Death of Sorts

I must admit here that when we were "on the threshold of being no more," we succeeded in being more…..Unwittingly, the 'eye' preceded the 'I' and for the first time, we realized what it means to not take this life for granted.

A beautiful picture of landscape

It seemed to be over. The doctor had pronounced her dead. A surreptitious surgery beset by infections and indolence, further beefed up by outrageous alterations in her tenderly tactile anatomy. That was a vicious verdict on a not-so-vindictive day. Our senses were getting slaughtered as both of us held on to each other, flickering, yet firm to combat cancer that had reared its serpentine head to seize our mother. The next two weeks were a blur of medical jargon, interminable investigations, cursory calls, and feverish faith. It was decided or perhaps destined. 'Mamoni', as we lovingly called her, would need to be airborne to another city that proposed a prospect that was propitious and prevailing.

The surgery took a little more than twelve hours but intermittently the progress paused as our pulses did. While my lips pursed in prayers, his eyes strangely manifested a tomorrow that would turn true to us. At the end of the grueling, uncountable hours, the doctors looked disheveled yet derived, and she was placed in the intensive care unit for us to meet her through the frosted glass. The woman, exhausted, on the white sheets was barely recognizable but her countenance boldly reflected the battle she bore for us. She had never really stood up for herself these sixty-odd-and-more years. But somehow, this evening, the individual we knew had passed, and like the Phoenix, unknowingly, arose a new self, who reminded me of the words of Samuel Beckett: "…you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

With time, the chemotherapy ran its course. As it advanced, we witnessed the slaying of her beauty and brevity till the point she despised her reflection or spending time with herself. Who knew that the dead hair shafts had the potency to animate a person and impart dignity to her demeanor? How could snuffing out of one’s natural reflexes have a direct impact on her determination to continue? And yes, how could one fathom that the fatal disease could touch your lives when the whole world was mercilessly succumbing to it… Such perpetual probes became a part of us as ends and conceptions intermingled to forge a schedule that stared at somewhere onward.

Today, it has been almost four years since this harrowing event happened. Our mother is doing fine, and each day is an alert attempt towards the annihilation of the dark cells in her body and in our minds. As I keep recreating and registering those time-bound pieces, my mind keeps pounding with the philosophy of my beloved Irish author. I must admit here that when we were "on the threshold of being no more," we succeeded in being more. The other side of 'we' I have been referring to all along, is none other than my brother. In life, he has all along been that reassuring reference as the comfort of the nicely tucked-in parachute whenever you wish to take free fall. It was no different this time around. He kept portraying such a life-affirming impression of the whole saga that I couldn't help but romanticize the death of all sorts.

As I introspect, the experience seemed to have terminated our scant selves and enabled us to look beyond our immediate interactions. The multitude of souls that we mingled while on our mother's mitigating journey, for instance, transformed us thoroughly. Each one was stranded on the brink and always had a distinct perspective to offer. Their stories became ours and our concerns were taken care of by them. We transcended our inhibitions, mental and physical, to evolve into becoming veritable versions of ourselves. Unwittingly, the 'eye' preceded the 'I' and for the first time, we realized what it means to not take this life for granted. We learned to merit the minutes, overcome our fears and try to convert every possible obstacle into an opportunity. Of course, in the course of years, we equally adapted to accept demise as a necessary culmination to celebrate a future that promised unadulterated felicity and optimism… for ourselves and for others!

A picture of landscape

By: Promita Banerjee Nag

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


Tiyash said…
Fear, sadness and chills ran down as i read the article. Cancer can destroy lives yet life fights back and leave a beam of hope ahead.
Quotidian Tales said…
Thank you for sharing our's only together that we can fight it back, both literally and otherwise...

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