Sunday, August 29, 2010

Partly an Orphan

My uncle passed away. I saw him last after he underwent a major surgery which proved to be futile anyway. His frail organs of 72 years just could not withstand being operated on. He recognised me, and made an enormous effort to reply and smile at me. Throughout the days he was terminally ill, I was in some strange state of oblivion. I always knew there was possibility he wouldn't make it, but I opted to ease my conscience by believing that he would. When the news finally came, it was a strange sort of expected heartbreak.
No matter how many people I lose to death, I make the same mistake over and over again; I take them for granted. I have become a major sloth with nothing as tempting as love, friendship, money or an attractive job to move me to action. I have always loved my uncle, I have always felt comfortable enough to talk to him about my personal life where possible, but for some reason I never did. The storm of grief is not simply about never being able to talk to the deceased again, but to have a grain of fear in my heart that I could have visited him more often. I had the time, I had the money, I had the love, but I only saw him three or four times a year on average. He lived 15 minutes away. Instead, I have created a very intricate Facebook profile, stalked people who do not know I exist and spent hours calculating how much money I need to save to get a new winter coat. I have been kind to him, as kind as my cold heart allowed, but never kind enough.
He has gone now where I can't follow, though he did follow me briefly on the night he died. In my dreams he was sleeping in a glowing bed with my grandma, I kissed his forehead but he didn't respond. I will never forgive myself for not giving him more of my time and attention. I deserve all the grief I feel now after this catastrophe. And if death is not a catatstrophe, nothing is.

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