It has been a week since the demise of my maternal grandmother. This was the first funeral that I ever attended (fortunately I suppose), and it had a rather strong impact on me. I saw people come and leave, I saw my close relatives cry their hearts out and some friends of my grandmother’s tell stories of how affectionate and caring she was. All the while I was sitting beside the lifeless body of my grandmother, various thoughts surfaced my mind.
I was sad, guilty, angry, and there were some more feelings for which I just couldn’t find the right words. By nature, we are accustomed to speaking well about a person once they are gone forever. People slowly started sharing their personal opinions and views on how good and spiritual my grandmother was.
My grandmother stayed at my uncle’s place. She was punctual to call me and my other cousins at least once a week. She would not have anything, in particular, to ask, just the usual questions of all grandparents- How are you feeling? Were you in midst of anything? Are you busy? Did you have your lunch? Are you speaking to your parents properly? When are you coming to visit me? Are you not feeling well? Is it cold over there? Are you wearing sweaters and socks?
Her call would not have been a big deal to me, but it sure was to her. She would, like a little kid, cherish all these moments. At home, my uncle says, she would tie her phone to the end of her saree and move around in her walker so that she wouldn’t miss a call from any of us.
She would collect, in her Bible, all our photographs she could find. She would have in her bag even the silliest things that we might have bought for her ages ago. Once the funeral was over, my mother was going through her stuff when she found a letter.
My grandmother had written it as a prayer request to God stating all her wishes.
Firstly, she thanked God for His precious blessings. She was talking about how she wasn’t feeling well and was worried that her time was up. She had clearly mentioned the number of children and grandchildren she has. She asked God to take charge of each one of us and all our needs. In the end, she said that she wanted to see all of us in heaven someday.
All those who read the letter broke down in tears. Dear friends, you may not value or give credit to those who love and care for you now, be it your parents or grandparents, or anyone. But once they are gone, you would only wish that you had been with them a little longer.
Human existence is so frail. Even the next second is unpredictable. Love and be loved, have no regrets, cherish every moment you have and everybody you are blessed with. My grandmother is gone but I believe I’ll see her again someday just like she believes.