the last few months have been difficult. it's hard to understand how the healing process starts, and what helps it along. it's hard to understand when you're actually getting better, and when you're heading towards a well disguised breakdown. it's hard to diffrentiate between greiving and all the other things happening in my life at any given point of time.
but i do know one thing: i feel better now.
i didn't want to visit dad's grave. i thought, like most other things, it'll just be anticlimactic and leave me feeling meh. i put it off for almost 3 weeks after I landed in Mumbai. but at one point, I felt ready. 3 months to the day he passed away.
his grave laid uncerimoniously bare - just a simple tombstone to mark it as his. on either side, identical tombstones indicated graves were being allocated in chronological order. the people on both sides were also 75 when they died.
i spent more time looking at other graves around than I did at his.
nearby, people were gathered around another grave - a funeral had just concluded.
as i stood there, they began to leave.
i didn't want to leave.
when the graveyard was quiet and I was finally alone, I started walking around aimlessly.
people talk about staying true to the memory of their loved ones who have passed away. that they live on through us.
i don't think any of that is necessary. dad has left his imprint on me, and i have always grown up with his influence. he was living through me even while he was still alive. not entirely though - there are things I consciously chose to reject. is that what makes me, me? it's hard to say. but either way, I am what I am.
I guess the only thing I've really learned in these 3 motnhs without dad is that I need to cherish those I love and treat them fittingly while they're still around. thoughts at a grave do not matter to the person in it.
and there's a lot to be done. it's usually only in hindsight or from an outsider's perspective that we see what could have been done. and therein lies the root of all regret.
I don't know if there's more to be learned from dad's life (are there stories I'm yet to hear that will touch me? it's possible!), but I have enough to go on. and I have finally realzied that.
the rest of my life, however long or short it may be, lies ahead for the taking. it's time to be excited about life again - because it's all I have.