It’s been a week now since we put you to rest. A lot has happened since then. I don’t know how to say this but every time I sit in your car to drive the kids to the metro station or to go grocery shopping, I get this feeling that I’ll meet you somewhere and that you’ll talk to me in that comforting voice of yours and tell me that everything will be okay and that I shouldn’t worry. I look at all the people walking on the streets and think that you might be around somewhere waiting for me.
I got all these condolence messages and emails and prayers from friends, from relatives, from my students and my colleagues. Everyone thinks that I am strong and I can handle it, but little do they know that I was strong because I had you in my life. And now that you are gone I don’t know what to do. I try to stay calm in front of the kids, but left alone I break down and cry. The pain you left us with is way too overwhelming. In May 2011 before one of your surgeries you told me that if something went wrong with the surgery our lives will be messed up for good, and that hurt you. Even in those moments you thought about us and our grief. I am so sorry you are not with us, I am so sorry for all the things that you will miss, like walking your daughter down the aisle, seeing your son graduate and start a life of his own. Remember how you used to joke about them having children, your grandkids? If only you could have stayed alive to see your children get married and have children, and then you’d spend your best time in retirement with your grandchildren. You would have made a very caring and loving grandfather to them.
You left your sketch pad on the coffee table and an unfinished canvas on your easel. Your latest painting. You did the sketch, and then sat at your computer and worked out the colors. You told me that you were going to paint during the weekend, after resting for a couple of days. Your brushes, your paints are still scattered in the sitting room. Your paintings are all over the apartment. Those who came to our house after the funeral saw your unfinished work and were saddened by it. I don’t have the heart to touch anything, and yet I know how you used to care for and clean your brushes. If I leave them where they are they will be covered with dust and then I wouldn’t know how to clean them like you used to do. You were going to show your daughter something on the computer too over the weekend. Last week you read to me your friend’s email from India, one that you didn’t get to answer. Then he sent it again two days ago, and this time I had to reply and tell him that you passed away. God only knows how he received the news. It was just so sudden, so unexpected.
We were planning your birthday next month but instead your kids planned your funeral and bought your casket. I don’t know whether it’s luck or destiny or fate or whatever name people give it, it sure played a dirty trick on you. My darling when your oncologist called after you passed away, he told me you felt tired the last time you met him, just a week before. So I can’t seem to understand yet what happened and what went wrong that day. Is it true that if cancer doesn’t kill you, chemo does? I guess all that poison was too much for your liver to handle and so it just shut down.
I am scared to face tomorrow alone. At night when I try to close my eyes and sleep won’t come, I go in to the kids’ rooms and I watch them. I see you in both of them. And I get courage.
They say cancer and its treatment can go either way. Rest in peace my darling for it cannot go anywhere for you now. Even though the pain caused by your death is way too much, knowing there’s no more chemo, no more injections, no more ct-scans and MRIs and surgeries and hospital beds for you darling, makes it more bearable.
May you rest in peace and may your memory guide us and give us strength during these difficult times.