Dealing with a loved one's death

A fews days back, we lost a wonderful person. From the moment IHM went offline two weeks ago, I was fearful that something awful had happened. And today we received the sad news that her daughter Tejaswee had passed away.

The reality of death always takes my breath away. And the death of someone who clearly loved life so much affected me quite a bit. Reminds me of the Mahabharat when Yudhisthira was asked by the yaksha what was the most wondrous thing in the world. Yudhisthira replied that the most amazing thing was that thousands of people die every day and each thinks it will never happen to us. Unexpected death is something that so few of us are equipped to deal with…

Never coming back

Never coming back

I’ve never had children, but just how does a person cope with the death of their child? I can imagine my parents dying. It’s fair. They’ve had their shot at life and though I’ll be sad, I won’t feel that something wrong has happened. But how do you deal with the death of someone who’s just starting out in life? Someone whom you’ve raised to the point when they’re about to spread their wings and take off. It’s as if you place the arrow in your bow, draw the string to your ear, hold your breath, take careful aim and when you’ve got it just right, you’re about to let go with the anticipation of seeing it fly away on its own…and the thread snaps.

But this is just my imagination. Since I’ve never had such an experience, I can only make assumptions about how I would feel. The closest experience I’ve had is when my dog Candy died at the tender age of three. She was full of life and happiness and a sudden kidney failure took her away from us. Magnify that ten or twenty times and it must be close to how a parent would feel on the death of their child…

I find myself thinking how I would react if my wife dies before me. I feel the mornings would be the worst. When you sleep, you can forget for a while, but when you wake up it’s as if you’re suddenly confronted with reality for the first time. To reach out and realize there’s no one there to touch. It’s the little things that would keep reminding me. Her clothes, her stupid perfume bottles, the chairs we sat on while we watched movies and serials, the phone where I receive her calls, the t-shirts she bought for me, her chappals and shoes outside the door. It’s too painful to think about constantly. And it can happen any time. She may not come back from work today.

I’ll have to tell myself that the forces that caused her death were the same ones that made her live. I was just lucky to have her around this long. It was either that, or nothing. And in the end, I’d rather have loved and lost than never to have loved at all…

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Comments

  1. I really don't know what to say. I'm still numb. This was so unexpected. God is unfair sometimes, isn't He?

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  2. My condolences. Death is inevitable. I do not see it as an end. It is the beginning.

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  3. :( … No words…

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  4. It is too huge a loss …. I can only pray

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  5. the forces that caused her death were the same ones that made her live. I was just lucky to have her around this long. It was either that, or nothing. And in the end, I’d rather have loved and lost than never to have loved at all…

    says it all

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  6. When death calls unexpectedly, it numbs the near ones. What ever said and done that death is inevitable, when it strikes the least we expect and that too on the person who has a long years to go – it shatters us. I have not known Tejeswee , knew IHM as a blogger but then this news did hit me hard.

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  7. Tejaswee's news has hit the entire blog world so hard, and sort of shaken us into the horrible reality of death! It must have taken you a lot of courage to write what you did, about imagining losing your spouse… God bless!!

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  8. This was a very poignant post! It impressed me a lot, perhaps because prior to this, I had only read those posts that I could term as purely 'analytical'.

    I too have contemplated what it would be like for a dear one to die. India's cultural conditioning would make me feel very guilty about it, and perhaps also the fact that I am not close enough to discuss such things with my family members (I am unmarried).

    I had once had around a 20 second-imagery of what it would be like if my ex-girlfriend died, followed by what it would be like for me to die. Simultaneously, I had also visualized that after I die, I had returned as some kind of ghost, and she marries someone else and is leading a normal happy life with kids. I was very happy to see her happy. But it crushed me to know that she could not make out my presence. I wanted to touch her, but could not. I could not tell her how much I had loved her. What had troubled me the most that for her I did not exist. I had penned down this whole imagery, trying to reproduce it as faithfully as possible. It had taken me one whole hour. I had ended up writing something on the lines of: "though, I do not believe in an afterlife, I had to invent one to be able to see you, to know you still existed, and that the purpose of my existence was to love you…"

    The above thing was one of the most sincere things I had written ('sincerity' as I know it). It had made me feel guilty for visualizing her death. But though I had instinctively known what forces us to pre-suppose an afterlife, above was the instance when I had felt it most acutely.

    I wish I could write something more coherent, but guess, will have to satisfied with this random rant. :)

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