He’ll Live On For Me – Forever

At the back of my mind, I always feared this day. I knew I would have to face it someday. Yet, I didn’t see it coming. I wasn’t prepared, I guess one can never be prepared for this day.

It was the fateful evening of August 15, when my father suddenly left us forever. It’s exactly a month today. Still to conquer the shock and disbelief completely, it feels like he has just stepped out and will be back soon.

He was hale and hearty even two days back. He wasn’t ailing. The heart and BP related problems were under control and none of these had ever stopped him from leading a perfectly normal life. Physically, he was frail, which can also be attributed to his lean frame. Mentally, his strength was beyond compare.

Pic 1: He loved traveling. This one’s at Agra.

He had just turned 80 and was anything but an 80-year old. His extraordinarily active nature had earned him the nickname of Dennis the Menace in the family. He would spend most part of his day in the garden, which he painstakingly created over several years. On a typical day, he could be seen tending to his plants in the garden, pruning the hedges, climbing ladders to fix the bamboo support for creepers, mounting the compound wall to tie up the wayward branches of a tree, and so on. His hyperactive nature would worry my mother and she would chide him like a little boy.

We would often discuss that his plants know his touch, they know his presence, and they bloom with happiness for him. His flowers, fruits, and vegetables must be missing his presence in the same way, if not more. His precious little manicured garden will never be the same anymore.

Pic 2: His precious garden where he spent most of his time.
Pic 3: Another section of the garden.
Pic 4: The more I talk about his garden, the less it is. I will share more in future.

My father was a typical Bengali Babumoshai in his love for fish. His passion was not so much in eating as it was in going to the market to examine the fresh catches of the day, and also in scouting for the exotic varieties of freshwater fishes. The latter would reach exponential proportions whenever we would come home for holidays.

Another passion of his was politics and current affairs. He was extremely opinionated in matters of governance of the country. His antipathy towards a certain political party and a few selective political figures would find unique ways of expression. His introvert nature notwithstanding, he wouldn’t shy away from swearing and using cuss words, which was most of the times amusing but at times irritating too.

The year 2020 is bizarre for humankind. I had never thought this year would also bring about the biggest personal loss for me. My father’s case is a collateral damage of this pandemic year. A fatal fall leading to a cerebral hemorrhage sealed our fates forever. The limited medical facilities in Shillong, where they stay, left us helpless. Bangalore, with its advanced medical facilities would have been ideal. But we could do nothing. The pandemic made immediate interstate movement nearly impossible.

Candid 3
Pic 5: He loved the sea. This one’s at Diu Fort when I captured him enjoying the view.

My father seamlessly transitioned into the Afterworld. That remains my greatest solace. He had it easy and did not suffer at all. He was blessed in that sense. Moreover, he passed away indulging in activities he enjoyed the most. He fell on a Tuesday, was fine on Wednesday – did his usual gardening, fish market visits, and swearing at the politicians while watching the evening news. Thursday he was admitted to the hospital, was fully conscious and doing fine. Friday, his condition suddenly deteriorated and he had to be operated. Saturday, he passed away.

I wasn’t there by his side when he breathed his last. Losing a parent is the most difficult thing to come to terms with. I thought I understood when it happened to others, but no I didn’t. Now that it happened to me, I know how it feels.

Candid 2
Pic 6: Easily and effortlessly, he walked away from this world….

My life feels like it has fallen apart and as though I am caught up in a whirlwind. Everything feels meaningless. Tsunamis of powerful emotions hit me every now and then. Each time, I try to steer my thoughts towards the positive side of how this has happened. And what could have happened but didn’t. 

My father had a good life. I will celebrate his life rather than grieve his death. I owe it to him. I will always remain grateful that he touched my life in such powerful and beautiful ways. I have no regrets and I know that his love and blessings will remain with me for the rest of my life.

It will take me time to adjust to his physical absence. Whenever I’m reminded of him, I will use it as an opportunity to cherish his memories.

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

39 thoughts on “He’ll Live On For Me – Forever”

  1. Only you would have right measure of your loss, and any other word expressed cannot express it enough. Your lovely tribute shows that he led a very contended and happy life, and that he led it in one of the most beautiful places on earth. He lived his moments as a happy man should, and left the world as a happy man should, without suffering. Keep the memories alive at heart, and think him happy whenever a new flower blooms in that very beautiful garden. I am sorry for your loss …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Deb. That he had a good life and didn’t suffer at all in the end is what’s holding us up. Everyone has to go one day and only few are lucky to go this way. His absence is not easy for us but only time will heal.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Death of a parent is hard at any time in life. You have prescribed your own medicine in your last two paragraphs. You will not forget him, scars from the loss will remain, but that is not a bad thing because they are reminders of the good he gave you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear this news. It is really hard to accept the loss. My condolences to you and to all your family members. Your well written tribute brings out the personality of your father. The maintenance of the beautiful garden reveals his love for the flowers and the environment. The regret of not being with him when he breathed his last will remain. Only time should heal the wound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Ramasamy Sir. The garden was his heart and soul. These are pictures of only parts of the ornamental garden. He left behind a kitchen garden too – chayote, pumpkin, beans, chillies, lemons and what not. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Neel, I don’t think these words can completely explain what you are feeling. Indeed, losing a loved one especially parents is not an easy situation. When I look at the garden pictures in your post, I can definitely conclude he loved his garden and plants. It shows in the pictures. Words cannot bring solace for this loss; my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Take care, Neel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Arvind. I cannot write in words what I am actually feeling. Most people have to go through this day in their lives and it is indeed very tough. Someone had once told me that the feeling is like that of a protective roof being blown off by a storm. I now understand what they had meant.
      Thank you for your wishes and thoughts.


      1. Yeah, you are right. Someday, it happens and you realize nothing is permanent in life like this moment itself. I can understand the feeling you have. Only time can heal. Take good care of yourself my friend, we are passing through a difficult time.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am really sorry to hear this, Neel. Your words tell us the passion and zest with which he lived his life and only the fortunate amongst us depart while being able to do what we love the most.
    The garden is a labour of love and I cannot even imagine the time, effort and care that has gone into creating and tending to it.
    My prayers and wishes to you, your family and your dad. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That he was fortunate makes me feel better. Most of us would like to leave this world as easily a she did. The garden was his pride. He would spend more time there than inside the home. So much, that it sometimes still feels like he’s outside and will open the door and just walk in.
      Thank you for your wishes and prayers, Nomadosauras.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a heart-warming memoir of your father. I am sorry for your loss, I read it so late. But it looks like he has lived his life so well and has given you some of his gifts. I think he will continue to live on in you. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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