Sunday, August 05, 2007

Void...

I had a few quiet moments to myself this evening. My mother had gone to attend an independence day program at the local temple - B had gone with Kutti boy to drop her off. Baby girl was napping in the cradle in front of me. It was a quiet moment. But not a peaceful one. Dusk, as it is brings a feeling of melancholy. I sat there thinking about my father. How he lay there cold and lifeless in the coffin. My father who could not stand feeling cold and would always dress in warm clothes even at home. Him, in an ice box. Frigid. I am unable to come to terms with it.
All the times I have spent with him now seemed like a dream. He lives in my memories, yes. But all the more that makes me long for his physical presence, his response to my thoughts and to my life now. My little girl is here and he has not seen her. Breaks my heart. He looked forward so much to spending time with my son whom he adored. How could he just leave without any goodbye. I cannot get over the fact that I had the chance to spend time with him in Dec'06 during X-mas break (he passed away mid Jan most unexpectedly) - I almost booked the ticket to go visit him at my brother's place but I did not because I had just made two trips to India back to back and I did not want to put my son through yet another change of place/schedule since he had lost a lot of weight from the long trips already. Plus I was pregnant and would have had to travel alone with kutti boy. My mother out of her concern for my son told me "We are any coming there in March (07) - don't come now". Little did I know that was my last chance to see my father. Who has done so much for me. I never got to tell him how much he meant to me. In fact I didn't realize it myself until after he died. I now fear death a lot. Not mine. But those around me. I feel like every normal day with no "incident" is good news. I feel grateful for every normal day. But I am stricken with anxiety every now and then that something may go wrong. Something might be taken away from me. Just like my dad was. Leaving my poor mother alone after so many years of marriage. Both my mother and I talk about him every single day. In some context or the other. When I put away the spoons and forks - how my dad would eat so neatly. How he had style. When my son insists on closing the doors and blinds once it is dark - just like my dad would go around checking on the doors before he went to bed. I think about the times when I was a child just a couple of years older than my son - my father would drop me at school. He would be running late because of some phone call just when we were about to leave. He would feel responsible and would request the old lady who stood guard at the school gates to let me in quickly so I could join in the morning prayer at school. And here I am now with a son at that age - all those years in between - I was his child, in his care. Even the last conversation I had with him on the phone (at the hospital) two days before he died, he asked me about my son and about my health (since I was pregnant). I am unable to come to terms with the finality of his death. If only I had gone to visit him during that X-mas break I may not have felt this terrible void - this desperate urge to see him alive and keep that fresh in my memory. At a theoretical level I am able to understand his death. Every one has to go at some point. They live in our memories. Natural cycle of life. Change is the only constant. Yes, yes. I tell myself all that. I suppose enough time has not passed for this feeling to become numb. It is better than the pain I felt seeing his body in that coffin. But not numb enough yet. I suppose in some strange way life prepared me for this just by the sheer timing of it - when I have two kids to take care of - where there are no excuses to take time off to ponder on this - their demands come first and come all the time. And in my son's musical, carefree laughter and daughter's serene face I do find happiness. And in what now seems like Maya - was my dad ever with me feeling - I want to believe that some how he is still with us and is able to see and enjoy my children like he would have immensely had he been with us now physically.

27 comments:

SS said...

He is with you.

~nm said...

I can completely understand your void. I feel it too for my Ma. And I try to imagine her now seeing her grandchildren, how she would have played with them and how happy she would have been.

Some may find it wierd, but probably you will not- I still imagine that there will be a day when she will actually come back alive and be with us all over again! Just the way it was earlier with the only difference that now all her 4 daugthers have a child each!

Hugs to you girl!

Swati said...

God bless him ..Hugs to you.

I know that pain of not being there.I have felt that twice , when my grand ma passed away few years back and then last year when my papa went for an open heart..I was full term preganant and could not see him.

noon said...

SS - thanks...

Nm - Thanks for your support. What happened to your mom? Am sorry to heat about it. Losing a mother is probably even worse esp for a daughter. Yes, I know what you mean about imagining that one day they will be back with us...

Swati - thanks for your comment. Gosh since my father was never really sick to the point of going to the hospital - I never imagined he would die - just wasn't prepared for it...in that sense now that I have gone through that I can imagine how hard it must have been for you to not be near your dad when he was going through major surgery. Hope he is well now.

Poppins said...

Oh my dear. Hugs to you ! I feel so so sad reading that, but you know what? he's up somewhere above watching you and kutti girl. God bless, Noon.

Just Like That said...

Noon, I so hear you. there are lots of days when Sonny boy does something particularly cute and my heart simply yearns for one pair of old eyes to see him

And I am so afraid of my Mom going too, one day...for in all mothers' ways, she means so much more...

Moppet's Mom said...

I know, it's hard. But be strong, in time you learn to live with it. Hugs.

DotMom said...

He lives on, noon. In your memories and in all the little stories you will tell you children.

ranjani.sathish said...

Hi noon
This was a very touching post. I enjoy reading your blog though I do not comment regularly ! Your simple and straight-from-the-heart posts strike a chord.

noon said...

Poppins - Thanks for your support. There are certain moments when I feel this way (the post) and some other times when I am able to accept his absence - with gratitude for all the time he was there with us and even more grateful that he passed away without suffering much.

JLT - thanks - tell me about it - cannot even fathom how it will be to handle any more loss...


MM - yes, I agree - time is a great healer.

Dotmom - thanks. yes, he will. He was such a great story teller - in all ways - stories and real life incidents told like stories - I hope I am able to tell my children all about him...

Ranjani - Thanks so much.
BTW - am sorry - I have to add you to my links so I can visit your site more often. Esp now I get so little time that if it is not in my links I don't visit that site. Just have not remembered to add your name to my links. Will do so now.

dame's diary said...

Life is unfair at the best of times.
May He watch over you/siblings and your mom.

Tharini said...

Noon....everytime you write about your father, I feel so indescribably sad. I can really understand your feeling of maya....of feeling like it was all a dream...life is indeed very very unreal....and time seems to erode so many things....

I feel so hurt reading about that one last chance you had to go see him...that missed opportunity. How natural it is to be anxious and grateful for everyday that passes without incident.

I just feel....like being silent with you. You know.

A hug.

noon said...

DD - thanks. I can't help feel like life is unfair sometimes. Not even so much when I think of my dad - but when I see some others around going through so much worse. I do take consolation from the fact that he did not suffer - just two days in the hospital and he was gone. He would have hated to be dependent on anyone.

Tharini - Thanks. I know what you mean - being silent with you. SOMetimes there are no words for such moments. I have a hard time coming to terms with that missed opportunity to be with him. In time I guess that too will fade...

Mystic Margarita said...

I know how you feel. I often think how happy my dad would have been to see his grandson...and I feel sad that my baby will never know what a wonderful person his grandfather was. But that's life - I'm sure your father is with you in spirit and is showering his blessings on your family.

GettingThereNow said...

I am so sorry you are going through this pain, Noon. The pain of not being there when our parents need us the most is unbearable. I was here when my dad had a sroke in India and my mom was running around alone. Thankfully he survived and fully recovered, but the memory still haunts me. I can imagine your pain very well.

Hugs to you.

Anamika said...

Try not to think of the what-ifs. After all, you would have mourned his passing just as much even if you had visited him in December. Some things are just meant to be. He will always be the grand old man dominating the stories you will tell your children about their grandfather. I know this is small consolation, but I just wanted to say this to you.

Something to Say said...

Big Hugs to you noon! Your father is very much there with you - he's watching you from above.

rbdans said...

If only we could predict all that life has in store! Don't be so harsh to yourself.
He is with you, watching you :) So, be nice to kutti and kutti girl.

karmickids said...

Oh noon, want to send you a huge hug. This is one void that really never ever gets filled, but one that we fill up with the going on with our lives... for me I have chosen to believe that my father has come back to me in the form of my son...and that keeps me happy..

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Its very hard ... try to be strong !

noon said...

MM - Thanks...
When did your father pass away? I think anyone who has lost a parent knows how it feels...

GTN - You are an amazing person - I posted a comment on your post about your goals/where you are now...
You are so persevering despite all the obstacles that were thrown your way.
Glad to know your father is well now...

Anamika - Thanks so much for visiting and commenting.
yes, I agree - no matter how we plan, some things are just meant to be.

STS, Rbdnas - thanks so much. Well he is definitely with me in spirit...

Kiran - Thanks...every one says that about my second daughter - that my MIL (who passed away just two days after I found out I was pregnant) is now here as my daughter. Well I will be glad if she had the kind of courage my MIL had...

CA - Thanks...I am ok most of the time. But sometimes when I let my mind wander, I feel very bad...

Mystic Margarita said...

My dad passed away when I was around 10 years old. It's been a long time but I still miss him.

30in2005 said...

Although its not quite teh same I do want to share something. I lost my flatmate and dear dear friend in an aircrash 10 years ago this month. And not a single day goes by when I don't in some way think about her. After every emotion of her passing went past me, in time I have come to think of her as my gaurdian angel. Your dad is surely yours. And those memories you have are real and forever untinged by events - how your kids do things, traits they have and you have are all inherited, pieces of your father...

noon said...

MM - Sorry to hear about your dad...10 yrs - god...feel bad for you and even more so for your mother.

30in05 - Thanks...
Sweet of you to think of your flat mate and remember her fondly. Sad when people die of such unnatural causes...

mommyof2 said...

He is with you..

Lots of hugs to you.

Collection Of Stars said...

I too feel this way every now and then (having lost my brother recently and my father when I was a kid). My brother passed away 5 months before my daughter was born and it feels really bad that he never even got a chance to see her. It's really hard for my mother. I keep asking 'why us?'...more so 'why my mother? - how much suffering can one person bear in her life?'

noon said...

Mof2, Thanks for your kind comment...

CofS - God, am so sorry to hear that. How did it happen? Really feel sorry for your mother. To have to live through two such tragedies. To loose a child is the worst kind of pain no matter how old the child is. How many of you siblings in your family?
Feel very bad that you lsot your brother few months before your child was born - must have been so difficult...hard to celebrate the moment fully when you carry such a loss in your heart...