Saturday, January 31, 2009

That's life

Recently my friend's mother passed away. I had been to the funeral. A lot of peole had gathered and the scene was quite emotional. Relatives, near and dear, paid their last respects to the departed soul.

My friend's father who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease was shown his wife's body and was informed that she was no more. The father was oblivious to the fact that she had passed away. People around who witnessed this scene cried bitterly that the father could not fathom what had happened. The husband and the wife, both life partners, suffered no grief, each for their own reasons. One was affected by Alzheimer's and the other a departed soul . Paradoxically, all others present were grieving for husband and the wife. How strange sometimes life is.

After the funeral was over, my friend told me that his sisters and brothers would go away since they stayed abroad.Thus, the responsibility of looking after the father would rest on him. I told him that over the years he had looked after his parents, and that now he had to continue looking after his father. I saw his concern and understood that the way his siblings had their own lives to lead, he also had his own.


Seeing his concern and the string of words formed on his lips, I prodded him to speak out. My friend said "My concern is not about looking after my father. But whether I can look after him the same way my mother did. I cannot be 'her' to 'him' ." So poignant and well said.

Indeed husband - wife relationship is so special - a spiritual relationship - an union of two souls.

27 comments:

Sridhar said...

The narration is a touching one. Really the relationship is unique.

Infact, my mother used to tell me that she prayed for my Dad to expire before her,(eventhough she becomes a widow)because it is very difficult for others to look after him like her as he was bed ridden after his leg fracture,coupled with depression.

I do not know if the same type of relationship exist nowadays with the present generations.

nsiyer said...

Thanks Sridhar for the great sharing.

TCGirivasan@Vasan, Puducherry said...

When we are young our mother takes care of us and when we are married and old you we taken care by wife. None can replace them. They are special for every male.

Male folks are fortunate enough that God has sent mothers and wives to nurse us.

We dont realize it when we are normal but do so only when sick and bed ridden for a couple of days.

A few days back I was talking to Mr.TSS and was enquiring about Mr.PKK Murthy. I was shocked to know that he is no more. My God! hard to believe.

If this is life, let us make everyone around us happy by our words and deeds.

June Saville said...

Hello again Nsiyer
Age brings with it so many difficulties for everyone involved. But pulling together is the only way, for it is a fact of life.

Ghost Particle said...

//The husband and the wife, both life partners, suffered no grief, each for their own reasons.// heart wrenching. lives are full of events and tragedies that cant be imagined, but are certainly lived. my admiration to the friend who has taken care of the parents for all this time.

your post has opened my eyes sir. and the ending is forever etched.

how the younger kids nowadays have forgotten the soul of humanity, its truly unimaginable to think that such love and devotion are lesser now.

Kavi said...

The post stirred something in me ! And many miles away, in my mom too !

Life has its twists and turns. And some turns are forever. Some twists stay twisted !

Sometimes, it is posts like these that wake us up from slumber.

Sir, thnk you !

priya said...

Very moving post, Sir.

Looking after ones aged parents was a normal thing in India till a few years ago. All of a sudden aged parents seem to be perceived as a burden... part of the whole 'aping the west' fad! I do not think its fair in any way. It's good to move ahead and progress in life... but not at the cost of our virtues!

I wish your friend all the strength required not just to look after his father but also to do that with a whole lot of satisfaction and pride.

Sania Mahajan said...

"I cannot be 'her' to 'him'."
The line just says it all... Life is so unpredictable and one unfortunate incident can change it all!!
I believe the new generation needs to understand the sacredness and strength of the relationships.

I wish strength for your friend!

nsiyer said...

Thanks Giri. Well written. Yes, the wife needs to be included.

I agree June Saville. It is necessary to take it on.

Yes. Ghost Particle. Thanks for your nice comments.

nsiyer said...

Thanks Kavi. I am touched that it moved you and your mom. My respects and regards to her and your dad.

Thanks Priya.I will convey it to my friend, Subhash.

Thanks Sania. I will inform my friend. Keep writing. I keep visiting your blog.

seemasubba@gmail.com said...

Avery touching post and I was a witness to the whole incident.
I remember when Subash's father was brought down on a wheel chair to see his wife, he wished everyone 'Namaste', little realising that his life partner was no more.

Yes, I know how Subash and his wife have taken care of his parents. He is an example and role model to follow. I wish Subash and Revathi all the strength and courage to tide over the present crisis.

The Comic Project said...

Very touching. There's so much people share when they grow old together. Special relationship indeed. Thanks for dropping by at TCP. Have been lazy and consumed by some weird things happening and haven't been around. If only I stop procrastinating setting up a RSS reader, I will be more up to date on so many things.

@sridhar: we can certainly try, hope. even succeed.

nsiyer said...

Thanks TCP. Nice to know that quite a lot of us do share such commonalities.

Parents are not in danger.

yashaswini said...

Dear sir,

Having read your post and the comments this has stayed with me….

My great grand parents (who were alive till two years back) were like that….two souls intertwined. My great grand mothers enduring wish was that she should die a sumangali (married) and she got that. Every one somehow knew that with her something had gone from my great grand father as well.. the will to live… it was almost as if his life on this earth was a formality he was forced to do. And just as we all guessed, after a year of her demise, my great grand father passed away too.
During that year, everyone did what they could to take care of him. Of course it was never what she did for him. It could not have been. After all it was not just that she took care of him. Her role was so much more - She was a reason to live, She was a companion. She was a part of him. She was a part of this world as he knew it. Such things no one else can ever replace…NO one else can ever be “her”. And most importantly, I think that he KNEW that. He understood and accepted it much better than all of us did that her role in his life is now gone forever.
In fact, no one took her demise more stoically than he did. The entire joint family was concerned about what will happen to his care now… he however, was so calm and sure of it…he knew he had to follow her soon enough and what had from her was not something he looked for elsewhere in any case.
I think the fact that he accepted this whereas the rest of the family did not, set him free from the loss of her death. But his sons and daughters carried that guilt and loss a lot longer !

varunavi said...

Stumbled upon ur blog.
Very touching write up.
Women are stronger then men, when by dad was bedridden for 1 year, like a pillar my mom stood beside him.but when my mom was hospitalised by dad was broken,he was so tensed.
A women can lead a life of a widow but a men can't lead a life of a widower.
god bless ur friend

Hector (Verma) said...

I am moved by the narration Sir. I believe death is the ultimate truth.
In this fast moving world of today incidents and articles like this force us to take a pause and think if we are building such unique and strong bonds or not?

SUNDER IYER said...

The incident is a touching one.

Life though testing for few can sometime be magical as well.

Here in this incidence the couple were blessed in disguise a waiver from the pain of seperation.

Every relation which we develop each day is special and i can really imagine the pain of seperation for a couple who have stayed together for most part of their life.

Sunder

Dewdrop said...

Sir, the one thing that touched me most about this post was the irony of the entire situation where the wife was no more and the husband, her companion of years, would never kow that she was no more... in fact for him, she would have become a distant memory years earlier, because of his illness but for her, his companionship and dependance muct have gone up ten-fold because of the care and concern she would have shown in nursing him to health.

Marriage, after all, is so much about companionship and relationships can be so fragile

nsiyer said...

Thanks Seema, my dharam patni.

Yashaswini, a very nice comment. Thanks for visiting my blog. Your description of the incident sounds similar to what I posted. Thanks, once again.

Thanks Varunavi for visitng my blog. Nice and apt comment. I think men become too dependant on men, or is that they are made dependant?

nsiyer said...

Hi Hector! Thanks for your comments. Finally, it is these bonds that remain.

Thanks Sunder. Happy to have you visit my blog. Nice comments.

Thanks Dewdrop. Nice insight to what marriage is all about and I agree.

roop said...

im touched. thanks for sharing. i can'not imagine a day without my husband.

nsiyer said...

Thanks, Roop. I am happy my post did touch you.

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Hi iyer-n-higher. I know the loss. My mother passed this life when I was 14 years old. She was only 42.

The mother is the core of the family. After my mother passed, ours was never the same.

Ifind your blog very insightful, thoughtful and retrospective. I subscribed to your blog today.

Steady On

nsiyer said...

Dear MMM & RS. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. Your simplicity touched me. If I made even a small difference to you, I am happy.

Sriram said...

my first time here.

very touching post. I lost my grandma last week. this post stirred so many emotions in me.

Great post.

Sriram

nsiyer said...

Welcome Sriram. My condolences to you. Pl. keep coming over.

Ranu said...

A very touching post!!!

I cant imagine my life with out hubs.... I dont think that anybody can take his place in my life too!!!

My parents have been married for 43 years infact 31st Jan was their anniversary. They fight and crib but anytime anybody has a problem they look for the other person. Any amount of support given by any of their daughters is never enough!!! They are totally require each other and make do with out each other.