Wednesday, 18 November 2009

In Remembrance

After a very brief stint in hospital, Dada (Ro's father) passed away last week, leaving family and friends in a state of shock. He wasn't sick or bedridden. An active 68-year-old who loved to read, explore, and listen to Englebert Humperdink, he was rushed into hospital with severe chest congestion. As soon as he got to the hospital, his heart went into cardiac arrest, and he was shifted to the ICU. What followed were a series of very trying days. His heart had stopped for three minutes, and the doctors warned the family about possible brain damage. The kidneys weren't functioning properly either. Nevertheless, the family held on to every ray of hope. Prayers were said allover, and we were optimistic about his recovery. Then when he was conscious, he strengthed our faith by recognizing his family and proving the doctors wrong. He communicated with gestures, and seemed positive. Doctors were amazed at his recovery, and soon they were talking about how he'd be discharged very soon. We continued to pray. We made promises of having a huge celebration when he recovered.
Last Tuesday night, Ro called me at 3 in the morning to say that his BP dropped to 50/30. We prayed! We couldn't give up just yet. Contrary to what the doctors had feared, his brain was still alert. Now God would heal him completely. We believed He would. On Wednesday morning, the situation continued to be grim. His BP dropped further, and finally the dreaded call came. Dada was no more.
Adiv and I (with my parents) were in Bangalore then, and we took the next flight to Hyderabad. The next few days went in a daze. The funeral was the toughest, but the family pulled through. Their faith kept them going. They believed that maybe God had wanted this, though there seemed to be no logical explanation for why he'd gone so soon. They merely took solace in the fact that he hadn't suffered for too long.
His absence hit us the most in the days that followed. We wondered about how life would never be the same for his immediate family. Christmas would never be the same without his perfect lining of the cake tin with butter paper. Presents would never be the same without his skill at wrapping them. The crossword in the paper would never be filled by him again. A walker that Ro had ordered for him, would never be used by him. Ro and his sister would forever miss his quiet, strong presence.
I knew him the least, but I knew his passing would be a loss to Adiv. Adiv would never know of his intellect and simplicity. He would only hear tales of a grandfather who had all the answers, and barely remember the numerous outtings he took with him. During the funeral, I reminiced about the times I'd spent with Dada. He was a very quiet man, but we'd had a few fun conversations in the past. He didn't say a lot, but he was always very sensitive and considerate; like cheering me up with chocolates when I was the new bride, upset about leaving family to go to London.
A few days after the funeral, we had a beautiful memorial service for Dada. Family and friends gathered to talk about the man they all admired and loved. I got to know him so much more after this service. I wished I'd known him better. However, he'd gone, teaching us one of life's biggest lessons ; we had to appreciate every minute of what life had to offer. We could never be sure of tomorrow, so we had to live today and appreciate all those who were in our lives.
The family said their goodbyes with this very appropriate hymn..
Ever remembered
Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun;
So let me steal away, gently and lovingly,
Only remembered by what I have done.

Ever remembered, forever remembered,
Ever remembered while the years are rolling on,
Ever remembered, forever remembered,
Only remembered by what I have done.

So let my name and my place be forgotten,
Only my life-race be patiently run;
So let me pass away, peacefully, silently,
Only remembered by what I have done. Refrain

So, in the harvest, if others may gather,
Sheaves from the fields that in spring I have sown,
Who plowed or sowed matters not to the reaper -
I'm only remembered by what I have done. Refrain

Fading away like the stars of the morning,
So let my name be unhonored, unknown,
Here, or up yonder, I must be remembered,
Only remembered by what I have done. Refrain