Saturday, March 14, 2015

After Death, Do We Part?

I have always wondered over the phrase, “Till death do us part”. Do we really part ways with our loved ones when death strikes? We cannot define parting ways until we can clearly define what being together means.
Is it the physical presence of two or more people together? What distance is the maximum to be defined for two people to be together? I know few couples who share the bed but yet cannot agree they are together.
One of the very important person in my life has been my elder sister, who came into this world 3 ½ years before me. We enjoyed a big share of our childhood together, because our next sibling took more than 6 years to arrive. Even then the age gap bonded us together in a different way. Though she was my elder sister, somehow we grew up being equals. I never referred to her as Didi, but called her by her pet name Baby. We shared almost everything together in our childhood other than books. I loved books and had a huge collection of them, whereas my sister hated them. Reading or writing was not her forte. I can recall tons of adventures I shared with my sister in our childhood. Some of them play like movies when I think of them. 
She followed a routine every day which was not disturbed in any situations. She had a biological schedule to wake up, do household chores, have bath, eat, talk, sleep and all other work we did on compulsion. The huge difference between me and my sister was that, no one would notice I was home most of the time due to my reading habits, whereas my sister was a tornado on the go always. Everything she did had to be in extremes. Her fights, weeping, or talking were done vehemently.
She was a robust and strong woman who seldom suffered illness. She exercised regularly and worked around the home to keep herself fit. It was a great shock to everyone when we were informed that the lump in her breast was cancerous. How could someone so full of life be near to death? The truth was not acceptable to any of us, but tests showed the results to be positive.
Loving Aunt to my Kids
Two years later it was my turn to be diagnosed with cancer. The news shattered everyone in my family, but the effect was worse on my sister. She was at the 4th stage of advanced cancer when I was diagnosed. She was 31 and I was 29 when we went through breast cancer. My sister was married for 7 years but she did not have children when diagnosed. She was worried what would happen to my children if I succumbed to cancer. I assured her that I am not going to give up so easily and she should just watch how hard I am going to kick the cancer butt. Nothing could console her, especially because she was terrified of cancer surgery and treatment.
When I walked out of home to get myself operated and get rid of the breast, my sister who was resting rushed to the gate at the last moment. She gave me a tight hug and wept silently. Even though I was breaking from inside to see her suffer so, I did not show anything outwardly. I put up a brave face and told her, “Just wait and watch, I am going to be all right. Promise.” Some positive warmth surrounded me when she hugged me and that warmth has remained with me for 19 years now.
Tough to believe she was going though
4 stage cancer when this picture
was clicked
2 months later, my sister passed away. It was the biggest tragedy that has ever struck my family. My mom, dad, younger brother and sister, my son and I were all completely broken by her loss. What made things a little better is her presence in my life. I still can hear her words, see her smile, or even feel the pain where she would hit me when I troubled her a lot. More than anything I just have to close my eyes to feel her hug and warmth anytime I need it. The one hug my sister gave me that day has seen me overcome many great hurdles, because it gives me courage, hope and strength when I feel it. I know things are going to be all right.
Sometimes she is in my dreams, and we are doing all the things we did earlier together again. When I started riding my Dio, I dreamed of taking her for a ride around Bangalore. When I cook something, I dream of sharing it with her. These dreams are so real at times I have trouble waking up to reality where she is no more in her physical form.
With her enthusiasm, laughter, innocence, love and care, she has stayed back with us forever. When you share your life with someone so closely, death fails to part us. A connection remains which defies death.
Some people always live #together 


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