Losing a dear one, specially a parent, at whatever stage of life, is painful. My father passed away when I was 47 and yet I have not been able to reconcile to the loss. The My job took me to several cities across India and as a result the parents could never stay for long duration with me as they preferred to live at the family home. We would meet once or twice in the year when I got some leave and visited them or they came over to my place once a while. These meetings were generally separated by a gap of five to six months when our contact used to be only through telephone. Passing of my father left a vacuum in life I am yet finding difficult to fill. My mother had left for her heavenly journey when I was 41.
I clearly remember, it was on 26 Apr 2012 at around 6 am in the morning that I got a call from sister that dad had not opened the bedroom door in the morning and the knocks were, not getting any response. My dad was used to getting up around 5 am in the morning and loved his morning walks and his not opening the door was certainly not a good sign and soon my worst fear came true when I got the second call, this time from my brother informing that they had forced open the door and dad was ‘No more’. He had apparently passed away in his sleep sometime in the night. Considering that he was nearing 84, still relatively fit and active, departing for his heavenly journey in this manner without any sufferings is considered the best. But still for me it was a great personal loss, which the mind and heart was not ready to accept.
What made me feel sadder was that for no apparent reason I had missed out on talking to my father for the past 10 days. I was always very attached to my dad and made it a point to speak to him at least two to three times a week, if not more.
After performing the last rites, I thought of just checking the call records of my dad just to see if he had made any call to anyone that night and to my utter shock he made three attempts to contact me between 10 and 11 pm at night but unfortunately on a number I was no longer using. Maybe he wanted to convey something about his health. I have ever since lived with this feeling of guilt of not being with my parents when they required me most.
Most of us move and live away from our parents for reasons of job/ education. We get so busy with our routine life, job and family that the time we spent with our parents goes on reducing. Even the calls become far in between, and the content remains a formality. My father preferred to live alone at the family home because of his friends around and his attachment to the place. Maybe he found himself closer to mom there. But then these are just excuses, I could have convinced or forced him to stay with me. I never tried hard enough. Now it’s all over and I can only live with a feeling of regret.
Having gone through all this I would make a sincere appeal to the young people to be more sensitive to the need of the parents/ elders in the family. If they can’t be with you permanently, take time out to be with them. Make it a point to speak with them at least once a day. We can never be so busy that we get no time to talk to our own people. No use regretting later, make amends now. You will not lose out on anything by spending time with elders.
“You don’t have to look for reasons to hug your parents/ elders……just hug them whenever you can…..get blessings for lifetime”