It’s been 15 days since you passed onto the happier World; 14 days since we rested your body 6 feet under. Wow, time flies, sister.
How have you been though? I am sure you are being spoilt with happiness by our two brothers up there. Have you met Grandpa yet? I hope he has made you his famous sugarcane cubes and that he’s walking around in his orchard humming his favorite song. Does the sun ever set up there? Is it cold? Is it hot? If there are seasons up there then I can imagine you must’ve installed the biggest (and strongest) Air Conditioner. I remember how it felt walking into your cabin, like a place out of Antarctica. I hope you are well sister; no more pain, no more cries, only endless joy.
For most of us, you being gone hasn’t sunk in yet. Like, Nini still waits for you to come home from the office. Tommy is still so fussy, crying for you every day. Hajei Chon won’t tell me but I could tell from her eyes, she has been crying, even before you passed and till now. And me, I listen for your laughter in our office corridors, hoping you’d come peep on me and call me to come share a pizza. The bhaiyas in office (whom you scared the shit out of) are all missing you. I can tell it by the looks. I wish I could tell them you were in a better place but I’m sure they know. I am at loss of words when they ask me how we are holding up. I just fake a smile and tell them I am fine just like how I faked a smile and told them you were recovering from the hospital bed before you passed.
It’s funny (and scary) how our lives are so fleeting. One moment we were there discussing our work, the next minute you never returned from the ICU.
I remember the day you grabbed my hands and asked me in tears “What if I don’t pull through? What if all this effort goes in vain?“. I told you to stop the nonsense and repeated what the doctor told us, that ‘if we follow the doctors and nurses command, we will be out of the hospital in a jiffy’. I wish I had known how much pain you were in then, I wish I knew it was getting impossible for you to bear the pain. How selfish of us, we kept asking you to bear the pain only because we wanted you to stay. Sister, I wish I knew the pain you were in, I would have told you to stop holding on to us.
Do you recall how much you hated the potassium drip? You even refused it and asked the doctor if he was trying to kill you with it! We laughed about it then. We thought our dark days were over. We even joked about the book each of us would publish and you’d tell me you lost all your poems.
Did you know? We were going to bring you home the following week, and we were supposed to visit the hospital only for a weekly check-up. You told me there was so much pending work and that you needed to be back to the office. We had so many plans, of getting better and getting on with our normal lives again. Hajei Ton, all those days we spent fighting your pain in the hospital bed, it’s such a shame that ‘fate’ decided to take the trophy and not you.
The last time I walked out of your hospital room, I never said a proper goodbye. It was partly because I was annoyed at your fuss and also because I was falling sick. I barely looked at you when I said ‘bye‘ that day while on other days I did. Why is it that final goodbyes are never proper?! I replay the scene over and over in my head, each time ending with a hug and a kiss on your cheek to make you feel loved. Oh sister, if only.
You know, I have been holding back tears since I got the call from Nini about you being wheeled into the ICU. It was 7 in the morning. I hope you did not get annoyed at us that in your last moments we were locked outside the ICU but you should know Hajei Chon was just outside waiting for you. You passed when I was just 10 minutes away from you. I wanted to scream and cry but I didn’t. If I started crying, who would make calls? Who would console Nini? I pushed back the tears. Even when we put you on the ground and everyone cried aloud, I still held back my tears. I am sure you saw me trying so hard not to cry, I have a feeling you must’ve made fun of it too.
I think I have done enough of holding back. I think I can let the tears come tonight and let grief take over.
As I write this with a lump in my throat, I miss your smile, that dimpled cheek, and the giggles. Earlier today, I went to your place. I sat on your bed. In my mind, I said my final goodbye to the grief of losing you. The house is empty without you, your fuss and your ‘big-bang-theory‘. And well, Tommy has started cozying up to Yarthing too! Nini and Hajei Chon will grief for some more weeks, but I am hopeful that they will move on and be reminded of how you had to go because the pain was too much for you.
I know heaven is for real and that you are looking down on us and ridiculing us all for the gloom. I will stop mourning your loss and now rejoice in your liberation from pain. We all will.
Hajei Ton, you will never cease growing in our hearts. Rest well until we meet again.