I’ve tried to write this post for months. But I wasn’t ready. It’s never easy to write about the difficult parts of your life.
Loss of a loved one is hard. It’s natural but it’s hard – even more when it’s untimely. Back in April when we were still hanging on to the celebrations of our wedding day and reminiscing about the beautiful moments, the news hit me hard. It took the wind out of me.
Mou didi was my cousin sister. She was already coping with the untimely loss of both her parents when death visited one more time at their home. I have been to their house quite a few times when I was a child. I’ve stayed there longest for a week and it’s been one of the most memorable weeks in my life. I remember teaching Maamimaa (Mou didi’s mother) Harry Potter jargons and watching the first part together. What stayed with me was that she listened to me and she made the effort to remember the names, their roles and everything I taught her. I remember watching Baghban with them after dinner. It was the first of the few Bollywood romance movies that I watched while growing up. I remember Maamimaa rubbing a fruit paste on my face and arms to smoothen my skin and then our long conversations about what I liked and what I wanted to become when I grew up. Sankar mama (Mou didi’s father) was always too pre-occupied to make sure that I was comfortable and that I wasn’t missing my parents too much while staying with them and that only my favourite dishes were being cooked and that I was eating properly.
Sankar mama and Maamimaa were beautiful people – not only by how they looked but also how they loved others and each other. I’ve heard stories about how they had met and fallen in love before they decided to get married. Those stories run as legends in our family. I haven’t heard about a love like theirs since.
Mou didi inherited their beauty and their heart of gold. She was like the sunshine. The vice principal of a reputed school by profession, Mou didi exuded elegance and mirth like the sunflower. She left behind joy and sparkles wherever she went.
I still remember her wedding day. It was a mammoth of a celebration! Like the ones in the Bollywood movies. A big, fat Indian wedding that went on for days! She looked like a Goddess on her wedding day. I was always in awe of her beauty and her beautiful mind.
Probably that’s why God took her away early – she was too pure for this world. God wanted her to be untouched by the sins and the filth of the world. She was meant to be in Heaven with her parents, live the happy life she wanted to. This thought has comforted me and has helped me cope with her loss a good deal.
I remember the morning when she visited us a few days before my wedding. It’s still fresh in my mind. She came in like a beautiful blue bird. A smile on her face, a large box in her hand. She had planned and thought of a nice gift for my wedding. We had sat down with coffee and cakes and conversed our hearts out. When the time was up, she hugged me and left with watery eyes. I knew what she was thinking. I was thinking the same thing – we should have conversations like this more often.
She had come to our wedding looking like the queen she was. All decked up in elegance. Elegant but simple. Simple like the song of the white flower and the rain – like edelweiss. Simple like the breaking dawn and the fresh morning breeze. She was there. I wish she was here now.
After the news came to me, I had spent hours staring blankly at nothing, muttering, “This isn’t right” way more times than I remember. She was taken away too soon. Too soon. I know God’s ways are best and that there’s always a reason behind everything. I knew I was yet to see a clearer picture. But I couldn’t still understand why she was plucked so soon. It was grief that clouded my better judgement.
Mou didi’s life was like a beautiful song. It was brief but it had purpose. I see it now. She has left me changed for the better. I look forward to hugging her at the end of my life, which has given me a renewed motivation to live a good life and be a better person.
Even though these are truths that I hold close to my heart, I still grieve her loss and have my own regrets. I still look back at the time when she was with us and I think to myself that I should’ve made more effort to keep the sisterhood strong. I should’ve kept more in touch with her, shared her sorrows and happiness and helped her cope with her loss when she needed it. I should’ve stood by her more.
Although she left us unexpectedly, I have learned from her way more than I have in my lifetime. I see my family and my relationships (both old and new) with a renewed perspective. I see the sisterhood I share with my cousins for the miracle that it is. So, I lift my heavy heart to sing a song of thanksgiving for our angel. I feel so grateful to have been her sister.
“Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, Bloom and grow forever, Edelweiss”