Grief

I have not known grief of this sort! I am not really a stranger to death per se. I went through losing my grandparents. My maternal grandma passed away early last year. She was someone who supported me unconditionally. She always said the only thing I must change in me is to not be so short fused! “Kopamu kudathu” she used to say in Telugu to me. She is an inspiration (was). Married in her teens to my grandpa not an easy man to live with but someone I adore ( to this day I will say he is the best man I have ever known). Though he was not good as a husband which just helped showcase the epitome of patience that ammamma was! I miss her every now and then. When I know how supportive she would be in situations, encouraging me always. To her I was awesome. It helps having someone like that in your corner.

Though this is not about losing her. It is losing my amma. She decided to leave the mortal world on 6 August. After being in the hospital for a week. I went to see her there only twice as I could not bear to see her with an oxygen mask, struggling to breathe, not opening her eyes. Her stats were improving. Everyone thought if that continued she will be back home. She had other plans! I was lost when the nurse called me to say she is gone. I was alone in the house. Rest of the family was on the way to see her in the visiting hours window. I called them told them. Next call was to A.

Went and all I kept telling her was please get up and scold me! My mother & I didn’t see each other eye to eye ever since I was a teenager. The number of flare ups!! That said I have spent my entire life trying to please her. I failed. I have been a huge disappointment to her. Now she is not around for me to try fix that. Friends of mine who have seen her when she was active remember her as an intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable, generous woman with a big laugh & a sense of humour while being relentlessly strict. I agree to the view and add that her favourite is her son. She is gone!! She taught me a lot.. hated so much of me I am quite sure as I am not the girl she wanted me to be. I am what I am because of her – the good & the bad.

My mind knows she is rid of her physical suffering. She had not walked on her own for nearly 18 years. The dependency on others would have been soul crushing yet she was helpless. She was a very strong woman. This grief is coming in waves. I don’t even know what triggers that catch in my throat and the inevitable tears. I wish she were here scolding me quoting Shakespeare! So I can retort by yelling & screaming at her or going on a hunger strike. She has always been the one I went and told everything to. I remember she used to say I was selfish cos when I got back from school I had to tell her everything not bothering about who was around. This carried on. Off late I hardly spoke to her but if I had something important in life good or bad… I told her. She would not relate cos she had not met the people in the story but I still told her everything. This time around she could not walk away as she was bedridden.

Among all at home, I have spent the maximum time with her. My father should have taken that position but he had been away in the Middle East most of my growing years. So I get that spot! I find myself talking to her. I ask how she had her mum till she was a month short of 100! But she leaves me when she was 75!! I need at least those 30 more years right?

I feel even more lonely now! Yes my father is here and going through the grief of losing his spouse. I will be there for him. Yet I feel like I have no one. A is far away and I don’t know when I can hold him in a tight hug, ruffle his hair while pulling his leg. Now amma is in a place I can’t even do a video call… she never was someone into physical show of affection. She always kept us at a distance yet I know I have lay on her lap weeping when I went through divorce. She didn’t approve of my marriage and definitely not my divorce. She was that kind of woman.

I have no idea what I have ranted here. All I know is this hurts. A lot!

I hope her next janma she is happy, pain free and has a daughter she can be proud of. I am sorry amma I never lived up to your expectations ever. I am a huge failure and I have no chance of redemption with you! I have yelled and spewed words filled with anger but all I wanted was your approval, your love and attention.

I know you missed A and kept calling out his name before you went to the hospital. Please bless him and keep him safe. He is all I have in my life! Yes I am selfish that I want this for him from you! I love you amma! I never said this to you and you don’t like such proclamations but I have to say it here & now!

This pain I am told will become dull and hurt on triggers. I hope that somewhere I had pleased you even a minuscule percentage and not been a total failure that I feel myself to be! I am sorry for all the hurt I caused you.

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