April 30, 2010

Don't quite know what to write

What do you write when one of the people you admired the most has left the world? 

My great grandmom died day before yesterday. Yes, I'm saying died. Not passed away, 'no more' or other such genteel versions of the cold, hard truth. I got to see her lifeless, shrivelled up body ravaged by years of sickness. I got to see her being tied to a wooden pyre and being carried off. I got to even place a few grains of rice in her mouth before she got cremated. But I didn't get the chance to say goodbye. We got there too late.

She used to cook, clean and wash her own (9 yard) saris even till 4-5 years back. Considering that she died at the age of 97, that just shows how she was - life personified. Generations and generations benefited from her loving warmth - my grandfather and his family, my mom and her siblings, my siblings and I. There isn't anyone in the family she hasn't fed, bathed, clothed and lovingly scolded. Even though she was very unwell over the past few years, she fought to stay around for the birth of my cousin's baby a few months ago, her brother's engagement and my engagement. She wanted to come for the weddings too - I guess that wasn't meant to be.

To say that we'll miss her is an understatement. We're all going on with our lives and in a while, the searing pain of her loss will be gone. But there's a void in our hearts where she used to be. And it's never going to get filled in. I can see myself ten years from now, thinking of her just as much as I am today, telling my babies the very stories that she used to tell, feeding them the same comfort food and telling them about the great great (well, GREATEST) grandmother that they could ever have known.