This nebulous February afternoon, I realise my post “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” was written with a divine purpose. Everything in life is synchronous. I do not believe in coincidences. That post probably spilled out of my being, so that it could be a reminder that was the only way to be; positive and strong.
If you my readers feel that my blog posts have been melancholic for the last month or so, then you can actually hop across to this gratitude post I wrote early this week.
I’m truly grateful that 2017 was one dazzling year for me. 2018 has been a bit of an uneven journey; more troughs, less crests. On Monday I started my week with a gratitude post. Later that evening I received a call from my brother informing me that Ma was critical. We booked the first tickets out to Lucknow and rushed to be with her. I’m so blessed to have my DH standing by my side like the rock of Gibraltar and also my two girls who have shown the true test of resilence and positivity in this difficult time.Everything in life is synchronous, I do not believe in coincidences. Click To Tweet
It’s been six days now, after Ma had a renal failure, from the cancer that she has been fighting strong for four and a half years. The doctors recommended life support and dialysis. Ma never wanted to be put on a ventilator and we as a family also chose to not go that path. We have spent the last few days tending to her, pouring all our love into her being. The first day when I arrived at the hospital, she looked happy to see me,”Tui aeshey geli?” (“You’ve come?”) I fed her with my hands everyday. She asked a few things in the throes of pain, “Bombay kobey jacheesh?” (“When are you off to Bombay?”) The DH and I stayed over the night. When the DH said good morning to her she asked him, “Alok Naha liya?” (“Have you bathed?”) That question again cropped up in her head when he came to back to be with her after a few hours. This time, Alok told her he had bathed and come. She seemed happy but after ten minutes, as if to check on him she opened her eyes and asked,“Kab nahaya” (“When did you bathe?) We were amused by her sharpness and alert mind even in that state.
She acknowledged friends and family who came to visit her with so much love and gratitude; reaching out with her weak hands to greet them, her eyes sometimes welling up. It was so heartwarming that her love for people had not failed, even as her body was failing her. She has been a “peoples person” truly personified. She thrived in company.
She had her last meal on Thursday night.She was refusing the khichdi and porridge. So I asked the hospital to give some Semolina Kheer, which she seemed to relish. Just a few spoons though. I get my sweet tooth from her. I’ve spent nights next to her, checking on her every other hour. When I woke up next to her, I played the Mahamrityunjay mantra, or Hanuman Chalisa. She seemed to really enjoy it. She has always been a musically inclined person. Even last evening I played the some soothing mantras. I have also chanted morning evening, sitting next to her.
She said “Goodnight, Shona” to me on Thursday night when I went home leaving her with a heavy heart, not knowing what the night would hold. We have all been on a stand by, taking turns to be with her through the day and night. The last six days have begun with so much unsurety. Our phones, our mind everything is on the stand by. When a new morning dawns, we look at it with an uncanny sense of pessimism, optimism and some realism. We are filled with hope to be able to be with her in flesh and blood, at the same time enveloped with a tinge of sadness that her pain only gets prolonged further.
My incredibly amazing brother, sister-in-law and nephew and not to forget the man I idolise, my father, the wings beneath my wind- the DH, my girls and me included have been all such a support system to each other. Amidst the passage of time, and the slipping moments with Ma, we have held on to each other, cried our hearts out, or even enjoyed a hearty meals to ease the stress, shared some old memories and laughter. While Ma was conscious we kept her humoured. My brother and Ma had a unique rapport. They are two very lively people whose relationship was based on banter and teasing. And for the first three days while Ma was conscious, Dada, my brother, kept that banter alive, and the rest of us played along.
We are truly blessed to have friends and family who in the last six days have travelled different cities to come visit Ma and shower her with abundant love. That apart friends and family have sent prayers, healing from off-shores and around, that have kept all of us going strong. My prayer group Connect Ticket has been my pillar of strength and my dear friends, Sri and Chitra, the Connect Ticket parents have helped me power through this, like they do each time. My Soka Gakkai Buddhism family has also sent abundant chants of Nam Myo Ho Rengey Kyo.We are all stardusts waiting to be set free. Click To Tweet
Yesterday afternoon Ma slipped into coma. The doctor says it’s a matter of time. We are all praying for her smooth, peaceful, timely passage; so that she is liberated and contented in the other world. After all we are all stardusts waiting to be set free. I never imagined it would come to a point; where we would have to pray for my mother to transit to the other world. But this is the best we can wish for her. For her pain to abate, for her to be free, for her to leave this insignificant space called earth, knowing she is loved beyond her imagination, beyond the realms of space and time; by not just us, but so many others.
My dear friend Chitra shared this beautiful quote yesterday:
Footnote: This morning, 4th February, 11;25 A.M. when I was chanting next to Ma, I got this strong sense of communication, possibly from her and the universe at large that she wants to fight this out. That she wants to live. Miracles do happen. The doctors may sound the final knell, but we never know what the design plan of the universe has in store. Keeping that in mind I surrender myself to the will of the divine beings. I pray for the best possible plans to be laid out in her path of life. Amen to that!
12 February, 2018: Ma crossed over to the other side of the rainbow last Monday, 5 February. She now rests in peace cradled in almighty’s loving arms. It has been a week of mourning and celebration. Mourning at the loss of a mother/wife/grandmother/friend/aunt and celebration for a life well lived, a life that only knew how to spread abundant cheer and love.