My father passed away over a year ago and although I’m no expert in death, I have learned a lot about having your most dearest person leave you and how you can never be ready. I want to tell you how it goes.
The first couple weeks went by quickly, in disbelief (although I thought I was fully prepared). Making lists of things that needed done. Lists of things that changed. And lists of things that you could never do again, like hear his voice. Questions that could never be answered, like, what do you think of this new business idea or this new biriyani place. The next few months dragged on as the chores got done and reality sunk in. Every memory, date, thought, food, music, small and big, corroded me down just a little more. Nothing had ever come close to the hopeless melancholy that leeched in and recoloured my soul. I started challenging time to prove it’s healing powers. That forgotten friend, that hobby I quit, time does heal, right? It’s unbelievable how long it takes to accept how everlasting death is, though. Everyday ends with the crumbling awareness that I won’t hear from him, again, today, or tomorrow.
The next year, I counted each month, surprised how I survived 3 months without talking to my dad, 4 months without discussing that random new philosophy I’m adopting, 5 months without sharing my fears, 6 months without cracking a joke at him, 7 months without fighting with him, 8 months without sharing that new whiskey I found, 9 months without telling him that business was doing better, 10 months without getting his opinion on my life’s next steps! Jealous on Fathers day, feigning indifference in his birthday. Afraid how my mother is surviving this. And after a year passed by, I realized all the research I has scoured saying that you “get over the death of a close one” within a year, is a complete lie. I listen to his favourite songs and cry in the shower. Sometimes I take an extra drink of whiskey and imagine his guilty pride smiling down at me. Other times I wish he visits my dreams. At times of desperation, I hope he haunts me.
I look around and see so many deaths. Such an ubiquitous affair and yet, the world doles out much indifference. 20 die in mass shooting. 200 die in earthquake. 2000 kids die of starvation. While I stuff my face and read the news, gawking at the numbers and how it’s politicized. The broken families, left irreparable. Hearts that will now bleed, forever, never be whole again.