A Star Is Born

June 28, 2015

When mom was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer five years ago, I knew this day would come one day. One day my mom will be on the deathbed and I will have to let go of her. And in my mind I had rehearsed the day a zillion times — on how strong I will be, on how I will stand by papa and how I will handle my own emotions. But nothing and I mean NOTHING can prepare you to face the loss of a loved one especially your mother. Today early morning, mom breathed her last. I sat by her side, scared, confused. And with each of her fading breath I grasped for air. With the sounds she made a few seconds before leaving us, my heart broke again and again. I wanted to stop her. I wanted to let go of her. I wanted to tell her I love you mom! I wanted to hear the same from her. But all I could do was watch her and let the universe take over!

Death as a concept was alien to me. When my grandmother died I was far too young to comprehend. When my maternal grandmother passed away, I was just happy to have my cousins stay with me for a few days. And in case of my dad’s eldest brother, all I understood was that something is making dad cry a lot. Seeing mom slowly heading towards death was painful. Doctors said that she won’t experience any pain. But I felt scared of that final moment. That moment when she would want to breathe but won’t be able to. That moment when she would cry out before going away! But when she did actually leave us, it was peaceful, almost angelic. And instantly I could picture her being greeted on the doors of the heaven by my grandmother. I could see them hug and kiss like long lost friends. Mom was happy and in between my tears, I was happy.

After my grandmother expired, I would often ask mom about where she had gone. Mom told me that those who die become stars. I would look into the sky to spot the brightest star and call it to be my grandmother. I would then locate stars close to it for my grandfather and other relatives. In my head I would have conversations between MY stars. With every twinkle I knew they were smiling at me, at times waving and winking too.

Today a new star has been welcomed by the universe. Tonight I would look into the sky at the brightest star and smile wide because I know that star is mom showering us with her blessings!

Meethi ma, you are missed!