My Mom is out of this world…

My Mom passed away 2 weeks ago on the morning of 27thMay. She was only 67. She had physical problems like osteo-arthritic knees, a painful back, and earlier, she’d been through 3 surgeries to fix her abdominal hernia, but her death was sudden and abrupt even for my father. As for me, I’m left with

A photo my Mom liked of herself

regret over my detachment from her in the recent years that, at the time, I justified due to my disillusionment with my father. My father and I are both strong willed individuals with differing views on almost everything concerning my parents’ lives, health, diet, pursuits, world view and more. My father has had a restricted mobility after his stroke 25 years ago and a delayed detection of bone TB that affected his hipbone severely, and Mummy had remained his duty-bound companion through his years of physical degeneration and mental unrest. Now his 3 children–including me and mostly my younger brother with whom he’s now staying–must become his active and involved companions through this phase that’s begun with my Mom’s passing away. It’s my father I argued with the most about his unrelenting ways involving his children and wife, and it’s my father I’m left with whom I must help come out of his increasing depression at the loss of his constant companion of 48 years. Over the years, he’s found one or other reason to be anguished about but the current one is so final in its meaning and repercussions that it’s going to take everyone’s mental strength to help him adjust to it. For now, therefore, as his children, we must put our own grief aside and help him adapt to his loss…

Through the years, I saw my Mom as a chilled out person who took life as it came. I used to get hassled that she left my education, career, boyfriends, marriage and other critical

Me as a baby in my Mom's arms

decisions to me or destiny. That she remained very busy with her daily chores and didn’t stop long enough to worry about the future. Either her’s or her children’s. Instead, she prayed and fasted for her family’s welfare, her husband’s long life and her children’s good health. And, she cooked and cleaned for us relentlessly. I grew to somewhat accept her outlook of life as a transactional business and not worth brooding over. I couldn’t be like her but I tried to help her have fun by taking her out to handicraft dos, meals out and small shopping sprees. But not as much as I’d have liked to for she couldn’t leave my father unattended for long or so frequently. Despite her restrictions though, it used to be good fun to make her laugh as laughter came to her easily. Sharing jokes and inane instances with her used to be a satisfying exercise as she’d oblige by laughing wholeheartedly. I could see that she was proud of Kishore as an undemanding son-in-law and found her laughing at his jokes even more willingly!

Her belief in God was so complete that I grew to believe in God too and followed some of the religious rituals I watched her perform through my upbringing. They were enjoyable also because they almost felt like playing with dolls. And, I learnt to chant some prayers like her but not all that she knew. The last 2 decades of my life I went on to form my own equation with God and manners of connecting with him that I’d even get a little impatient with her insistence on surrounding herself with all forms of Godly calendar art and for listening to discourses by all sorts of self-proclaimed Godmen. She saw much goodness in their words and took them simply at their face value. I used to be surprised at her childlike take on spirituality and at finding mental peace.

Secretly though I’ve thanked her for instilling in me a strong belief in God being a supreme parent and caretaker, and one to be turned to in war or peace. That belief has given me much strength over the years and made me feel special and loved. I can only hope that it’d continue to give me the strength I need till my dying day as she herself isn’t with me to tell me how proud she is to see me looking young or to laugh at my oft-repeated jokes or go with me to Diwali-melas…

 

6 thoughts on “My Mom is out of this world…

    1. Yes, Meena. She had too many people to be concerned about to worry about herself. Hope she’s now without pain and in a comfortable world.

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  1. Mummy will be missed for many reasons, the biggest being her relentless loving and caring. Her voice still rings in my head every now and then and I can’t get over the loss. Time may heal the hurting but she will never be forgotten.

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    1. Yes, Kish. She won’t be forgotten. Will miss all that she cooked for us that I didn’t entirely appreciate at the time 😦 Can only hope that now she’s in a better world.

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  2. Dear Jyoti,

    I know that this must be an extremely difficult time, and all that others can offer must seem like rather meaningless platitudes. Your write-up is so heartfelt that it makes one weep.

    Nevertheless, for whatever meaning a platitude might carry, one viewpoint that I have always liked is that from funerals of American-Indians: They feel that as long as there is someone alive that remembers the deceased, they are not really dead.

    In particular, you should not look back with regret, as in that one always wishes that one could have done more in the past. A death of a parent is often a time for emotional fragility, but you also have carved out a life of your own, with a wonderful husband and son. The miracle of life is that it goes on, and people manage to reinvent joy in the brute face of death. Look back to the happy memories, and not to the seeming finality of the last part: “When one door closes, another one opens.”

    Love,
    Gora

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    1. Yes, Gora, regretting won’t help her soul or me living my life. Thankfully, when I envision her, her laughter and smiles come more easily than her frustration with me or others. Through her exit, she’s attempted a convergence among the family members that I’ve to now see how to nurture and maintain. Yes, I do feel blessed to have a partner who’s kept enough room for me to grow, grieve or be happy…many thanks for reaching out…best.

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