Time to remember…

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Is there a set period of time that one has for mourning? There is a sense of acceptance that the person is gone, yet somehow, a little trigger sometimes gets the memories flooding back and the ground below doesn’t seem as firm. It is funny how life brings you such reminders. Not ha-ha funny, but that peculiar kind of funny.

I woke up on Friday morning, earlier than usual, yet feeling unusually tired. I checked Facebook to see if someone has put something inspiring or unusual, but the first thing I noticed was “RIP Chester Bennington”. That shook me out any sleepiness that was there, and I was on The Guardian and BBC News checking and praying that the news was a hoax. After all, just a few days prior, the hoax on Mr. Bean’s death had returned. Alas, the news of Chester’s death turned out to be true. I wrote a small tribute, and then ended up listening to my Linkin Park playlist most of the day.

The impact that Linkin Park has had on my life, especially during college days, has been that deep. I can relate to their lyrics, and can understand that pain. So in a way, their music helped. There was comfort there, that I wasn’t alone. As I heard One More Light on repeat, a verse of its lyrics hit deeper than I thought it would. It was that little peculiar trigger that brought back a few memories that had been buried under more happy ones.

The reminders, pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need, oh
And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair
Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there

At the end of April, I lost my grandfather. He had been ill for over a year, but his death had been unexpected. I had been on an official trip, one of the best times of my life. I had returned just a few hours before he passed away. I was told he was okay, no better and no worse. I went to office, and had been at my desk hardly five minutes before I got the call saying he was no more. To be frank, I don’t remember much of who I told at office. My mind had gone blank. The first thing I had wished for was that if only I had had time to visit him once before he passed.

My grandfather and I didn’t have the closest of relationships. But one thing I know is that he was very protective of me. He believed he was independent, and he lived that way in the time I knew him. Maybe it was this belief that was ruptured when he needed a home nurse to attend to him in his last days. To go from that adamant, sure-of-himself in everything attitude to being dependent on a stranger was a blow. He had a temper that flared up when he felt his opinion was being challenged. That adamant attitude gave him a “my way or the highway” mindset which tested everyone’s patience a lot, including mine. I’ve been in three major accidents in my life. With God’s grace, I have come out of them with just few cuts or bruises. But my grandfather was there in two of those, and he had required surgery on both occasions. I wonder why it’s easier to recollect the difficult, sad memories so much. Maybe it’s because the happy ones are those that sadden me more. They’re the reminders that pull the floor from my feet.

He was a kind man, and loved his family a lot. He inspired me a lot too. I remember he’d drop my sister and me to school till I was in high school, and till she was old enough to get a bicycle of her own. He’d buy us ice lollies from the shop outside, even though they weren’t “healthy”. He would tell me I’ve lost weight even though I had gained, and would not leave me to go home from his place until I had had something to eat. He was generous to others too. He was respected by many people, especially at his former place of employment. He had a memory for numbers, and was very meticulous with his money. Even when he was ill, he would try to make sure he lived on his terms and not on his children’s. He would come home every Vishu morning to give me the kaineetam (a sum of money given by elders to the younger ones to mark the start of the New Year). He loved to garden and tended to his plants well. He had a booming voice that could be heard at the end of the street when he raised it.

Marlon James wrote in A Brief History of Seven Killings, “Then I wondered if everybody has that person that haunts them, the one that got away.”

I think that that is true. Everyone does. A soul that leaves its earthly abode for a place in the heavens doesn’t leave completely. The body may burn and the ashes return to the earth, but their memories leave imprints that are indelible. Those memories do haunt, returning very quickly when a trigger is pressed unknowingly. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. They made that difference in our lives. Chester Bennington did it through his music. My grandfather did it through his love.

Their time may have come, and they may not be there to make further imprints on my life, but that’s okay. They aren’t really gone from my life, no?

Source

Not writing is sometimes an epidemic one that spreads and takes you down for good. To counter this virus, Bhavs and I have decided to blog on the same theme every Sunday. Today we are writing about Time. Feeling inspired? We’d love to read your point of view as well.

Also inspired by Friday Reflections, where the prompt is the quote from Marlon James.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
23rd July, 2017
)

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Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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30 thoughts on “Time to remember…

  1. Although I’m not a fan, to know that someone who seemingly had it all, chose to take his life is always shocking and sad.
    Sorry about your Grandfather. Reading about his independence reminded me of my own parents and their present situation. They’re finding it hard to come to terms with the loss of independence and that is trying for us all.
    I’m sure your Grandfather must have been proud of the kind and thoughtful person you are, Vinay.

    • Yeah. He was fiercely independent, Corinne. Something I admired, yet it also tested my patience when he was adamant. I hope he was proud of the person I turned out to be. Thank you.

  2. Your grandfather sounds like a very kind man! May he rest in peace.
    You may not be close, but the feelings are there, blood is blood!
    I was very close to my grandma ( moms mother) & had a special bond with her!
    The Kianteeam sounds like eidi we get on Eid 🙂

  3. Not writing something is an epidemic.This is very true.I wish everyone reads this just to understand the depth of understanding this has .I try to write even when I don’t feel like it because of just that.

  4. Ouch. It hurts so much. I lost my grandfather two years ago and to think of him, it brings a tear in my eyes – even today. Maybe it will be so forever. Maybe not. I have let him go, but why should I let go of his memories, the moments we shared? I refuse to do that. I don’t know if I will have it in me to write something for him, but I admire you for being able to write this, something so personal and heartfelt. And yes, they continue to be with us in our memories and the way they have touched our lives.
    (Bhavya recently posted…Coffee Date by Saravana Kumar Murugan | Book Review)My Profile

    • Yeah. Why should you indeed, Ishi? I too refuse to let go of memories with Muthassan. I didn’t think I’d write something about him or for him, but like I said, one memory led to another I guess. And suddenly, the words just bled onto paper.

  5. Heart touching post, Vinay. I could feel your feelings since my dad has left us at the young age of 48. But still I believe he is with me only. He lives with me by his memories, his words, his advices, his stories, his humour, his talents and I can go on adding ….. I too agree that a person will not leave us until we leave their memories. More power to you.
    (Vasantha Vivek recently posted…Mindful Parenting To Raise My Words And Not My Voice – #MyParentingMantra)My Profile

  6. We remember the value and the moments with a person when he or she goes away. Then we will regret for the time we never spend with them. If only these realizations come to us just a moment before we miss someone dear to us.
    (Sheethal recently posted…The One That Got Away)My Profile

  7. Sorry for your loss, Vinay. I know it isn’t enough and death is one of the things I fear the most. I do not know how I will ever cope up the death of a loved one. It was difficult when I lost my grandmother. I was very close to her. It’s been 8 years and I still remember her fondly. As the quote says, nothing is truly lost as long as we remember it.
    (Shalini recently posted…To Have or Have Not)My Profile

    • There is acceptance that he is gone, T. But there are times when that acceptance is questioned because of the memories that come by often. We can’t really forget them. And what we remember, we remember with mixed feelings.

  8. I read this post yesterday but couldn’t leave a comment as I was welled up after reading. My dad died 6 years ago and after reading this it stuck me that it’s been 6 years and there was a rush if memories , if what could have beens and what had we missed. I agree Vinay, their time may have come but those memories will stay and for me my father will be completely gone only when I stop remembering about him.
    Your writing left an impression on me. The love shared between you two can be felt in your words.
    (Vinitha recently posted…A Handwritten Poem #FridayReflections)My Profile

    • Yeah. There would be mixed memories, Vinitha. Of little regrets and of much fond moments. I’m sorry for your loss too, and I don’t think that those who are really close to us will ever leave us completely. They’ll stay in those memories, in old albums and such.

  9. When my mother died, I had a flash of insight: Would I have traded the relationship she and I had, over the years, for not feeling that sharp, unrelenting pain over her death? Would I have wished for less love, less guidance, less of her influence – less of HER – if it meant that I wouldn’t feel the occasional crushing wave of grief for years after she died? No. Simply put…no.

    When we feel grief, we should feel joy for what we had, at least equal to the sorrow of its loss.

    • After the death of one who was close to us, I think those questions would definitely come up. Quite a few had come inside my head as well, Holly. I do feel happy to have had his love and blessings for as long as I did.

  10. This post, which is good for it helped you come out of the ‘not writing’ block, evoked mixed emotions in me. My awareness levels are negligible about the International names in music and I did not know who Chester Bennington was before the day the news of his death floored the media. Reading about his death gave a feel of unsettling familiarity about how the successful celebrities struggle with depression all their lives and seeing no hope at all end their lives. On the other hand, it was heart warming to read about your grandfather, how he led his life independently. This makes me think about my parents and my in-laws, how would they feel to be dependent on their children with their increasing age factor having lived their life on their own terms.
    Vinay, I didn’t know you before the Write Tribe whatsapp group. And, now that I know you (or am in the process of knowing you more), I think you are a warm person and sincere too. Your grandfather would have been very proud of you.
    (Anamika Agnihotri recently posted…Cycle Repair Wala #MondayMusings)My Profile

    • Yes. Chester had struggled, but survived against that, so it was a shock to hear of his death, and think had he relapsed. 🙁

      I think anyone will struggle to become dependent at that age, not just for money or food, but for daily chores. It would hit hard. I know he struggled, because I could see it for the last year or so.

      I’m happy to be getting to know you too, Anamika. 🙂 The group is fun, and it has helped me loads already. I’m happy to read that you feel I’m a warm person. Thank you so much.

  11. sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like he lived his life to the fullest. There is no way to get over the mourning. It continues for the rest of our lives – that’s my belief. It dulls with time but never really goes away.
    I love the memories you have shared of your grandfather – this is a warm and heartfelt writeup…

    • I would like to think that he did live his life to the fullest too, Shalini. But one does feel like he could have lived a lot longer. I agree that the memories do keep the sadness close, dull as it may become.

      Glad you liked the post. Thank you for visiting!

  12. Sorry for your loss vinay… It reminds me of my grand pa, he is also very particular about his opinions and doesn’t like to be dependent on anyone, he is weak now and needs our help but doesn’t want to accept anyone’s help. Pains a lot to see him so. I lost my grand ma last year; its true that no matter how many days and years pass the feeling of void doesn’t leave us and is triggered very often !

    • I know. It takes just a small trigger for those memories to rush back, Keerthi. And perhaps, like our doctor said, it is partly because of the age too. It can’t be helped. 🙁

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