Life is a mystery, no one knows what is in store until the time comes. My foundation of values, culture, religion, and beliefs has been shaken. No one brings anything when they come to this world and do not take anything when they leave. The only thing that matters when someone leaves is their goodwill they earned when they were alive and nothing else. All that house, business, luxury cars, family, friends, money, jewelry, cash, and all materialistic things are false, nothing goes with you when it’s your time to go. Everyone has got that one life, now it is on us how we want to live it, some people indulge in bad practices and some live with integrity and principles, but we all got just one life. No one knows what happens in the after life but what we have is right here. I had heard that the judgment happens right here in this life and we all pay for our deeds in this very life coz the after life is not granted and we don’t know what happens there. If you have done good for people, you will live around good people and live happily, on the other hand if you have hurt people and are involved in bad things, you shall pay the price right here when you are still alive. But for me, everything feels nonsense at the moment. I am confused, asking questions, and looking for answers.
My family has been my role model, who set high values in us right from the time we were born, my grandparents, my parents and current generation example, my dear Mama who lived his life with decent family values, integrity, followed rituals and religion very seriously. From the very beginning, I understood that we should be kind and compassionate towards others, respect elders and never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. We should serve our parents and do what we can for our family so that we are blessed by them and then that good conduct will follow us through our whole life and we shall receive positive rewards from that. After my children were born, I also taught them about depositing positive and negative points in God’s account for which we will receive fruits of rewards or punishment.
This all, faded away as my mama passed away just last week, fighting a rare cancer. It was demon living inside his body that was mutating very fast. He got diagnosed with stage 4 last December and lost his battle on July 9 here in Canada. He had suffered too much, sometimes it looks like he got relieved but what KARMA gave him this kind of disease which he had to suffer. He was left with bones and water in his body, even though his family and doctors went through the storms to save him, but no one could stop him going, he had to go. They say, God has decided the time for birth and death, and no one has any rights to change that. But was it God that took him or it was Devil which made him suffer a lot so the world sees a religious and kind man dying this way and question God for why it happened and faith reduces? I have tons of questions I am looking answers for, it just cannot go out of my head.
He was a person who never left praying twice a day, even through his days in the hospital and in battles with demon, he had his faith in the almighty. He had big dreams, a dream of becoming a Canadian Citizen which was just fulfilled in 2018 when the family took oath to become citizens. He could only relish Canadian culture for 7 years. Whenever he visited India, he always made sure to visit all the temples he visited as a child and would pray with the whole heart. He renovated the house for the parents and built a new one for them as their winter home. He did so much for all his sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. He was a man of integrity, passion, a great singer, and musician, he was a great man. Why did he have to go this early? Why did he have to suffer what he suffered through the last 6 months of his life?
He left behind over aged parents, a loving wife, little kids, and grieving sisters. He always wished good for others and never hurt anyone’s feeling. He always thought before he spoke. I shared a great bond with him, he was only 10 years than me though he was my mother’s brother. He was like an older brother to me. We had a load of memories together and they are all going through my mind like a slideshow. Its not easy to forego such events in life. No one ever though he had this small life, never in our weirdest dreams.
I came to know about him in March and we all prayed that there was a miracle that could save him, we had faith in God. The priests were contacted, prayers and rituals were performed to give him positive results. Doctors were already working on his case, but they tried the other way to give him more life with good health. Everyone who knew was waiting to hear the successful chemo results and so one but none of it actually worked, he was suffering, and he had to go.
I was continuously in touch with them to check his health, then one day doctors raised their hands and mentioned they cannot have anymore treatments on him as his body is too weak and the demon inside him is growing drastically. We all got shattered so did he, he fought bravely through for all those months in hopes that he would live and now once the doctors told him there was no HOPE at all, he was broken too. I was told, if I wanted to see him, I should go visit now as he had only a few months given by the doctors.
So, we decided overnight on Canada day weekend and drove miles to see him in the other province. He was fragile, not able to breathe, his lungs had filled with fluid. He had to go on oxygen, he would sleep all day and would hardly eat anything. While going there, I had a feeling that he wouldn’t have long time, but I was excited to meet my family. My mother’s sister also lives there so we decided to go directly to her house as due to Covid, visiting him directly didn’t feel like a great option. After 2 days, he gathered some courage to come and see us. He was huffing, loss of breath and had to use the oxygen for the 15 minutes he sat with us. It was a good interaction; my heart was filled, and I was satisfied that I saw him. We had a connect, I looked at the stressed lines in his forehead and told him to relax and stay sane, forget all the worries. I knew he was in such situation where he was worried about everyone, his parents, his wife and kids, his sisters and brother but he had to stay sane, as he didn’t have much time in hand. I knew it and he did too. He left and promised we will meet again soon, the next day he was in the hospital.
His body was declining food and water, his breath was hard to be absorbed and his body was cold, feet were swelling, and face was weak. He stayed in the hospital for 2 nights in pain, the third day my aunt reached out to us to have a video call with all of us present in the house. It was a very short call as he could hardly speak, aunt was translating it for us. I read somewhere that if a person is in such stage, you should say THANK YOU to them, thanking them for everything they have done for you. So created a small video for all the good things he had done for my grandparents, his sisters and for all us. My aunt mentioned, she played it twice for him to hear, not sure how much he heard as he was drowsy.
The same evening, she asked us to read the prayers as he was suddenly more ill. I knew time was coming for him and cried with tears and asked God to ease his pain and relieve him. I was praying to the almighty to come and release him, to come and take him with him as he had suffered too much. A bit later, I felt guilty that I was being negative and should have asked for his recovery, but I just had the feeling. I couldn’t help it. We all wept at home and we knew that night wasn’t easy for anyone of us. We lied down and got some sleep when my other aunt woke me up by saying, we have to rush to the hospital, Mama is sick. All of us adults us left within minutes with his children, they were all sleeping. I kept thinking on the way, I will tell him God’s here to take him, release your worries and go for another journey, you did a lot. Don’t carry any worries with you, on the other side my mausi (his sister) was crying badly, it was getting hard to console her.
We reached the hospital, found the room and as we entered my aunt (his wife) told us, “I’m sorry to break it to you this way but he is gone”. He had already passed away by the time she called but wanted us to visit him physically. She was completely heartbroken but was holding it. Mausi was crying loudly and couldn’t control at all as it was her brother who just left for heavenly abode. It was a very difficult time, the first time I had seen a dead person in front of me. The same person, I had called Mama over the years. I was scared to touch him, mausi was holding his hand, slowly rubbing it, and asking him to get up. Kids were shocked and didn’t know how to react, they are just 12 and 10. We were told to leave after a few minutes as they had to transfer the body to the morgue. Suddenly, he was not a person anymore, it was body that we had to leave behind. I pulled my mausi’s (his sister) hand to drag her out as she continued crying vigorously while my mami (his wife) was signing the papers.
We left the hospital and reached home to grieve, made some calls back home to inform my mother. My grandparents live far from them, so we had to figure out how to inform them, we reached out to my mother’s cousins to take the lead to pass the message. Hours later my parents also reached my grandparents place to support them. They are in complete shock, we had not told them the truth about his sickness, how could we? They were elderly and my grandmother is a heart patient. It would have been difficult for mama if something had happened to them and he could not even travel to see them. We didn’t want to increase his sufferings; we knew they will break down, but we needed to keep it from them. Its so hard for elderly parents to see their young son dying, they couldn’t see each other before it happened. Mama wanted to meet, he used to think about them all the time, but doctors had told him it wouldn’t be possible for him to travel as his body was deteriorating.
It was the first time; I attended any funeral. My mom kept us indoors whenever it happened in our neighborhood. It was hard to see body lying in the coffin, they had waxed it and his eyes were glued shut. He looked dark, it felt like it was some person and not the same. My Mama was a fashion nova, always fond of dressing up well, loved good shoes and shades. At the deathbed, there was nothing going together with him, the houses he built, the clothes and accessories but he took a baggage full of good deeds with him, hope God will reward him for that. We all tried to give speeches, I also tried to go in my memory days when he lived with us. He did his graduation with us in Dehradun, all my neighbors and friends knew him. He was a heartthrob with stylish personality and hairstyle, my friends could never believe we were related. I broke down while speaking and returned to my seat. The kids were all in awe, they didn’t know what was happening around them. His little 10 year, his replica performed his last rites mentioned by the priest and all the boys joined to bid him goodbyes. He always loved kids and he had 6 boys performing it for him. It was hard for the entire family, but it was for real truth, we had lost a great human being.
During those few days, I had a chance to bond my little cousin who is 12, younger than my own son. Mama got married late and had kids later in life, so my son is older than his children, just like old times. She likes to write too, I encouraged her to start her own blog so that she could keep her mind of things. She is trying but I know its hard for her too. There were 4 families staying together in one house and kids were almost the similar age, so they were engaged.
I’m glad, I got a chance to partially bid goodbyes to him. You know, he even left a letter for me before he left. He said, he was proud of me. I will always cherish that letter. It is pity I lost one of my best friends and my uncle within one year due to this disease CANCER. My 7-year-old tried to console me and said, “There could be 2 theories that the devil took him, or the God solved his problems and eased his pain coz devil was bothering him”. I hugged him tight and told him to heal the world the same way as he grows.
“There is a world above the clouds where you disappeared, your fight has now ended”. May we meet again! Rest in Peace Mama!