In September 2001 I lost a very loved person to cancer. He was only in his early thirties and father of two. I had grown up with him and his parting was one of the sadder facts of life that me and my family had to learn to deal with. He was an inspiration to me as he was always someone I looked up to and wanted to be. He was a man made of true grit, guts and who never shied away from a good old hard days work. But the one thing I loved the most about him was his acceptance of me and my family in his life, the respect he held for us all and the fact that he was one of the few people I knew who never looked down on me. He was my brother (cousin but real enough)!
I remember I was unable to attend his funeral as Rizul my son was only a year old and I was unable to be there. But I can never forget the day I actually went to the funeral home to say my last goodbye and he was lying on the slab of cold stone, ready to be placed in the coffin, all suited and booted as though he were ready to get going to work. I remember feeling how cold and lifeless that room was, I remember hearing my aunt sobbing her heart out as she said goodbye to her only son. I recall to this day, how I looked at death right in the face when I touched his cold skin and the tears just wouldn’t stop!! I remember being there at the hospice on his last day alive and I still remember looking out of the window of his room and seeing the most beautiful, most white dove bird looking at me and I remember thinking at that moment in time, was this a sign of the end? And I remember the next morning when the phone call came to inform us all that he was no more and the finality of death was so apparent in all our lives…..
I wasnt able to do much in his death except mourn it with the heaviest of hearts. But I remember writing a few words for him that I asked his wife to read out at his funeral. And she kindly obliged albeit, it was very difficult for her to have done this.
Ive been feeling a little lost in many ways recently and finding it hard to discover the right path to walk. But just sitting here this afternoon, I wondered what Alok would have been doing if he was in my shoes. Dont know why that thought just popped into my mind randomly out of nowhere, after such a long time. Its so funny how we easily forget our loved ones and shame on us for doing so! He would have toughed it out and fought his way through life as he had been doing all the time he had been alive. And if he was such an inspiration, then I feel that I need to do the same to honour that pedestal that I had placed him on all my life as I knew him when he was alive….
For Alok… My brother, an idol and a fighter in the truest sense.
The life that once brimmed with happiness and laughter,
Has left us, in sadness, in pain!
And the feeling of regret, of great misfortune,
For he will never walk amongst us again.
But I know that he is safe in the better world,
Where no suffering will ever dare to invade.
A world where the grass will forever be green,
And scars of the living world will fade.
He will always be remembered deep, in my thoughts,
Of the person I will desire to be.
An honest soul who achieved all goals in life,
With good virtues and integrity.
A man, who feared not the struggles and stones,
which life threw at him from stormy skies,
Walked the path of success, fulfilled his dreams,
With confidence in those brave eyes.
And Alok, you are the one true being,
Who never looked down at me.
You always took us for the way we were,
And that’s what I’ll miss greatly.
If you are here listening, to these words I speak,
Then pay attention my brother.
Don’t fear this other world you’ll be sleeping in
For now, you and God have each other!!
written by sangeet kathuria September 2001