Loss always comes with a lot of anguish, heart ache and immense pain, especially when that person is close to your heart.
Relationships and bonding do not always surge from blood; it may develop over a period of time with a person, with whom you share something special.
Today I am standing on the verge of losing one such person in my life, with whom I share a bitter-sweet relationship, by dint of marriage. It is a decade old relationship and he is my Father in Law.
The relationship is bitter-sweet because at times I have taken the liberty of scolding him of not taking his medicines at time, not exercising and sweet because his disposition towards me had always been very affectionate. Relationship with in laws is always very complex and we go through varied vista of emotional avalanche to reach a point of peaceful co existence, and we willingly adjust to difficult situations. The scenario was same for me, when I was a new bride it was difficult adjusting because I come from a nuclear family and being the only child I was not attuned to the joint family scene with brothers, sisters, sisters in law and other in laws. I felt quite out of place, fish out of water may be. But gradually I started enjoying this camaraderie which I witnessed between the members of my NEW family – I became a part of it.
My father will always be irreplaceable in my life, such is his influence on me, but my father in law became my friend. He took the first step to break the ice by welcoming me in our ancestral home when I was married for merely 11 days in his unique way of getting prawns for me, my favorite. Later my husband confided in me that my Father in law took the initiative of asking his son what I like to eat. That small gesture imprinted a life long loving memory of him in my heart which never ceased to love him after that. I went to him for advice when I faced troubles in handling the complicated intricacies of relationships and being a man of few words he gave me invaluable advice which he said was out of the essence of his own experience.
Today we are losing him to multi-organ failure and I am writing this article, sitting at Kolkata Airport heading for Mumbai where he is battling with death and I know this feud, this tussle between us, his family and destiny will vanquish us, deject us and once again the tenebrosity of death will loom large on a family, of which I am proudly a part of.
My Mother in law is one strong woman I have ever across in my life, till this moment not a single drop of tear has rolled down her eyes, neither has her voice quivered , nor has she given up. She is standing behind us, her children with her infinite resources of strength and courage but I as a woman and not as her daughter in law can connect to her heart’s despair when she knows her fate is going to be sealed in the most unsavory way in few hours or days maybe. They have shared a beautiful marital bond for more than four decades where their souls are enmeshed and entwined with each other, letting go of a part of yourself, a part of your soul is never easy. A mother is holding the fort with enormous intrepidness, but the wife is collapsing inside in front of the dauntlessness of a mother, of a matriarch. Her heart is breaking into thousand pieces of reminiscence of all those memories from that moment o first seeing him to this date where they have covered a long journey together, became parents, in laws, grandparents and finally becoming each other’s soul mates, in the truest sense, when they were alone again in this twilight of life when their children left home to pursue their careers, getting involved into their own families, a friendship fostered where I have seen them talking through eyes and reading each other’s minds with practiced agility. Distraught, distressed is not enough to explain in verbosity how she must be feeling.
And today I am rushing to stand by a very strong woman whose endurance and nerve have stupefied my nonplussed confidence.
Time to board the flight now and I for one is ready to fight this duel with death, it’s painful, its daunting, but this skirmish has to face few people of great audacity who will not leave an inch of their ground, till the final call comes.
I request my readers to pray for US- MY FAMILY.