We all have to say goodbye some day…

This morning I was greeted with the news that an elder member of our family had passed away.  She was a wonderful lady, so kind and gentle, always with a smile on her face and whatever she said, it never hurt, because her lilting voice was always so soothing. She was not a close blood member of our family, but through the marriage of one of my aunts, and our bonds grew as families got to know each other.

I spoke with my Pops this morning, my mum and he were both pretty close to this lady, and we both know she was old, and that she was suffering in her last few years.

It was for the best.

Can I go on record and say I HATE that little sentence with a vengeance.

I know you don’t want someone you love to suffer, or to go on suffering, but equally I don’t really want that person to have gone, so how was it best? For them, yes, for me, not at all. Selfish, I know, but that’s just how I feel.

My Pops has always been very spiritual and he has a very serene way of thinking about death, and  coping with it.  He really doesn’t cry, or get extremely emotional. He prays.  I have seen, over the years, many loved ones leave us, one of the cons of having a large family, but it has exposed us to death from a young age.  I would see him be comforting to everyone, but never really need comfort in the same way himself.  When I was old enough to think about these things, I asked him why he didn’t cry, or get upset.

He explained that he had never known his father, he passed on when my Pops was tiny, and yes, he used to get emotional at news like this, just like us, but then something happened, and it put life into perspective for him.  He left his family in Kenya, to study in India, in Mumbai to do his Dentistry training. It was a long haul to get there in those days, so not an easy feat to come and go freely, and telephones were still few and far between in the village in Kenya where they lived. Letters would take weeks to arrive, not like the texts and emails we have now, or the WhatsApp and various instant messenger services available to anyone with a mobile.

One day he received a letter at his dormitory from  his older brother, informing him that their mother had passed away.  He sat in silence for a while, digesting the news.  After a while, his room mate came in, and noticed that there was a letter for home. always hungry to hear of home news, even thought it wasn’t his own, he asked Pops how everyone was.  Pops replied, quite calmly, that the letter was sent to tell him that he had lost his mother.  Immediately the room mate burst into tears, and went to console my Pops, who he then noticed wasn’t crying.

“Why aren’t you crying, dost (friend)? Beji has left us, aren’t you sad?”

Pops then said that yes he was sad, but he had looked at the post mark of the letter, and the date his brother said that Beji had passed on. “I realised that at the time my mother was struggling for her last breaths, I was on a stage, dancing and celebrating… my mother passed on, and it took me 3 weeks to find out.  But all that time, the world kept on revolving, we all kept on living, and even now I know, things haven’t stopped.” He wasn’t in a position to rush home, funerals happened almost immediately at that time , so he silently said goodbye to his mother himself and said his own prayers for her.

From then on, he didn’t let death scare him, or upset him. He realised that life goes on, and we need to give the departed soul peace by calmly remembering them. And it is true.  I totally understand where Pops was coming from.

But I can’t guarantee I can do that.  I am a very emotional person, and even though I am known for smiling all the time, when someone I love passes on, tears will always spring to my eyes, I  do question why…

It scares me already, what will I be like when it is my own parents? I’m definitely not ready, but I do know we have to say goodbye some day, hopefully some day a long long long time away…

60 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. equitysoftware
    Nov 28, 2020 @ 06:12:45

    every time I watch DragonHeart… I cry my eyes out when Draco dies… I will honestly say.. that Sean Connery made me believe that dragons actually existed at some point…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Lucy Mitchell
    May 21, 2017 @ 09:17:35

    Thought provoking post. I also hate the phrase ‘it was for the best’ too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. emfletche
    May 18, 2017 @ 20:12:48

    Beautiful words as always, and I find it interesting how people deal with grief. I’m not an overly emotional person, yet cried like a baby for days when my cat died. I would like to think I could be philosophical like your Pops, but I fear that won’t be the case when the inevitable happens with my parents… I’m going to send them both a message now, to remind them that I love them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Jo (Fallen Angel)
    May 18, 2017 @ 19:20:40

    Sorry to hear of your loss Ritu. When my Nan passed away last year, I had the same “It was for the best” stuff from people who thought they were being helpful. I knew it was for the best, but that didn’t help me and I just wanted them to keep quiet! Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. I found it weird too, that life continued. It’s a strange thing to acknowledge when you’re grieving.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Diana Frajman
    May 18, 2017 @ 18:23:15

    I take a similar view as your pops does. I think the greatest honour you can give someone who you have lost is to just remember them. Thank goodness we live in age where we have the technology to communicate with our families and friends all over the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Pam Avoledo
    May 18, 2017 @ 18:18:27

    I’m sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is difficult. The void is always there.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. cookandenjoyrecipes
    May 18, 2017 @ 14:48:03

    Good read Ritu. I understand and feel as I have lost both my parents and grandparent at a young age. Yes, the world does not stop, eventhough we feel “our” world stopped.
    Take care and stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. jeremy@thirstydaddy
    May 18, 2017 @ 12:26:34

    I know several people who have had to deal with the loss of a parent recently. I can’t even imagine

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. shelleywilson72
    May 18, 2017 @ 09:42:26

    What a touching post, Ritu. I’m with you on the emotional scale, my smile hides a multitude of sadness, happiness, fear, and goodness knows what else. It’s the natural circle of life but it’s never easy to cope with. I think your dad’s strength in the way he dealt with his loss is wonderful. Hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. globalhousesitterX2
    May 18, 2017 @ 08:43:43

    We lost a nephew at a few days old, held him in our arms, guitars were playing, and people were talking with him. As we couldn’t be at the funeral, we let off balloons at the beach, a place where his parents loved to be and said our goodbyes. Yes, I wonder how we will react when our elderly parents die while travelling around Europe!! Enjoyed your post, Ritu x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. A Girl and Her Passport
    May 18, 2017 @ 08:34:32

    I am terrified of my parents passing. We are so close. I don’t know what I will do.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Trackback: My Sorrow Cup Overflows… | But I Smile Anyway...
  13. Josh Wrenn
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 18:15:12

    I love his philosophy. I can’t say I’m quite there yet, but I will always keep trying to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. coastalmom
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 01:19:03

    This was beautiful. I just read something great from another blogger who said death is not sad, its just us getting promoted and he went on to ask, do you cry when someone makes a touchdown? I thought it was such a neat way to look at it.
    But I also GET why you don’t like that,sentence. Great thoughts thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 16, 2015 @ 08:26:28

      Thank you for reading. It was the lady in questions funeral yesterday. I couldn’t be there. We are too far away, but my parents told me that she had a wonderful send off, no crazy tears, just a celebration of her life.
      I still find it hard to accept, fully, though…

      Like

      Reply

  15. Carol Balawyder
    Feb 15, 2015 @ 17:59:30

    Life is a wonderful gift. Even in your grief, be grateful for the people you love who are still alive and you can always keep alive those who have gone. Hugs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. lbeth1950
    Feb 14, 2015 @ 14:25:34

    This is a wondrous story. I love it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Nardia
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 23:06:09

    What a beautiful post Ritu. I’m sorry to hear about your loss, but you did an eloquent job at sharing that story. I agree with Kbailey374’s comment above regarding grief, it’s so different for everyone. I lost my mum nearly 17 years ago when I was 19 and at the time didn’t display many outwards signs of grief. It’s only been since having children that my grief has really made its way to the surface. It’s a tough one for people to be able to understand if it doesn’t fit with the expectations and conventions that society puts around how people should deal with grief (i.e. that time heals or that you go through x, y, z stages of grief). I think your Pops sounds like a remarkable man!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 11, 2015 @ 23:08:14

      Thank you so much for your comment and words, Nardia.
      Death is always a tough issue to deal with, and you’re right, Pops is pretty fantastic, we’re lucky to have him in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  18. backtowhatever
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 11:36:41

    Sorry about your loss 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. aspiriteddiva
    Feb 08, 2015 @ 13:06:47

    Oh sad…I am sorry 😦 Big Hug to you..Hope, you stay strong..Take care Ritu! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. sunflower
    Feb 08, 2015 @ 10:43:49

    So sorry to hear.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. Chaman
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 22:46:29

    I’ve just found out, feel like I’ve lost mama all over again, it’s like their era is going away, miss them sooo much it hurts….

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 07, 2015 @ 22:52:07

      I know hun… That generation… Slowly leaving us… I know it has to happen, but it doesn’t lessen the feelings. (((Hugs))) to you too hunny xxxxx

      Like

      Reply

  22. The V-Pub
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 22:06:15

    I’m sorry to hear the sad news, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. A Muslim Latina
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 20:00:32

    Sorry for your loss, may God put ease and comfort in your families heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. KittNoir
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 17:19:20

    So sorry sending hugs xx

    Like

    Reply

  25. Lucy bardoe
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 16:46:16

    Sorry for your loss hun. Beautiful words xxx

    Like

    Reply

  26. theoldfellowgoesrunning
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 16:37:08

    A very touching post Ritu. I am sincerely sorry for your loss.
    Your pops seems like a wonderful man, who has left a positive impact on your life. No doubt this time will be not easy for your pops and mum, just like any person close to us when they pass. I do admire people like your pops who really have that inner strength when rough moments come along.
    Thank you for sharing my friend.
    ~Carl~

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. ashokbhatia
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 16:11:32

    Deep condolences to the family. The less we cry, the easier would be the journey of the departed soul to its new abode.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  28. msmithj567
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 15:01:36

    Reblogged this on Mohit – The caretaker.

    Like

    Reply

  29. thebantamblogger
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 14:35:06

    big hugs lovely xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  30. kbailey374
    Feb 07, 2015 @ 14:01:06

    So sorry about your loss. 😦 Interesting story about your dad! As a nurse I have seen there are a million ways to grieve, and also that some of those ways don’t happen right away – I’ve heard it takes a good year to get over a loss. I’ve lost both parents and am still raw at times. All this to say don’t judge it – you will feel what you feel – and don’t fight it – those feelings are given us by God to help us through … I tend to think of tears as liquid prayers so if your dad was already praying, then he got to take a short cut 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 07, 2015 @ 14:03:43

      I like the thought of that.. it kills me to think that he was so far away, not even able to say his final goodbye, but as I said, he is so spiritual that he let God guide him, I guess.
      Thank you for your kind words
      🙂

      Like

      Reply

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