Dealing with death: by just a regret?


Dealing with death: by just a regret

I lost my wife sadhana on Jan 9,  2020, mother 12 may 2021 and father on 22 may 2021. Three deaths in quick succession can take a toll of resilience that we the mortals are supposed to have. Death whether at younger age,  sadhana was just 64, or at old age,  father was 94, and mother 87 does not make difference to the pain.

But it does make a difference to the way we store memories. Sometimes we leave a lot of old papers unsorted. Memories too, like a crease of a wrinkled bedsheet, remain unsorted, unpressed and stuck in different corners of the box. The irony is that certain things one can not forget, no matter how hard one tries. Just as recalling some others becomes difficult. Game memory plays are not too simple. Why do I remember among all the things, the strictness with which he dealt with me in early childhood? I have no explanation. May be because it shaped my fortitude, the jid. I remember all the care mother showed towards guests  I often took home unannounced. Her care in all other matters is fondly remembered but do I just remember that.

How do we gather the wits, and fold the papers in the diary to easily open those pages again. But do we always open those pages again?. Sadhana was losing the thread of life slowly, in front of her eyes due to the progressive decline of her neurological disorder caused by Ataxia. She sensed everything mentally even when physical sensations were giving way. Could I have made her last days better is question that I will never be able to answer to my own satisfaction.

The night before, that is 8th evening, I was in Chamba, where we had been walking as a part of shodhaytra in  snow clad mountains. There were some local folk singers sharing their music with us. I don’t know why, I asked them to sing songs of separation, virah: next day, separation actually took place. Sadhana had breathed her last.

I have grown a guava plant, her favourite on the deposit of some of he ashes and bones, asthis.

I was waiting for the rain so that I could transplant this tree to my new house. How much I wish, I had taken the new house when she was around. But the money I got after parents departed their old house they built was given for redevelopment and I got my share. How could I have got the present house before. May be I could have rented a better house closer to the place where she did not feel as lonely when I was buy with travels or classes or field work.

But a trail of “what could have been …..” will never take us any where. What could have been has happened. Rest is regret. Just a regret

I  remember sadhana almost every day during morning walk. She was my conscience keeper. 

May be she tolerated a great deal, may be to  let me be.

May be she liked her clockwork schedule of physiotherapy, editing duties for sujhbhuj, evening walk with support and then some more exercises and viewing television for a while. She often was first to wish the birthday for each staff, since she remembered everybody’s birthday.

Later she was bedridden, so also was my father. And to an extent, mother was though with a little support she could walk.

Infirmities of old age and decline at young age don’t make much difference to the pain of death. But death can also be a celebration, liberation from the pain. Freedom from memories and all obligations to recall selectively. Even in memories, can not we be more sincere to the lived truth? Can we not recall all that was true but not fair, fair but not true.

We paint memories with guilt, gratitude and sometimes indifference. But it doesn’t make a difference to memories, it only reflects on our own mirror, the one which has now got many cracks.

Dealing with #death: by just a regret


Visiting Faculty, IIM Ahmedabad & IIT Bombay and an independent thinker, activist for the cause of creative communities and individuals at grassroots, tech institutions and any other walk of life committed to make this world a more creative, compassionate and collaborative place