Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The farewell

It is last day of August 2016. I have been thinking about writing what happened. And I am not too sure if one should write something deeply personal on a public blog. But I am still going to write it anyway. I have not been able to call back to many friends who reached out to me and I am little lost in finding those connections, also little awkward to say things which are hard to express and writing has been an easier task for me.

Last night I slept on the bed my mother has been sleeping for last six months, in the room in which she struggled her last breath on the night of 10th August. It might sound like a melodramatic thing to do but honestly it was a conversation that I was not having with myself. There was a person on the bed for 6 months and now that person is no where, can't locate her. Where should I go to find her?

I have lost my mother and there are several memories that have sprang up in these last 20 days. A kind of melancholy that has dawned in the house since she left. When she was here, along with her there were two caretakers who would keep the house alive. I was told in her last days that once she is gone, I will hit the vacuum. I think I might have but in a very different form.

Alzhemeir's gives a very different memory of the person. In her vanishing identity, my memories of her healthy and hearty took a back seat. I was just living with her as dementia progressed and took control of her brain and then her body.

It was a frustration of a caregiver that I think every caregiver goes through, the unfairness of life, the dreams that get crushed in the journey, the sense of entitlement that I developed to be taken care by other people, to tell others that my problems are bigger than theirs and what are they crying about? the loss of empathy along with the heavy guilt of not giving her enough care, of choosing my life over her life, of losing the focus again and again, the feeling of being tied down to a person, to a house, to a place. The person is gone, the guilt, the emptiness, the impatience, the frustration, the downward spiraling battle remains.

It has been a long journey for three sisters. Since 2006, the day my father suffered a paralytic attack, both my parents slowly developed a need for extreme support, in all possible ways. All three of us at some point in time thought of giving up our jobs and ambitions to take care of them. There were sacrifices that we all made. Now when both of them are gone, what should we feel? Normal? In pain? relieved? What should be the dominant feeling?

It is not as easy as a vacuum or a depression. It is probably very human. It is also about valuing the life more, value the people you have more, value the time you get more. The recovery is a dangerous game. You can keep ignoring it, get yourself busy and get lost or you can choose to get closer to yourself. I am still not sure whether I will become truthful or an escapist.

My mom loved gardens. She was very creative with them. The passersby would stop and gaze at the garden of our house.  The crematorium where we bid her farewell had flowers all around the pyre.

In her last night, I spent hours around her when her lungs were drowning in the infection. I didn't talk to her but sat silently as the dawn came. I knew that night that she will wait for the dawn before she leaves. And at the dawn, she headed for the sun.

It was a very peaceful morning. Something which I can go back to find meaning of my life.