Grieving on an unknown turf

So I am emotionally wrung out after the 12 day ordeal in Kerala for the funeral and the subsequent rituals. And now I wonder, how I survived it all, dealing with the unknown language, the unfamiliar and judgmental crowds, the overwhelming traditions, and through it all, dealing with the dull ache in my system.

I wonder if it’s the grief or the void I feel in my life after having been through a blur of activity over the past few months. Or Is it the inability to comfort Caveman while he is going through a myriad of emotions. I can see that the loss has had a profound effect on him, and the wound is refusing to heal. Maybe the wise are right, time is the best healer and the loss of parent is a rite of passage, that one needs to go through on their own.

For me, the past twelve days were spent trying to stay grounded dealing with the passive aggressive lot, who would take turns to warm up to me and then find some reason to turn cold and vicious. And if there was a predominant theme of the twelve days, it wasn’t grieving; it was playing to a gallery of regressive hypocrites, idle minds, gossip mongers and freeloaders. My father in law’s home was swarming with well-wishers, usually 50 at a time, whose sole purpose was not to condole, but to ensure that all the rituals were followed to the hilt. Mass Hysteria as I would call it, because no one could explain to me the significance of the rituals. It did not matter if the immediate family got some privacy,to grieve or to bond. The so called well wishers expected to be fed, looked after and in all cases exercised their right to judge, and when possible, would compulsively pass prejudiced remarks like a Christian daughter in law was the reason for his early death. It didn’t matter how the grieving widow would take it or the impact the insensitive remarks would have on the dynamics of the family. They had to express their opinion and we had to bear the brunt of ignorance and hypocrisy for the sole purpose of keeping peace in the family.

Caveman and I only had each other to grieve dad’s loss and the moments we had were very few and far between. I had to deal with my intense grief and emotional meltdowns mostly alone and for most of the overwhelming moments, Caveman was on his own. As if that wasn’t punishment enough, the extended family was on a perpetual mission to fiddle with our heads and keep us in a constant state of agony. Caveman  and I had only a few minutes of pillow talk every night to comfort each other and get prepared for the next crazy day.

 At the end of eighth day, every minute was a living hell there . At times, it would get really difficult for me to bear the cold vibes of people around me and I wondered if I should just pack my bags and leave . However one look at the glistened eyes of the  Caveman, I knew that my presence was the only thing that kept him sane  and this I know, when it comes to protecting him or his best interests , I can be the fiercest, most stubborn mule, that I can be.

For Caveman, he was repaying family debt out of affection and an astute sense of unwavering responsibility, inspite of the theatrics and the never ending drama. As for me, every tear of mine was questioned, torn apart , discussed  because none could understand how an estranged daughter in law could feel such love for dad and the question of “what’s in it for her” was looming large on everyone’s heads. While I grieved and felt dad’s loss acutely, the only thing that gave me a bit of solace was, dad had finally accepted me as one of his clan, and I know and believe that things would have been different for me, had he been alive.

As for Caveman, he is just grateful that he got a lot of quality time with his father in the past year. He also finds peace in the fact that his father passed away believing that his son  did everything that he could to make sure ,that he was loved and cared for. And if pictures could speak, this pic here(clicked on Caveman’s bday this year) speaks of love and affection and nothing else

Dad_ Wherever you are , I hope you know that you are being truly missed.

anoop and dad1






About Thumbelina81
A dreamer lost in this world. Part time Writer, Part time Gardener, A full time wife.

4 Responses to Grieving on an unknown turf

  1. What an ordeal. I’m sorry for your loss.

  2. insaneowl says:

    My sympathies. 🙂

  3. Fawzia says:

    Well written. I only wish we could have been there for you guys. Loads of love to you and caveman.

    • Thumbelina81 says:

      Thanks Babe.It made our lives much more easier knowing that you guys were with us in spirit. Cant thank you enough for bearing with those whiny very very long phone calls.

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