“I mean, if a wife loses a husband she becomes a widow, but if a parent loses its child there is no special label for it. You are still a mother or father. Even if you still no longer have a child. Sometimes I wonder, if I’m still technically a sister now when my brothers are gone!”
–The light between oceans
“Di, why do we see shooting stars?” she texted me. Right then, I knew that she wasn’t asking for a scientific reason nor a clarification on the subject that shooting stars are not exactly stars. All she wanted was to hear something that will calm her restless mind.
It has been days since, she has started taking long night walks on the terrace of her paying guest accommodation. Various kinds of thoughts are cluttered up inside her head. A feeling of emptiness was lingering around her and to make it worse, a completely new job related location was making things difficult for her. The only place she found peaceful was the terrace. And that’s how it became a ritual every night.
Today she texted me while strolling around on the terrace. She saw a shooting star. “Shooting stars marks the arrival of something good or symbolises the end of something,” I texted her back. I added, “In your case, it is definitely the beginning of something new!”
“I have no idea where people go after they die. But I believe my brother has become a star in this vast dark sky. I come up to the terrace everynight to talk to a star that I believe is my brother. People will tag me as a crazy woman but by doing this I feel at peace,” she said.
I was speechless! It felt like for a while, my heart suddenly stopped beating. I was finding immense difficulty in typing the perfect words to make her feel better. Will my words heal her pain? Maybe not! But at least, she will know that her words resonate my heart and soul.
A year ago, I got to know this girl through a mutual friend of ours. We immediately clicked and became close friends. She is a charming, feminine, kind and very jolly person. In the first few months, I assumed her to be a happy-go-lucky type of girl. She was always smiling and she made me smile too. We have met each other a few times and the moments we shared together were fun and memorable. What I didn’t know was the tragedy behind her moonlit cheerful face.
My friend, who I now consider as my sister lost her elder brother a year ago. A serious ailment took his life and his demise shattered her family. Her father unable to bear the loss of his only son fell terribly sick. He now sits on a wheelchair. Her mother gathered all her mental strength to somehow hold down the pillars of their sweet abode. My friend left her job and came back home to be with her parents. For an entire year, without any concern of her future prospects, she took care of her parents. From looking after the house, to paying bills, to driving her father to and fro for check-ups, to maintaining family ties…everything was being taken care of by a girl who was just in her early 20’s- an age where adrenaline filled youth is an asset.
“I haven’t received any late night calls for over a year now,” she told me once. The reason- Her brother was the only person who used to call her up every night to describe his entire day. Their conversation would go on for hours. No matter how sleepy she got, he just won’t disconnect the call. In those days, she used to get annoyed for losing sleep but right now she misses those little moments like crazy.
“He was an amazing dancer! Had he been alive he would have danced like a madman at my wedding,” she tells me after a long pause. She herself is a wonderful dancer! Siblings with a similar interest, I smiled.
In the present day, she is back to focus on her career. Her parents are supportive. Her father is slowly showing signs of recovery and her supermom urged to see her daughter in a more positive and refreshing form. Although, reluctant in the beginning, my friend herself realised that instead of living a sad life forever she should thrive to create a better life. Her Dadumms/Dadori (an endearing name for her brother) would have definitely wanted his sister to be successful.
I applause her mental toughness. It is beyond comparison and no words are suitable enough to describe it. At times, she succumbs to agony worrying about her sick father and her late brother but that is, because she is a human made of flesh and blood. She is allowed to feel all these emotions no matter how strong she portrays herself as. However, she buckles up in no time. That’s what is highly commendable. “Whenever I break down in tears, all of a sudden I feel a certain presence of my brother. It is as if he is trying to prove his existence in my life. The result is, I immediately stop crying,” she said today.
Ohh my heart!
May Almighty give her family and her more than enough strength to deal with life in the years to come. Her brother’s place in their lives is irreplaceable and his death will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives. But what will keep them moving on are his beautiful priceless memories.
Life is unpredictable! All of us have had our own share of tragedies and endured the truth of losing our loved ones. What my friend’s life teaches us is that life; inspite of everything still goes on! If not for us but for the people who left us we need to be happy.
As she says, “Life is too short to stay sad, hold grudges and cry over spilt milk. Once you have decided to move forward, nothing in the world can stop you from doing the same.”Published in