, she slipped away after a rough time in the weeks before. I joined my parents, brother, mama (uncle), maiji (aunt) and cousin for her cremation and immersion on Saturday morning. We worked through our sadness in different ways, some stoically, some with tearful outbursts, all with pain. My lovely in laws gave me their home and attention and joined us to commiserate and console. 

Back in the real world now with school and office and life moving on at breakneck speed, entirely oblivious to our loss. Mingled with the knowledge that she is free of her confusion and pain is our very real pain at the loss of her physical presence of her soft cheeks and kind eyes. So yes, we know this is better and no, that doesn't make it easier. 

My way of coping is thinking of it as a better place - taking her spot on that lovely heavenly sofa, once again beside the love of her life, my nana. Joining in conversations with my other grandparents and all the people that loved her so. I can't yet fully talk about her and all the wonderful ways she enriched my life. My Nani - loved immensely and missed intensely.