Monday, January 29, 2007

From darkness to light ...

Asatoma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrityorma amritam gamaya

From untruth lead me to truth.
From darkness lead me to light.
From death lead me to immortality. (Brihadaranyakopanishad)

My father died today. As his breathing deteriorated through the night, his body had become restless and agitated as it fought for air, though the docs assured us that he was probably not aware of anything. At noon, I reminded him of our visits to Vijay Chowk when I was a kid on January 29, and, as I had envisioned for a while, I sang Abide With Me for him on his deathbed. Soon afterwards (and no doubt, it was the morphine kicking in as well), his agitation stopped. At about 1:10 pm, I finished praying the Liturgy of the Hours, joining in the prayer of the universal Church of Christ. And soon afterwards, his breathing shallowed, and he drew his last breath at 1:21 pm IST (2:51 am on the US East Coast).

It was exactly two weeks ago that we found out that his cancer had metastasized. The longest two weeks of my life.

Today was ekadashi in the Hindu samvant calendar. An auspicious day, as many remarked.

Be that as it may, I can feel only one thing. He's gone.

It rained today. In the middle of January. A grey, overcast, heavy sort of day.. It rained as we loaded his body into the ambulance to go to the morgue. It rained as we took it out.

A little while back, a noisy thunderstorm rolled through. A loud retort was heard nearby, and the house was plunged into darkness.


pritcher said...

I'm so sorry, G. I'll continue to pray for his soul and for you and your family's consolation.

Peace and love.

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

I have prayed for you guys, many times over the past few weeks, but especially last evening as I, too, sang "Abide with Me" before night prayer, wherein I read (and thought of you):

When he calls I shall answer: "I am with you."
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

You have been a good and honoring/honorable, kind, dutiful and compassionate son to your father. That knowledge may provide little now by way of comfort, but it will later.

My understanding is that Mass was said today for your Dad.

May you experience God's peace tonight.

Alex Vitus said...

May he rest in peace.
My prayers are with you.

BaptizedPagan said...

G, know that you're in our prayers here in Boston.

St. Izzy said...

Requiem aeternam donet ei Dominus qui tollit peccata mundi, et lux perpetua luceat ei.

Pax Christi tecum tuisque quibus oramus et orabimus.

St. Izzy said...

"He thought he would become accustomed to [being orphaned], not yet understanding that it is useless to become accustomed to the loss of a father, for it will never happen a second time: might as well leave the wound open."
--Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before, end of chapter 7

Grieve well.

baldman76 said...

I am so sorry, sorry both for the loss of your father and for my silence over the last few weeks. I have thought of you often, but never actually put it in words for you to read. I do understand what you have been dealing with, though the situation with your father has progessed at a faster pace than with my dad, and you've now reached a point that I have only imagined.

Please know that both Katie and I will keep you in thoughts and prayers.

Sherry W said...

Dear Gashwin:

Prayers for you and your father and family come with this e-mail. My own father died quickly last August before I could get home so I do empathize.

Heather said...

There are never any words, so I'm going with this:

I love you.

My prayers are with you.

angelmeg said...

My prayers are with you. May God grant your father eternal rest and bring peace to you as you learn to live in a world that does not include his physical presence.

Remember that you are never alone in your grief because your Christian brothers and sisters mourn with you. I will hold you in prayer.

Kevin said...

I'm sorry, Gashwin, for your loss. May Almighty God be with you and your family during this time. God bless.

Zadok the Roman said...

Be assured of my prayers. May he rest in peace.

Banshee said...

May the Father of us all reward your father, and may the Son send comfort to his son.

Not sure what I should ask the Holy Spirit to be doing, but He knows His business better than me. :)

Anne-Marie said...

You don't know me, but you gave me very helpful advice last year about attending Mass in mainland China. My prayers are with you and your father.

Aimee said...

My prayers are with you, Gashwin. May God grant you and your family peace and consolation, and grant your father eternal rest in Him.

Aimee said...

I posted my condolences a few moments ago, and afterward this came to me:

In Memory of Gashwin’s Father

May we live this life for you, oh Lord,
Touched and filled with your love and grace.

And when this life is over,
May we lay aside with gentleness, oh Lord,
This earthly garment you have so well provided,
And rise, effortless, into Your warm embrace.