Tuesday, April 4, 2017

To write again about appa

I went home thinking I will experience the full extent of the grief of losing my dad.  It was rather strange going home without my dad in his room.  The ceremonies were kind of brutal.  I broke down quite a bit when the priest explained the proceedings.  My dad never liked anyone eating their rice rolled into balls.  Even on a rare occasion when we did that, he would chide us not to eat like that.  The 12 day ceremonies involved rolling rice into balls and I did not like to give my dad those rice balls.

My dad liked to eat good food but was a stickler to the quantity he ate.  He always preached eating half stomach.  During the 10th day ceremony, there were multiple items cooked and served on the same banana leaf and the belief is that that the soul will be fed up of eating so much food that it will depart.  What was going through my mind was that my dad would hate seeing so much food served for him.  On a rare occasion, if my mom offered to serve him one more serving than his usual quantity, he would say to my mom 'I cannot eat for your satisfaction.  I can only eat for my satisfaction.'  I was thinking, my dad would just get up and leave than to even attempt to eat all this food.  He was very particular about the way he led his life.  No one dare mess with him.

The helper who was with my dad the last 17 days visited and told me few instances of his conversation with my dad during those 17 days.  He told me that dad cooperated with him the initial few days when he still had strength in his body.  As he got weaker and weaker, my dad had told him once, 'you should never be dependent on others'.  The helper said that dad had a quick temper.  I told him, may be he was helpless so it came out as anger.  Another instance my dad had told the helper 'unkitta vanthu ippadi mattinduttene.'  The helper was a professional who has seen such people.  My mom had only good words about the helper, how patient he was with appa.  My dad maybe knew that he may not gain back the energy to get back to doing stuff by himself.  He had always been independent in his life that he never wanted to be dependent on anyone for anything.  Appa always got what he wanted.  Maybe his end too the way he wanted and when he wanted.

So many memories, so many daily instances when we recall what appa would have said or done.  He is in our conversations like always. Like he is in the bedroom sleeping.  Like he is in his office room reading the newspaper. 

I can write so many posts on him and I want to write all those in the coming days. 


  1. "the soul will be fed up of eating so much food that it will depart. "

    I know I shouldn't laugh, but I did. You are so right.
    The ceremonies are irritating. My grandmother, when alive, was always very reluctant to throw money on lavish ceremonies, but my dad did exactly that for her. It bothered me quite a bit.

    Yes, being dependent must have been more painful for your father than the physical ailment. While it does seem rude to say it, perhaps it is just as well that he did not suffer for too long.

    Hugs to you RRMom. May you find strength to endure the grief.

  2. Yes Lakshmi. I say the same too, to be sick only for 17 days and pass away is really a boon. I have seen people suffer for years and how it takes a toll on the caregivers. My dad would have had none of that.

    He was a cancer survivor and also went through an ankle surgery a few months back, he came through both pretty upbeat. He went back to practice after his cancer and started walking with walker after his ankle surgery. So this weakness he went into, don't know why he did not come out of.

    1. He was just satisfied with his full life and was ready to let go. Simple as that.