We thought about what to grow in the area where she is buried. We argued over carrots, papaya or some flowers. She loved both carrots and papaya, so it seemed apt. She even stopped to sniff flowers. Amma suggested papaya cause granddad had said no flowers. But we finally settled on mustard. Mustard attracts a lot of butterflies which would help with pollination in Amma’s garden. And Layla loved butterflies.
Weeks later, the baby plants have arrived and Layla must be watching with delight.
I still can’t say her name or write it or read it without crying which means buses, trains, autos have seen me burst into tears these past few months.
Learning that grief of this kind becomes a part of you.
Learning that I will always love her unconditionally and miss her excruciatingly. Cause that is, was and will be the nature of our relationship. One of intense feeling.
My email drafts were full of unsent emails to you. It was embarrassing how much I wanted to reach out but the haunting “chill” that you had left me with stopped me. The answers would never be mine. So I did what I knew best, I wrote to you.
One brave-pointless day, I transferred all those emails into a password protected document on my computer. The document became longer with each entry. The letters themselves less frequent and more at peace with the situation. Several times I returned to just read and introspect on the pain. Today, I wandered to that part of my computer; hoping to read them and find the closure I desperately seeked. 23 password attempts later… the document cannot be opened.
I suppose this is how closure looks. A quiet indifference to the why, how and why me. Silently, learning my lessons from that fall and moving on. Acceptance that it is what it is. Some answers lie in letting it go and moving forward.
Some mornings I wake up bright and early. I cook, have a shower and settle into my chair by the window sill. I can hear the birds, mostly crows, calling out to each other. ‘Hello!! It is morning. Take in some of this goreous sun.’ Their calling is soothing. Opening the windows and drawing back the curtains allows sunlight to greet me, my bed. The warmth is my friend. Sunrays give the best hugs. It is a quiet moment of me in the world; yet it is one of just me.
My cup of tea and whatever book I’m reading then beside me. Today it is Rilke. I turn to him in moments of chaos and silence and let his words wash over me. In his words, ‘There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.’
In this mad city, I often miss the quiet of the mountains, the less stress, the no traffic, the no-honk life. A stillness. But today, I feel content in this beauty around me. I hope to keep finding the beauty in the everyday quiet.
A stray golden hair
triggered an hour
of weeping inconsolably;
Could it have been
a lengthy nightmare
Of you gone?
I never believed
till your death wiped
clean such beliefs.
I needed you
watching over me.
Not too many tears today,
I tell myself,
for you must be
floating in cake and ice cream.
How else do you turn 12,