Holding on…

28 February 2013.

A email landed in my inbox today. ‘He is no more…’ For a second, the heart fluttered and the mind went numb. Images rushed past, names crept up…so many lives intertwined via that single person, who was no more in our midst. When the soul is satisfied with the life lived, there really is no better way to exit this mundane world…the end seems almost welcome, but for the ones left behind it is just the beginning…

It has been 6 years since the first time Death came knocking on my house’s door. The Grim Reaper walked in and took my grandfather away then. As simply as that, in the bat of an eyelid, in the midst of a breath. As his pain finally ebbed away, my journey with it just about began. For 15 entire years of my life, I was protected from it. That evening-still crystal clear in my mind- I was left with no choice but to face the reality. Square my shoulders and act his true grand daughter. Strong and ready to take on the world. Not wallow in the vale of tears but stand as a pillar of strength to everyone. It is ironic how you truly understand the person when he ceases to be. In the days that followed, his presence was greatly missed. The chair he sat on, the briefcase he couldn’t do without, the walking stick he hated to use…and the room where he reigned supreme. With time, the pain reduces in intensity. But in every occasion thereon, an absence is felt. There has been no admiring glance from him, no frowning face upon constant phone calls for 6 whole years. The chair opposite me on the dining table is no longer taken by its rightful owner, no taunts about us sitting opposite each other and yet finishing dinner at the two ends of a continuum. 6 whole years without all of that and so much more. And I have still not gotten used to not having him around.

In my mind, I am still holding on to him. A photo frame hangs  above his bed but his real memory stays alive in the hearts that loved him and still do. For all our lives have been richer; of being associated with him; of having been his family.

But I am still holding on…

Because I want to lay the table for five just once again. Four just feels incomplete, even after so many years…holding-hands


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