Today is the 11th day since dad passed away. As per the customs, we immersed his ashes in the river and prayed for his soul to rest in peace. The rituals helped me in letting go.

Over the last few days, I know my posts have been full of sadness. I did not mean to burden you with my pain. But I had to write. Maybe I shouldn’t have shared it but I did. It was because I felt I owed it to you- to let you know what I was going through.

I have wept, questioned, been angry and finally accepted God’s decision with grace for these are things that cannot be changed and life and death are in His hands. At times I have felt confused about how it all happened and at times I have felt guilty for the things I think I could have done but did not. Despite family and friends saying we had done everything we could, I needed to feel it within me.

During the period of mourning, as we do not watch television or listen to music, step out of the house or do anything that distracts the mind, it allows one to introspect and dwell on the past and heal. As part of my own journey to healing, I read every email my father wrote to me since mom passed away, every whats app message and I saw every photograph. It helped me come to the conclusion that he led a good life, living as he wanted. There were many a times we disagreed but the beauty of our relation was that he either saw my point of view or I saw his.

Knowing that there are many who live longer makes me greedy for more. But I know in my heart that it’s the quality of time spent and not the quantity that matters. We’ve been fortunate to have dad around as long as we did. Today, as I look back, I can say my sister, I, our husbands and my daughters have been bound by him – we have loads of memories that we can feed on for the rest of our lives – enough to laugh and be agitated over. Except for the children, he kept the rest of us on our toes.

The day before yesterday, I read an old diary of mine- written six months after my mom passed away. I had written the words, ‘The fact that I am alive without her goes to show life goes on and however sad it is, that is the only truth.’ Today, I realize again how true those words are. I need to remind myself this when I find myself sinking.

A wise, kind, acquaintance, friend, mentor – a father figure (who I know only virtually) sent me a message with Robert Frost’s quote- “In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life: it goes on.” I received his message soon after I had read my diary. It seemed like divine providence.

While the pain of losing a parent never really goes away, I am grateful for all that was. I am thankful for the love of family and friends who have been there for me during this time. Thank you all for reading my posts and sending me your prayers. It meant a lot to me.

I hope Christmas this year blesses all of us with its happy cheer. My fondest growing memories of celebrations, revolve around Christmas.

Loads of love and good wishes

From our home to yours

P.S. Stay safe. Take care. The crap virus still looms large over our heads. Let’s beat it together by celebrating wisely.

A photograph of dad with his sons-in-law during the Christmas of 2015

Copyright@smithavishwanathsblog.com. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by:Smitha V

A banker by profession, a blogger by choice, a poet by accident, and an artist at heart. Imperfectly perfect - that's me. Welcome to my world!

12 replies on “Thank you for listening

  1. It is the beauty of this space that it is available for all that our hearts want to pour. I am glad and grateful for all that you choose to share. Reminds us all of our humanness. I am reminded of the power of time taken, the rituals and the words of support. Wish you as much ease and peace my friend.

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    1. You’re right Andrea.You truly understand. Yesterday after the rituals at night I felt at ease. Maybe it was the exhaustion of the rituals. Because this morning, I woke up forcing myself to feel better. I just don’t want to sound sad all the time to people who care. Reading your message this morning made me feel better…its going to take time.

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  2. I am grieved at your irreparable loss Smitha, my heartfelt condolences.
    Yes, dear friend, “life goes on…” but certain vacuums can never be filled. Who could know it better than me! I lost my dad when I was 12 and the pain is still raw and the wound festers each time somebody talks about the loss of a loved one.

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    1. Balroop ji❤🙏 I’m trying hard to go back to normal. I hoped completing the asthi visarjan ( which I had to do) would help. It did until I had slept and woken up. I have to get it out of my system but I know it’s going to take a lot of time. Thank you for caring and understanding inspite of losing your dad so early on in life. Thank you for the condolences. ❤

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  3. I am glad that you have ritual that helped you…I found it comforting as well. Except that my culture does not allow that time of introspection, we bury our loved ones too soon. I remember at my father’s grave, the soldiers were folding the flag to hand to my mom….and it seemed like slow motion but my heart was ragged with pain because I know that after that handoff we would have to turn our backs and walk away….

    My father, although he had dementia, did tell me before his final downturn that he loved me, and that he had led a good life, a life longer than he thought he would ever live. That was a comforting thought.

    I did not read all your posts these past few days because my head and heart are in a bad place due to politics and pandemic here….but I will go back and read them soon, because they always strike a chord.

    Be blessed. With parents laid to rest, an interesting meditation is to ask yourself what traits and virtues of your parents do you manifest and pass on to your children…..Rest abundantly now that the ritual is done.

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    1. I understand Jo about you not reading my earlier posts. My sister’s in the US and she’s been telling me that there’s a complete lockdown there. I hope to God that the spread is controlled and life goes back to normal. Its been such a difficult year for all of us. I think we’ve all had enough. Please take care of yourself.
      I realized yesterday how helpful the ritual is to get it out of your system – the longing comes back now and again but the ritual helps in accepting…I remember at my mother’s time how much I wanted her to be buried but later realized that somehow cremating her was probably best for closure. Its nice to know that your father told you the love he felt for you. I think thats the only thing you should hold on to. That is what I have been trying to do over the last few days. Thank you as always for sharing your own experience with loss…it helped me through my own pain. I’m going to take your advice on the ‘traits and virtues.’ I shared it with my husband. It gives me a goal and allows me to be close to my parents as I practice it. Thank you Jo.❤ I hope you find peace in your paintings and I pray that we find a solution to this pandemic thats held us hostage. Hugs.

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