I shall begin by apologizing for my absence on this space lately.
I have no excuse really, except that I have suffered perhaps the biggest loss of my life this year. My dad, after braving one of the deadliest forms of cancer for couple of months passed away last May. And the day before yesterday (7th August) was his 60th birthday.
As I felt August approaching, the dreary sense of the void that he left increased, and the time that used to be my favourite around the year (since birthdays in my family, including mine follow close after August,) has turned into a heavy, slow moving & sad walk through time.
I want to add something here before I go on that this is not a regular post, rather just a heart to heart that I have been wishing to get out. I have received so much kindness from all you lovely people from all around the world that I don’t feel like I am writing to strangers anymore. I do want to continue blogging & writing about things I see, experience & love, and I would do that, as soon as I find myself up for it.
I have often wondered if I am really comfortable sharing such personal experiences here on an open platform (this being the third post about my father) and if it’s wise to talk about sadness and loss when I want my blog to be a happy place. But then my father was that one person who truly made me happy & I feel his life should be discussed & celebrated rather than pushed under the rug like some painful memory that I don’t want to deal with.
Missing him hurts, but at the same time the brave fight he put in the biggest battle (and he fought many) of his life constantly inspires me. Cancer might have defeated his mortal form but it could not defeat his spirit. Even when he knew he was sick, he chose to focus his energy on everything positive he could hold on to, whether it was the discussions of my impending wedding or the dream house he wanted to build. From a daughter, I became a friend, a companion he wanted to have by his side, always. We were able to have the most meaningful father-daughter conversations of my lifetime in those last couple of months I was around him, and I am so grateful for that.
I don’t know how to describe my father. How do I even begin to define someone who not only created me, but also loved me like no other. To whom, I was the centre of the universe? Others might have questioned my decisions & actions or even worth at times, but never him. He always believed in me and was the great wall that stood in front of me to brave anything unpleasant coming my way. He saw in me, something I still struggle to see & he told me I made him happy & proud even when I didn’t feel so. (Bet I just described every father on the planet )
He was my hero, the kindest & bravest man I know. He loved children and yet, was a child at heart himself. Always curious, always hopeful, always filled with wonder. The biggest lesson he taught me was to never, ever give up, no matter what the life brought upon you. He taught me not to be scared. I know I am not the first, nor am I the last human to grieve. If you also have suffered a loss of loved one, my thoughts and blessings are with you. I have come to experience that grieving is a natural, healing process and essential in fact, if you want to keep moving on, which, if the truth be told, is the only way to go. The trick, I guess is to just hang on and hope the next day brings you one more reason to do so. I am trying to do just that. I am hanging on to all the good memories and lessons he would want me to learn from life with everything I have – shaking & struggling, yet, hanging on. Every day I remind myself to not sweat the small stuff, to be grateful & to keep my loved ones close & tight & just hold on. There are moments when I almost forget, almost, that he’s gone and in those moments, I am able to laugh like I used to and then his thoughts come rushing back & I am choked with the weird realization that he’s gone, never to come back again & I feel so guilty, I don’t even know why. But I know he would not want me to suffer through life, no father would. I dream of him, every other day. We are either laughing, or talking like nothing has changed, and then dawn breaks & I wake up and realize it was just a dream & it makes my heart heavy. Some days are easier, some days are harder. I can hear his voice in my dreams which sadly I can’t in reality. I had made few videos of him in his last couple of months where he would sing lullabies for me (and tear up..), or would talk about his dreams of seeing me as a bride, his favourite songs, movies but for some unfortunate reason, there is no voice to any of those videos, I feel so helpless and angry at myself for not checking the videos while I had time. Luckily I was able to pen down some of the things he said and have started maintaining a journal regularly since (I am scared to forget tiny details about him & our conversations as time passes by) .The truth is, his death has changed me, and more importantly, it has changed my perspective about the things that make life and its parts. I have been told that with time it will be okay & that I won’t be sad forever. I smile in my head when they say that because I know I will never be the same. Nor will a day go by, without me wishing him to be here, right by my side, in person. But I do know that I will get better at coping. A father is the only man who truly never ever hurts his girl and if you are a (loved) daughter, hold on to your daddy close and never let a day go by without letting him know just how much he means to you. My father knew how much I loved him but I still regret not telling him that everyday of my life.
If you happen to read this, please send some love & prayers my father’s way. I know he would receive them smiling. 🙂
I would like to end the post by translating a song that plays in my head every time I think of him, “Etched in some hidden corner of your mouth, like the hint of a smile, I am safe (always)..”
I still see, feel & touch him in my dreams, hopes & memories, and he will stay safe there, always.
p.s. “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” I love you, Papa, forever.