A mother replaces God on Earth. And rightly so. Without mothers, this world would turn into a living hell. And hence, we need them. No matter how old we grow, when we don’t find our mothers around us, we tend to panic! This is completely justified for anyone and everyone. However, what do people do when they are deprived of a mother figure? Today, as someone who has lost her mum, I will share what life has been like since 8 years without my mum.
My mum passed away in March, 2009. She lost her 6 -year-long struggle against diabetes and gangrene. I still remember that fateful Sunday. I had just returned home after attending a felicitation ceremony where I had received a silver medal for passing a ‘Mahabharata Exam’ with flying colours. As soon as I stepped into my home, distant relatives greeted me with a fake smile on their faces.
Granted, I had achieved a good deal of honour. However, this ‘greeting’ as a result of the medal was a bit unexpected. My mum had been taken to a hospital on the same morning, since she complained of severe pain in her stomach and heart. Now, let me make this clear, my mum had often been taken to a hospital due to her diabetes and gangrene. She would sometimes suffer from terrible boils on her back, with puss and blood oozing out it. And gangrene had taken such a toll on her that all the fingers of her foot had to be cut off.
I was made to sit down on a bed. My aunt (father’s sister) came near me and put a hand on my shoulder. Every pair of eyes present in the house was already staring at me with pity and sympathy. My 13-year-old self could not grasp the emotion back then. All I could think of was that maybe the doctors are planning to operate on her foot once again. I was ready for that. But, the blow that came next was what I wasn’t ready for. The news of her demise was broken to me. For a good whole minute, I could not register the words. How could my mum die? There must be some misunderstanding…
But, there wasn’t. She had really left the world. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Unfortunately. I wondered how I would survive without my mum…
But, survive I did. It has been 8 years. Every day for the next one year after my mum’s demise, I struggled to survive. I fought hard to exist with only our memories. At one point, I did not even care if I lived to see another day. Yes, it was hard. It was terrible. And there was no closure to help me out. The fact that I could not see her, or say a sad ‘goodbye’ for the last time, go to me. But, I survived. Because that is what my mum would want me to do.
My mum loved me. She reveled in the smallest of my achievements. She would tear up when my eyes would well up. She was truly my other half. My better half. And to mourn her memories would be an insult to her contributions in my life. So, everyday, I make it a point to celebrate her existence, rather than mourn her loss. To be proud of her life than to brood over her death.
You never really move on from the loss of a loved one, especially a parent. And you don’t need to. But, surviving or living with this sad fact becomes easier if we focus on the beauty they brought to our lives, rather than the dearth that they have left behind. Be a better human being. Do one small act of kindness everyday. In every minuscule decision you make, think whether your loved one would do the same? And then proceed. Carry on their legacy.
That is what I do everyday. I try to bring my mum’s essence in my day-to-day life. And thus, after 8 years of my mum’s demise, I tear up when I remember her. But, her life, her achievements, and her strength reminds of what a brilliant woman and human being she was. And the next moment, I smile.