April 20 – loss of loved ones

270/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me.  I was one of those rare, dare I say lucky, people who did not experience any personal family loss/death of a relative close relative until I was in my early 40s.  Yes, I had a maternal grandfather die when I was about 10 years old but I had only known him for about a year and was a bit too ego-centric to know any different.  Yes, I had both paternal grandparents pass away but they were in India and I had only met them two – three times in my lifetime.  Yes, I had distant uncles and aunts pass away as well but no impact on me.  The commonality – there was not a long standing established relationship.  Their deaths, sad yes, however did not impact me emotionally.  Over the last 6 or so years though, I have experienced the loss of people close to me.  The only person who was an immediate family member was my father (gratitude post to come) but I was affected by three people from my wife’s family: her cousin Aman, her cousin Jeeti and extended family member Gudi.  Because of my experience with death, I naively just assumed that older people are the ones taken and I’d never hear of someone younger than me or around my age passing away.  I had known them all for well over 25 or so years.  All three of the aforementioned had families with kids – 2 of the 3 with kids as pre-teens or younger – leaving behind their spouses and children and families.  I had never grieved, never been to a funeral and never had anyone I knew closely pass away.  With respect to their families, I will not go into any details about the loss but I was deeply moved by all three – Aman and Jeeti much my juniors and Gudi a few years my senior.  I had a great relationship with Aman – he lived in Golden and would always make me feel at home when I came to visit.  Show me the town (okay, the pubs 🙂 ) and joke around.  He was also very honest and forthcoming and I appreciated that about him.  Jeeti was the smart cousin I remember from my wife’s family – I remember her in her farm attire, braid and glasses and then through her marriage and birth of her kids.  Gudi was the friendliest woman I’ve ever known – she could walk into a room and end up sparking conversations with anyone and everyone.  She once told me that she came on Facebook just to read what I posted as it started her day off with a smile but she’s the one who made me smile.  Their deaths affected me in that I realized the frailty of life and how really short it is.  Older people die and it’s understandable but they have left a legacy but when (relatively) younger people pass away who had so much more to leave, that is much harder to comprehend.  I am honoured to have met these three people and it still shocks me today when I realized that they will not be sitting at that front desk, cooking that food with their sisters or laughing and dancing up a storm at a party.  Thank you for being a part of life and teaching me that there is (sadly) an end but it’s the “you” and who you were that matters the most.

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