Loss and its sublimation

I remember getting up every morning, alone and lonely, reminded of my mother.

I still poignantly recall the early months of the year 2005 — the year I bid a final adieu to my mother. She had been admitted to St. Philomena’s Hospital where, in her septuagenarian age, she was fighting the onset of diabetes mellitus-related symptoms. She was feeble, weak and shorn of resistance.

Though physically drained, my mother was mentally and emotionally like a colossus. Her mind did not waver or vacillate, and was as active as mercury. However, what did distress her was the fact that she had to be dependent on her children for succour — a thought that was very alien to her independent, proud spirit.

My mother’s case was extremely complicated, too. Because of her diabetes, she had to undergo a cataract eye surgery, as a weakened eyesight is one of the side-effects of diabetes. Her kidneys and heart had been seriously affected. Once or twice, she had even slipped into hypoglycemic comas, but thankfully she had been revived in time. Even for the discharge of her ADL (Activities of Daily Living), she had become listless and many a time overcome with fatigue — another side-effect of diabetes.

In this dismal scenario, we received an unexpected good news, verily a manna from heaven. The diabetologists examining her said that her condition was presently stabilised and she could be discharged. We were overjoyed, for we had envisioned several more years of basking in her beautiful company.

Alas! It turned out to be a false alarm, a brief glimmer of short-lived hope which is known to happen to several patients who are critical. After a few days of “improvement,” my mother had a relapse and had to be hurriedly hospitalised again, this time with fatal results.

I can never forget October 8, 2005 — that was the day I lost my mother, forever. At her funeral, I, along with my sister, brother and cousins, wept inconsolably for the gentle, soft yet powerful woman who never wanted to trouble her children even on her deathbed. I fully endorse the saying, “God couldn’t be everywhere all the time; that is why He created mothers.”

The remaining days of 2005 were too painful to recall. I remember getting up every morning, alone and lonely, with the rooms, furniture and artifacts of the apartment all cruelly reminding me of every action and conversation I had had with my mother.

As the days passed, I noticed a puppy that my mother had befriended, making forays into our apartment. His liquid, soulful and sad eyes seemed to be inquiring my mother’s whereabouts and the vacuum created by her conspicuous absence. I became friendly with the shy canine and slowly began sublimating the inevitable pangs of sorrow I felt with positive, rejuvenating vibes emanating from the puppy.

Slowly, because of the puppy’s selfless love, I emerged from my self-imposed shell and tried to accept the loss of my mother stoically. It was through the puppy I learnt, “When God closes a door, He sure knows how to open a window.”

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