Friday, June 6, 2014

You are not lost to us as we remember you every moment!

Did we actually lose the most loveliest person in our lives 18 years ago? I don't think it is possible to lose someone when you think of them every day.

Actually we think death is the end; but, is it? I don’t know. Death has not been the end when I lost my sister 18 years ago. It was the beginning of something painful and sense of loss which kept changing as the years passed by.

My sister and I were born 3 ½ years apart. For 6 more years, my mom did not get pregnant. We grew up together and almost shared everything. An apple would be cut into equal halves and we would each have a piece which was the rule made by my sister. Off course my sister believed in being fair and so it was the person who did not cut the apple (or whatever it was) that got to pick the piece, moreover, we would have to cut them alternately.
Even if there was an apple for each of us, we cut it into halves and shared it among us. We usually wore same dresses but that did not make us similar to each other in anyway. We were just opposite of each other. We liked different books, movies, actors, singers, colors, God, food etc. We fought over every single thing.
My sister was short tempered and would flare up very fast; luckily she would cool down faster. If I ever succeeded in getting her to beat me in her anger (which she did at times); then I was winner. I could work her around to do many things for me as a consolation. I enjoyed that. I wouldn’t flare up easily but was tenacious, and teased her temper a lot. I never knew how good these things were until much later when she was not there physically with me anymore.
Everyone said she was all beauty and me all brains. The most touching part I remember about her is when we two would start fighting and someone would interfere and try to shut me up, (I was tenacious) and later they would end up scolding me for fighting with my elder sister. At that point she would jump in to defend me and start fighting on my behalf. I thought that was funny back then, but today to think of it breaks my heart and tears flow down my cheeks. Her childlike behavior was her trademark- which went well with her pet name -Baby. She was baby to my parents, to her siblings and also to all of her friends. 
 She loved games, gossip, friends, movies and outings. She would bubble and go crazy at the sight of water. She was a great fan of Kannada actor Rajkumar and actress Jayaprada. Picnics were her favorites. I loved books and studying. I loved mathematics where as she treated it like a villain. She would play to have fun where as I played to win and to prove myself. Even with a club foot I could be very fast runner and excelled in throw ball and many other games. She would never play games where there was competition. She loved funny games where she could have fun with people around her. I wanted to beat others and feel superior. We had totally different approach to life though we shared a lot of common things between us as well. 
My lovely sister was also opposite to me in another approach which proved fatal and she paid with her life. She never liked the pills, pricks or doctors. Hospitals were one of the worst places for her and would always postpone treatment as far as possible. I always trusted doctors a lot and enjoyed being in clinics and hospitals.
One day she announced she could feel some lump in her breast which had me panicked. At that time I did not know much about BC but I was aware of it and advised her to see a doctor. She said she would but never went ahead with her checkup. . I kept reminding her again and again. But I knew she was not interested in consulting doctor.
I went to my native place where she was on a visit with my Mother and convinced her to come to the doctors with me. The doctor had just one look and advised biopsy. She said lets come back tomorrow and the postponing of the procedure went on for few more days. I almost physically dragged her into going for a biopsy and the result said breast cancer. I was shocked. I Couldn’t believe what I heard. My parents immediately took her to some more doctors and they all advised surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for her. But she refused. She wouldn't give in to any pressure we tried to put on her. No one knew she would be gone the next year.
She talked my family into believing about miracle healing. I never gave up convincing her to go for surgery. But all was in vain. I can vividly recall how cancer took over her slowly. It is really very terrifying. The lump grew and then opened into a wound which went on covering half her chest. She always cleaned it up herself and dressed it till the end. She was really amazing woman with lots of strength to do that. Again I was away from her when I heard one day that she was no more. It did not make any sense to me. I expected that but still couldn’t believe it. She left some huge hollow inside me, which yearned to be filled up. I searched for friends. I reached out to people, finding few sisters who filled it in drops. Still the gap needs to be filled. It still hurts so badly. I do miss her so much. I still can’t imagine a person who was so full of life gave it up so easily. She just resigned off life when she heard the word cancer.
The one thing about her life that hurts me the most is, the day she got to know I had cancer too. It attacked her right breast and my left one. I joked it was the result of sharing everything but I could see the pain in her eyes. She slowly started sobbing and then cried piteously. Why both of us? She asked again and again. She just broke after that. My cancer could have waited for another 2 months before raising its ugly head. Did she really deserve to know my cancer and suffer the pain. There was no way we could hide it from her either.
 I still remember and feel the hug she gave me when I left to get myself operated. As I was walking out of gate when she came rushing out, hugging me and wept. That was something very touching and can bring tears whenever I remember it. I just felt the love flow from her to me. I promised her I am going to be OK. I don't mind losing a breast as it is not a big deal for me.
We again proved to be opposites. She gave up and lost her life where as I fought it out (the odds were very much against me) and survived. I feel guilty of not sharing something with her there, my years beyond the age of 32. Does she know the pain I suffer whenever I think of her? Would she change the decision if she knew I was going to suffer so? I look up to everyone to find her. There have been many people who have given me a part of her. I have found so many sisters of hearts. They are not blood relation to me but we share the feelings and pain of our heart. We can empathize with each other. But the pain of losing a sister remains. No matter what changes takes place in my life.

Can we really lose someone after having found them and loved them? Is death an end? Does someone have an answer? I am searching…….
With Rayyan on Nandi Hills

With Rayyan in Cubbon Park

25 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry that you lost your sister.

    She sounds like a beautiful person. You sound like a beautiful person. I like reading about your relationship together. You two remind me my nieces. The older one will taunt the younger one. She'll get in trouble. And then the younger one will cry in sympathy for her older sister.

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  2. What a beautiful and touching story. And so sad. I know it's easy to question the decisions of others with regard to accepting treatment or not, but know that she had her reasons for making the choice that she made.

    And know also that she is watching over you now, as a guardian angel - and perhaps that was the ultimate reason. Maybe she knew, somhow, that you would need one someday.

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  3. You are indeed very brave to pour out your feelings thus..

    We hardly realise how short our lives are.. how mortal we are.. that sooner or later.. wen our work on earth is completed.. each one of us has to call it quits.. and we keep exisiting as if we are immortals..

    your sister lives through you.. through your current life after all those expreiences... through your children.. through the people you touch daily..

    may you find peace knowing she is finally at peace..

    God bless you and yours..

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  4. Thank you very much everyone.. I need all the shoulders at times to cry on.
    Jeff - I think you are absolutely right there. May be she is keeping watch over me and that could be the reason for my survival. May be she wanted to be close to God to convince him with her prayers.. Thanking you for that view through my tears.

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  5. I'm sorry for your loss..As for an answer I am too young to know that one yet.

    Your words simpl moved me, I could feel you crying almost.

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  6. I am you American sister and you are my Indian sister. I never want that to change. You have often said I remind how of I remind you of her. Well, I may be like her in some ways but in one very important way I am not. I refuse to let this disease drag me down. Like you I am fighting with all I have. I have no choice. I pray that you will not have to hear in a year or two's time that I have left because that will make me extremely angry. I am waiting to see you again and it better be happen. Love, Hour Indian Sister from America.

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  12. Hello Farida
    touching narration. I know this is not a story but experience. i am a breast cancer survivor too. When the doctor told me in June 2005, I had breast cancer, it was as if he had handed me the death sentence. That day was like a huge mountain. It never seemed to end. The next day was different, better, as we started planning the next course of action: treatment.I am alive and kicking by God's infinite grace.
    My favourite cousin is the same age as me and our lives have run almost parallel till now.She was detected with breast cancer in the same month in 2012. Her treatment is now complete. We are hoping she will survive too.
    Your story reminded me of us.
    More courage and power to the survivors.

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  13. This is painful. Losing a sibling always is. The void never fills up. I really wish she had gone for treatment, but then, we wish for so many things don't we?

    Hugs Farida

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  14. very touching..may her soul rest in peace...

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  15. Very touching story about your sister and you must be feeling the pain whenever her memory stirs in you. Be brave Farida.

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  16. That's a search all of us are involved in - a search without end; maybe because it is the search itself that is the meaning?

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  17. Very touching tribute...such a lovely bond between you two. We keep convincing ourselves that we have moved on after some one passes on...but, they never ever really do. As you said there is always a hole in the heart.

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  19. I can so feel the pain, Farida, having lost my elder brother just recently. It is a void that will remain forever, but the memories are our friends. They make us smile, even as our eyes tear up. Hugs to you, dear.

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  20. Thank you for the support everyone...

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  21. You take care mam.. and the questions you have asked I doubt if anyone can answer that.. this is one mystery that we will have to find out ourself ..

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss .. we cant forget .. people say move on and this or that .. but no , and on the other hand why should we forget when we have had such lovely time with them.

    take care mam.. hugs your way

    Bikram

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  22. "Is death an end?"
    This is a question that has no definite answer.
    On a very practical note: while the departed person will never come physically into our life again, the memories of that person will live with us forever.

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