Who exactly are you to tell me how and what I should feel about the passing of the greatest human being I knew in my life? Who are you to tell me that I should feel a particular way about his death? Where do you think you found the right to tell me that I should not say things just because they don’t meet your selfish agenda and requirements? I am one of the two sons of the greatest human being I knew. And I knew him very well. I knew that he was a very hard working person. I know that he was a very motivated person. He was a visionary. He was a fighter. He was a warrior. He was an intellectual. He was more than what most people of his time could ever imagine to be. He tried, and mostly succeeded in retaining and fulfilling all of his responsibilities. He hated the idea of being dependent, on absolutely anyone at all. Including his own family. And that is to be expected from someone who had a childhood as difficult as him. His parents passed away before he was even as old as me, both of them. All he had left were two brothers, an older one and a younger one. But that is besides the point. The point is — who are you to tell me how I should feel about the passing of my father?
I’ll tell you who you are, you are nobody. To tell me that I should have wished that he stayed here longer. To tell me that I am selfish for wanting him to rest once and for all. To tell me that I am not good enough of a son because I wished for my old man to pass away. You do not have a clue who I am or what I have seen him go through. My father, over a period of 4 years went from being one of the most independent individuals to being one of the weakest and dependent individuals ever. The man who has lived his whole life with independence and vision eventually became unable to walk. He eventually lost ability to move his bones properly. Before that, he had trouble standing too. He was unable to digest food properly. He was not able to clear his internal systems without aid. He was not able to light his beloved cigarettes without help. He was so unable to eat or drink in the end with his own mouth, that he needed a tube through his nose to be fed properly. Hundreds of medicines, dozens of fluids later he was still suffering. He was still in pain. Every single day, every single moment I would have to stay up in the fear that he will eventually need me. I lost my sanity at a point fearing that I won’t be there for him when he needs my help. He ended up falling off the bed once. I scolded him for not having called me, he replied saying that he hated asking for my help anymore. He hated the fact that he always needed to depend on me. I just said, “You’ve worked your physical stability off trying to keep me happy for 23 years, I can do the same for you as long as you want”. It was one of the rare things that brought a smile on his face, and it calmed me. Somehow, this also happened on the day he left us.
On 1st July, at about 1:05 am, he took his final breath when he had a stroke. He called me for help, I rushed to it. I tried to calm him down, I tried to soothe him. But he was being absolutely restless. He was absolutely agitated, insane with uneasiness and discomfort. And he eventually started to calm down, shortly after the ambulance people arrived. They took him away, slowly, fearing he is a coronavirus patient. I asked him to lessen the stiffness of his body, he looked at me in a very strange way, like he was feeling peace. This would be the last time he ever looked at me, this would be the last time I would get to see him look back when I called him “Baba”. He was taken away to the hospital, and declared dead on arrival. Turns out what I was comforting myself as his body finally calming down, was just his body no longer being able to suffer the torture it was being put through. And he was finally at rest. I was heartbroken, shattered into pieces. I felt like my world had ended, even though someone was able to assure me that it hadn’t. I felt like my entire world went to dark. That I would no longer be able to get advice from the light of my life who had always been there to assure me that no matter how much issues I faced, how difficult things got, that it’d always be okay. But even amidst all of this, I was at a strange kind of peace. I felt like he was able to rest. After so many decades of always worrying about his family, his sons, his wife, his brothers, he was finally no longer being worried about anything. The man who had given up most of his sleep, wellbeing and sweat was finally resting. He was not feeling any more pain, any more discomfort, any more torture. And to me, no amount of pain I suffer meant more to me than the fact that he was finally able to rest peacefully, just like his name. My father was no more, and neither were any of the torture, sleeplessness or tears. I felt a strange kind of peace. Shattered, devoured in darkness and sadness, but still, at peace.
So don’t tell me that I should have wished that he survived this, because to me, it would only prolong the hell he was going through every single day, every single minute for almost 2 to 4 years. You are no one, because you never knew what he was going through. Even if you knew, you didn’t see it. Even if you saw it, you didn’t feel it. My father is finally able to rest without having to worry about us, or anything else. And nothing means more to me than that right now. I can manage, I will manage, I will heal, I will get stronger. But his peace to me is everything. And when it comes to him, it always will be.
Written by: A son.