Forgiving Papa

Dear Amma,

I finally went to visit papa today. He had a smile on his face when he saw my car pull up to the driveway.  He was happy and relieved to see me as he had not seen me in 2 weeks.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to go and see him after knowing what I know. I feel dead inside, I wish I could say that I was furious…but I can’t. It feels like a volcano that’s internally exploding.  I really don’t know how to express it any other way.

We spoke about the trip that we took to Kuantan. Papa was reminiscing about the times that his parents would take them to the beach on Sundays for a picnic. What fun times they had as kids. He just wanted to know if I had shown Vicky his old school, his old parish, St Thomas Church. Told him that I didn’t but only to the beach. Funny, in all of my growing up years, I don’t remember us ever going for a picnic ever at all. Anyways, some things in life, once its gone, it is gone. Right , Amma?

I brought up the conversation that I had with Aunty Saras. Secretly, hoping that there’s just a small chance that it was all a misunderstanding. He never said a thing. Not even deny it or get angry with me. Nothing. Instead, he decided to divert my attention to other topics. I looked at his face and it was a face of guilt. A face of remorse. I looked at him and slowly told him, ” Amma, told me everything but I didn’t believe her. Now, I know it is true. Amma forgives you for everything. I forgive you for everything too. What happened I don’t want and don’t need to know. It is now between you and God. ” With that, I closed the topic. He still didn’t say anything except to nod in agreement.

We changed the topic to Vicky’s work and on the cats. After a while, we left back home. During the drive home, my thoughts circled on my one glimmer of hope that shattered. “He is guilty as hell!” This echoed continuously in my head. I can’t change the past and he is now in his twilight years. Has my life and all that I known been a lie ? I just can’t explain the deep darkness in my soul. Nothing is true anymore.My rainbow glasses taken off and I see the reality. I hate it.

” Heavenly Father, help me!” I just feel like screaming. I feel so alone and scared. What karma am I facing? What do I do , Amma? How do I move forward? It must have been worse for you. I now understand why you kept saying that you are still alive and kicking because of me. I was your motivation to keep going on.

I am so sorry for being such a terrible daughter to you. Forgive me , Amma. I always sided with papa for everything , being a daddy’s girl. Oh! How much I must have hurt your feelings, Amma. I am so sorry for being such an idiot.

Thank you Amma for everything that you have done for me and for your unconditional love

Missing you dearly.

Your loving daughter,

Angeline

September is here and I can’t move on

I am stuck. Is it a rut? I don’t know. All I know is I am stuck. I can’t move. Inside a rage is building up and the mounting pressure is unbearable.Broken hearted and dead inside. I want to share this with someone, but the one soul that I can share anything with is now no more.

Everywhere I turn, a discomfort follows me around. I can’t laugh at myself, I can’t chill. All I can see is failure, rejection and self loathing because others have used me as a doormat. When will I ever learn? Why is it that I am not allowed to have my own say in anything? Why can’t I be rude? Why must I conform to others? Who are others to me? Do they mean anything at all to me? Hell, no! I must seem like a joke to all.

I contemplated jumping today from my balcony to just end this pain. 9 stories down, that should do a nice job of ending it. The look of my 2 fur babies purring at my feet , made me rethink the thought. “Who will be there for my babies? I need to live for them.” I went to the altar instead and cried out to the Virgin Mother, ” Amma, I can’t do this, I am tired and I am scared! Help me! ” Saltwater kept streaming down my cheeks until I calmed down listening to hymns from an online mass playing from Medjurgorje.

Opened the bible and the words that came to me was patience and trust in the lord. The next thing that I felt in my heart was pray, pray pray. I tried but I couldn’t. Instead , I just spoke to God and asked him to teach me on how to be me.

The pain of loneliness and rejection that my mom went through during her living years is what I am going through. It’s true what they say , “Karma is a bitch.” I am sorry , amma. I never realised what you went through. I am not as strong as you amma, to go through this.

I just can’t do it.

Letting go of your belongings

2 days of the festival of Eid ( it is a muslim celebration post Ramadhan and its a holiday here) and all of my plans of cleaning and redecorating the house went for a toss. What was I doing? Watching Netflix. It starts with one show and then another, it goes on and on. You know how it is , right?  48 hours that I will never get back , mind you. What was I watching? I was looking for series that talks about happiness , I wanted to find a way to simplify things , find out why I feel such a void and crippled in everything that I do. What did I find? Marie Kondo series and a documentary on being a minimalist.

I have been a fan of Marie Kondo for a while now , ever since I read her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. During the same time, I started learning about this whole concept of minimalism. It is a simple concept with deep meaning rooted within it. It helped me to start to declutter my house starting with my stuff and then the rest of the things that my parents had ( my dad was already placed in a nursing home and he had everything he needed with him there). Did I turn out to be an excellent organiser? Far from it. Did I learn something from it? Certainly, yes.

There’s one episode of Marie Kondo on Netflix in which a widow was “doing the konmarie” of her late husband’s things which really gave me a flashback to the time when I sat through my mum’s things. It was a literal “torture” to declutter and choose what to keep of my moms as everything seems precious to me. I still remember my frustration when I saw that she kept all the handbags,purses and sarees that I bought for her in a bag hiding in the closet. She never , ever used it once. All I could think of was, why was she keeping it and not using it? That was a sheer waste of money. It took me awhile to figure out why she did what she did.

When a person passes away, they leave behind all of their stuff behind for their loved ones to clean up. It is a LOT of things. We just consume and store everything without even thinking how this will effect our family when we leave. What are they to do with them? Keep them or give it away? It may look easy, but it can be an overwhelming task. Never underestimate the power of material things with your emotional attachment to it. I certainly had them and to let go was and is never my strength.

Back to the show, as this widow went through her things and her late husbands’ things, the raw emotion that she tried to hide from the cameras came out strongly. I could feel her pain with every piece that she placed into the donation bag. Her anxiety as she drove to the thrift store, I understood that, I was there once. I could empathize with her. Something she said resonated so strongly with me ; ” No one can take away the 40 years of memories with my husband”. That’s so true.

Amma’s things was just her things. Yes, I still wear her kaftans to sleep because I want to feel her close to me. I still wear her chain and rings for special occasions. The rest of her things that I donated away, I don’t miss it. No one can take my memory of my mother. That is something I will always have with me till the day I die. Which brings to the subject of happiness…

Am I happy? No. I have to come clean and admit that I am co dependent on my hubby to find my happiness. I may be the breadwinner of the household but for my emotional needs, I cling to the hubby. Growing up I clung to the approval of my parents to claim my happiness. I never had the guts to do anything I really wanted to do. For everything, I had to compete and be better than someone else’s child.Everything was a competition. I just wanted to be noticed and I enjoyed the attention, no matter how shy I was as a child. It came to a point that I grew fed-up not being able to enjoy things that I loved. I just quit everything. I loved playing the piano but I just quit before anything because I was bored when it was more of passing exams and statements like these came about daily, “…wait till you become a piano teacher and you will be able to make money.” I just felt pressured and fell out of love for anything that I did when it became a competition. You can say that I “ran away”. Fast forward to the present, I am still the same. Like it or not, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I have no value for the dollar.For me, it’s an arbitrary number and means nothing. I buy things for no reason. Once upon a time, I would get angry if anyone told me not to get something because it was expensive and even asked me to budget. I now understand the cause of my anger. I used money to buy things just to fill the void and give me a temporary happiness. It is better than nothing. Same concept that I used in relationships which turned out to be more of 1 night stands or just used for fucks/ “friends” with benefits. Am I proud of it? Hell no. Stupid , stupid mistake of my youth. In all my intelligence, knowing full well their intentions, I still went for it thinking that its “love” , I was just looking for love in all the wrong places. If amma knew any of this, it would have broke her heart to know that her girl did this. I am sure she knows all about it now.

I digress….back to minimalism. Finding that happiness in your life will never happen until you find who you are and accept that first. It is not easy and its a process. A process that I am still learning as a 44 year old woman. Do you really need all the things that you have right now?  Does it spark joy? Ask yourself that.

If you want to learn more about minimalism, just click the link below to know further:

https://www.theminimalists.com/

https://konmari.com/

Would love to hear from any of you who would like to share on how you managed to declutter through your deceased loved ones things. Maybe, you are going through the process right now and you want to vent or even ask any questions, please feel free to leave a comment /question below. Happy to help if I can , if not, happy to listen to you.

Angie

Forgiveness & inner healing

Dear Amma,

Last weekend, we went over to Kuantan to visit Aunt Saras ( papa’s cousin) and it was a weekend that answered many unanswered questions left within me.

All throughout my drive to Kuantan, watching how the sun breaks through the clouds, the beautiful mixed array of colours that awakens your soul in the morning and the morning mist, kept me in a self realization mode that this trip was going to be something more than I could ever wish for. It was not just purely to show the hubby Kuantan nor was it to accompany Aunt Saras , but it felt as if God was showing me something else of what life was like for you and papa.

Arriving at Aunt’s place, I was,at first,taken aback ( in a good way) that she had prepared so much of food and was really looking forward to our arrival to her place. She’s more frail than the last that I saw her but still strong and independent in doing her own work. I had to hold back my tears when I drank her coffee. Reminded me of how you would mix coffee for us, ma. Just dunking in buttered bread into milk coffee was simply heavenly and a welcome breakfast after a 4 hour drive.

All the time that we were there, she shared about her life, her children, her grandchildren, her separation and ultimately her divorce from an unfaithful man. Listening to her and on her transformation from someone so gentle and demure to a strong headed and independent woman, ensuring her children received the best as a single mum turned my fondness into respect. She too, like you, was a nurse. During her ordeal, she had a job to fall back on to support her children. But, amma, you did not…

I learnt from her about my dad’s unfaithfulness to you with her own sister, as she termed as “your dad’s lover”. The story went on how papa’s sister and you, one day, caught them red handed and how you went after the “witch” with a broom to beat her up. You sacrificed your career as an OT nurse in India, came all the way to Malaysia, to a land in which you don’t even know the language, trusting this one man and he turned out to be a bastard. As Aunt Saras narrated this story, I could relive every moment of it, how you must have felt. Cheated and betrayed by a man who promised you the world. One thing baffled me, why did you not just leave him then? Return to India and go back to work? Annul the marriage and forget any of this ever happened? Was it the shame that you had to face if you returned back? Was it your true love for papa? Certainly , it wasn’t me, since I have not been conceived.

That night I was troubled, I could hardly sleep. I was so disappointed with myself. For 39 years that I lived with you, I never knew this in such detail. I always knew that you were always suspicious of papa but now that I know the backstory, you were right to be so. The man that I hero worshiped as a child, turns out to be someone that I never knew. Was my life and my image of a perfect family all a lie? Towards the end, my relationship with papa went sour and whatever that I am doing now for him is due to my obligation as a daughter and a human being. Why things went sour and what was the secret that papa was hiding from me that literally ruined our family and finally brought to your demise, I now do not want to know. What’s the point?

A peace came into my soul and I could picture the possible scenario in my head and understood the “torture” that you went through. I am so sorry, ma, for not understanding your pain. You protected me from everything so well that I never saw it at all. I could only hear one voice, to forgive him (papa) and myself ( since I have blamed myself for everything) and live the life that I have been blessed with.

The loneliness that I now feel is less scary, I have accepted it as my destiny.You have been preparing me to live a better life than you ever had. But amma, a life without you by my side is meaningless. I know that you are watching over me . Keep praying for me, amma as I will be praying for you too. My soul needs time to heal from its wounds and soon your little girl will make you proud, amma. I don’t know what I am going to do or how but with your prayers and Abba Father in heaven holding my hand, I will make it , ma.

I have yet to meet papa after my trip to Kuantan. I don’t know what to say to him. One side of me says, ” Just confront him and forgive him for what he has done” and another side says ,” Do nothing”.  Let’s see what happens when the time comes.

Amma, my candle that shone brightly to guide my path, thank you for everything that you have done. I am here today because of you. My eternal gratitude to you.

Your loving daughter

 

 

Letter to Amma : Mid Life Crisis

Hi Amma,

How are you? How’s Frisky? Is Brownie with you? Hope all of you are at peace with God.

I am going through the motions of life after your departure and it has been a daily struggle to get through each day. Each day passes so fast and so many things have happened to me which elevated us and brought us out to a new level. Its been 1.5 years now that we have moved from our previous home. God has been kind to find us a place to stay and the required funds to move. I am sure you are seeing all this from where you are.  Thank you Amma for your constant prayers and for looking out for us.

I have just left my job and joined a new place. I don’t know if I made the right choice. In my heart, the former establishment is still in my heart. Maybe not the nutrition division but other divisions. Whatever said and done, I have a job which pays the bills for that I am grateful. The new place is ok, its relatively new so everything needs to be done from scratch. I am privileged to be able to assist my boss who has been a kind friend to me throughout the years.  I still have an emptiness inside. A loneliness which I can’t figure out what it is. I do not have friends in this new place. It is coming to 3 months and nothing. I try to adjust but I can’t seem to do so. Everything I say or do seem wrong. I now say nothing to anyone and just speak if required. That was your nagging advise to me before, remember? 🙂 Finally, I listen to you.

The personal front, I feel lonelier. Without you, amma, I have no one. My entire life has always revolved around you. That’s why I used to be furious with you when you rather sacrifice everything for papa and not be with me. I was jealous. If you and papa moved with me to Melaka, years ago, everything would have been fantastic. I miss having a true family with me. Yes, I miss my home cooked meals ( your cooking) especially your chicken curry! 🙂 Thinking of it makes my mouth drool.

A thought hit me recently, more a realization of the time that has passed from 2014 until present and where I am in my marriage and self realization. I will be 44 this year and no children. Amma, nothing has happened. I bring up the topic of adoption and it has fallen into deaf ears due to current circumstances. That’s not the reason why you wanted me to get married. You wanted me to build my own life and family ( kids) . It is not going to happen, that’s what I realized. When you were 44, I was a 14 year old girl. What a change for me! Amma, I feel like a huge failure in my life. At least , if this was a trade off for a lustrous career, then it would be understandable. It isn’t so. I am neither successful in my career path nor in my personal life.  I feel very tired Amma. I have failed you, Amma. I am sorry. I am just useless.

I had wasted so much time yearning for other’s acceptance of me, their approval of me. So much so that I have been a doormat for many. You and papa tried telling me before but I never listened to both of you. I sacrificed my time for people who don’t exist anymore in my life after you left. I regret it the most. I still have that “disease” to be a YES person even though I don’t want to. I realized the reason and I find saying NO is a difficult thing to do. I am so afraid of people not liking me. I just want to belong somewhere, to have a sense of belonging. Thus far, I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Even my in laws ( except my father in law) still can’t accept me as part of the family.

I never had a wedding (sacrament of matrimony) , all that dream that I had, flushed down the toilet. Now, I will NEVER be a mother to a human child, thanks to circumstances. No amount of money will ever buy me this Amma. I have no one apart from papa, hubby and the 2 cats. After they all leave me one day, what am I to do? I am afraid of being alone , Amma. That was your biggest fear for me and it is coming true. I wasted a truly beautiful life , God gave me , Amma.  I am crushed internally and I can’t stop crying for what a failure that I have been.

I am sorry Amma for failing you. Please pray for me and look out for me. I need you, Amma. I really wish that I can talk to you face to face. I miss you so much.

Take care and please hug Frisky and Brownie for me.

Your loving daughter,

Angeline

 

4 years on…

It has been a while since I last blogged. Today, I decided to fight off my procrastination of 4 years to finally start typing off my thoughts and life here.

What has happened thus far? A quick summary:

  1. I spent 2 years trying to get my dad to walk. I stopped work and spent time taking my dad to the rehab hospital for physiotherapy and all I wanted is to get him to walk again. What did I learn from my enthusiasm and positiveness? You can’t help anyone who don’t want to help themselves
  2. I have been suffering from severe depression. I can’t afford treatment, so just relying on breathing exercises ,incessant crying to God and getting angry all the time
  3. Finances are tight and I took loans thinking that it can help us , only to dive deeper to a hole that I can’t crawl out off
  4. I realized what my passion is…teaching. I made income teaching tuition and it is the best thing that ever happened to me. Instant happiness. Just pure joy.Meaningful.
  5. My husband lost his job in October 2016 which sprung me into action to get a job ASAP. In the span of 4 years, he has worked in 3 places. I don’t know what kind of luck he has with keeping a job. Why in the world a well educated man like him go through hell, I can never explain. He is still unemployed 18 months later. Slowly, my trust in him fades away.
  6. I started working Jan 2017 in an MNC. Perhaps, God heard me and pressed the reset button in my life. Had a hard time adjusting to my working environment. For an American MNC, it is tough environment to be in. I miss my former alma mater however, beauty of living is to adjust with changes. Adjust I did. Survived it till now and was promoted up in less than 1 year. Very grateful to God for showing me that I can triumph and rise above the ashes.
  7. I still teach over the weekends so that we can manage the finances…wait correction, so that I can manage the finances.
  8. No children as of yet. Why? This marriage has yet to be consummated.My partner may claim that he loves children but he has no interest in making any of his own. This marriage seems to be some sort of vow of celibacy for me. Years later, I am so used to this celibacy that I have no interest in him. I am now 43 years and no kids.
  9. I have gained 20 kgs from the time of marriage until now. 90kgs ! The heaviest ever. It has taken a toll on my health. My ankle swells and my whole body hurts. I have no money to see a Dr. I have to fake it to keep going.
  10. I haven’t gone for a holiday for a long while. My idea of a holiday at the moment is to rot at home. Being married to my hubby who starts calculating everything to dampen my mood, raises my blood pressure constantly.
  11. Frisky, my love of 12 years, my cat went to be with amma (mom) on the 14th of November 2017. As he breathe his last in my arms ( after suffering a kidney failure), I felt my heart ripped out and the pain is still there. I know, for one thing, he is with mom , happy over the rainbow bridge.
  12. Remember my depression? Still there….much worse….still faking it to make it out there in the world.

In all these years, beyond the darkness and negative overtones, one thing I know for sure, God is watching me and guiding my steps no matter what’s the situation. At times, I swear that I can hear an audible voice saying, ” Have faith, my child”. The warm feeling I get when I hear it, I am convinced that its from the BIG BOSS way up there. I am grateful to HIM because without HIM, I am nothing.

 

 

Love,

Angie

 

Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta

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” When I was hungry,you fed me…”

Today marks the canonization of Mother Theresa as a saint. An official day to declare her sainthood , a title she had already earned when she started her mission of love in Calcutta.

With the wonders of technology today, it was a great blessing that we had the opportunity to witness her canonization. Tears strolled down my face as I prayed along with the congregation in thanksgiving for being blessed to witness this occasion and for the privilege of being alive during the time she walked on earth and did what no one else wanted to do. To care for the “unwanted” of the world.

Being a Roman Catholic, the saints were a common topic of conversation  in the house. St Christopher’s medallion was for safety during travel, St Anthony is for recovering lost things, St Jude for hopeless cases and the list goes on. I could never pay attention or remember all of these saint’s stories but only one caught my attention as a child – a petite western looking nun in a white and blue saree. Mother Theresa.

Amma introduced Mother Theresa to me. She told me what this nun did in Calcutta which amma witnessed herself. She admitted to me that she , being a nurse , could not bare doing what Mother Theresa did especially for the lepers. Lifting them up with her bare hands and cleaning them, seeking treatment for them and giving them comfort during their final hours. As a child, I didn’t understand what a leper was. I kept asking amma, “Is that something to do with leopards in the jungle?” Hilarious, when I think of it now. A silly question from a 6 year old. She patiently took one of her medical books and showed me pictures of it and that troubled me. Mother Theresa’s magnificence stayed in my heart. I watched videos about her- documentary mostly, and read books written about her. I remember a night during a retreat ( this was a confirmation retreat) and they were playing a video on Mother Theresa. I was so excited to watch it and I assumed everyone else would be too. Unfortunately, I was the only one and it made me angry. How can anyone not think of her as someone esteemed? She does the Lord’s work so beautifully. Some day , I want to be just like her. That was what I wished for when I was 16 years old.

Be careful for what you wish for because it can come true. I had a chance to be like her but in a smaller way, to be a caregiver for my own parents. It was difficult and physically draining. I gave my best , although I still feel that I didn’t do enough. The sacrifice of giving up your own desires and to be in service is not an easy task. It takes a toll on you mentally and emotionally. I don’t know how Mother Theresa did it and kept herself so active. She just went on and on and from what I have read about her, she is a fiesty lady. She gets what she wants!

When the time came for me to send papa to the nursing home, my heart broke. First thing I said to my husband was, ” I can’t even do this, I can’t even take care of my own papa, how can I even emulate Mother Theresa and do more? She dealt with worse situations and she could do it on her own ( relating to her early days) .” My husband assured me that I had done the best that I could and not to compare myself to Mother. I wanted to be like her so much and just so disappointed that I couldn’t even be a fraction of her.

That’s the kind of impact this blessed saint has had in my life.Her death and canonization brings about another question. What kind of legacy would you like to leave behind for the next generation ? I would love to hear your comments.

Till the next blog….

What do you do all day?

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This is the one question that irks me. Just because I am at home, does that mean I can chill and do nothing?

The floor is not self cleaning, the plates do not wash itself, the litter box needs to be scooped, toilets have to be scrubbed, have no personal chef to cook for us. These are just some of my activities at home, not to mention working. I currently work part time as an educator dabbling in the world of chemistry.

It is true I have more time to do the things that I enjoy. However, the perception and the body language that I get from acquaintances and friends alike nonetheless irk me to the core. Looking back, I can’t truly be angry with them. I did the same as them to my own mother. Oh! How much I must have hurt her !

Knowing that fact, destroys my soul. I did not know the impact of my words to her. She never complained or got angry at me even once. I guess karma has bit my ass.

Amma, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to belittle you. I didn’t know how much of work that you had to do to manage the household. Now, I know what you went through.

Till my next post…

Being idle

I have kept silent from this blog for a few months now. The truth is, it is not just from this blog, it is from everything. I became idle. Everything halted. Whatever around me just went about its business like clockwork.I became a statue.

I could just sit down  from dawn and stare at a tree all day and not feel time passing me by. By the time, realization sets in , it would be nightfall and the day has ended. I was amazed with myself. Amazed in my hidden talent of being a statue.

Watching people from the balcony is like watching reality TV. Many shows all at once. The drama of it all or at times the lack of it. In my  mind, a constant flashback of the past , makes me wonder if anything would have changed if I made a different decision. Gosh! Wouldn’t it just be wonderful to use a time machine and make changes to all of my decisions ( after knowing what I know now). I would finally be happy! …or would I?

The reality is that I can’t change anything. I look back and get more upset with myself. So much for self forgiveness. I don’t think I can ever fully forgive myself. Facebook is a vice of mine which I tend to use to punish myself. I can be happy for someone else yet punish myself for being a failure.The sin of comparison with others. For those who are depressed like me, steer away from Facebook as much as you can. It is bad for health!

I don’t know what happened to Angie , the person I used to be? Smiling hurts my cheek muscles now. Laughing is a tiresome event . Going out is stressful ( even to the store right in front of my place). Meeting people? Heck no! Whats-app groups are worthless unless there is genuine conversation on it, at least that would be my personal take on it. I kept them before because I wanted to belong to a group or a gang. It would kill the loneliness , so I thought. It doesn’t. It is just another tool to build more shallow “relationships” which I don’t need. Instead of building more hatred inside me, I decided to delete the groups. I don’t need groups to have a sense of belonging. I just need to find ME.

Where has Angie gone? I need to find HER again. I am lost without HER.

For now, I am signing off to rest my weary body  and mind. Heavy eyes…maybe I will find the answer in the morning.

 

An eventful Sunday

Yesterday was an eventful Sunday. All this while, I had a belief that I am on the road to recovery from grief. Starting my life again , looking at daily events with a new pair of eyes. How wrong I was!

I went to visit papa in his nursing home and found him asleep at dinner time. He was rather shocked to see me ( at least that is how I would like to think of it), as I hardly come by at dinner time. He has been skipping meals rather frequently and even after we have repeatedly told the staff to ensure he eats, he is still at it. I am not sure what is the issue and why he seem to want to skip dinner. Asking him is futile as he never answers your questions truthfully. Back of my mind, my paranoia started acting up. Thoughts of could this be signs that papa is leaving me soon? My concern turned as anger directed at him. I scolded him for skipping meals and sat down with him until he finished his bread and Milo ( that seems to be the only thing he wants to eat). Tears came as I was scolding him and I found myself sobbing with a pronounced sorrow in my heart. Little did I know what was happening in the background at the nursing home.

One of the female residents died.  This realization occurred when I saw a white van reversing into the driveway. Nirvana Memorial , the name of the funeral parlour, written on the van. 4 gentlemen came down the van and started walking into a room at the back, accompanied by the ladies’ eldest son. Chills came down my spine, my heart raced and I informed papa what had happened. I broke down in front of papa.

“Please don’t leave me. I don’t have anyone. Please don’t leave me, papa.” Papa had nothing to say. He was quiet for a while.” I am here. I am not going anywhere. Why are you crying? Death has freed her from her suffering.” My response to papa’s statement was ” Yes, death freed her but I have suffered for 2 years. It hurts and I can’t do this again. I cannot go through another funeral. It is too painful”. What was this? I was taken aback by my own words. Where was this coming from? Papa quickly realised that I was not talking about the deceased but I was talking about amma.

After a moment of silence, the body was removed, covered with a white cloth and taken into the van. I tried not to look and wanted my papa to look away. He didn’t. He watched as they took her body into the van. It was as if we relived amma’s funeral all over again. After a while, I left the nursing home wishing my papa well.

The drive back was hell. I found myself sobbing and screaming in the car. ” Lord, help me! I cannot do this anymore. I am tired. Please stop this torture”.This vocal discord with God continued until I reached home. I returned with a torn soul and an anxious heart. I feel so alone and scared.Is this some sort of penance for sins of my past life? Why can’t I just move on with life and be happy? This death has affected me rather deeply. Probably it would be more apt to say that it brought out “monsters” that I can’t seem to face.

Oh! I don’t know what to do?