Within days of starting this blog, I have been faced with the sad passing of a dear friend’s husband in Chennai, India.
Our kids–eighteen-year-olds now–have been best friends since fourth grade.
It was uncanny, the timing of it: precisely five days after my first blog entry. The irony is how quickly I’ve been put to the test: in applying the tips I’ve been suggesting to you, and reaching out across the miles with the right words.
A well-loved man, Nari was, and will continue to be, known as someone whose heart was so large and loving that God missed him too much. So He called His angel home.
It is sad that I can’t be in Chennai, holding his wife’s hand through this storm. For both Nari and she held our fragile family together through the loss of two parents. They brought us hot coffee and home-cooked meals during our long hospital vigils, drove us back and forth, gave us a breather when life overwhelmed us.
My friend and I sobbed and reminisced over a transatlantic connection. We shared the shock of losing this dear man whose life revolved around making others’ better. Even as I ached at the thought that I’d never eat the exotic meals Nari dished up–his passion was cooking for friends and family–I was struck by a repetitive theme. Life is too short, make every moment count. Being a hospice volunteer, this is a familiar theme. Even so, when it hits so close, I am winded by the suddenness and unpredictability of it all. Five minutes before his soul exited the earthly plane, Nari was having a conversation. One moment he was a person with life, a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a son-in-law, a friend. Moments later, he’d changed form. He is still all of those things, but we’ll have to learn to feel his love, now purer than ever, from a different realm, in a new way.
Nari, my friend, I will miss you and the magic you made in the kitchen. I will think of you every time a Manna Dey melody floats in on the breeze. I will hold the memory of your warm smile close to my heart.
I know you’re here. I just have to look. In the sunbeams that shine down upon us, in the song of a bird, in the dew of the early-morning grass, you live on. Fare thee well…till we meet again.