Monday, 30 September 2013

All I have is one teardrop.


Today I learnt that a friend’s father died, and I am jealous.
I am jealous of all the things he could say and do when he was
last with his father:  talking and smiling and touching and seeing
and remembering and joking and being together.  I don’t know
exactly what he said, but I know he said - and heard - the most
important thing:  I love you.

I said it too, to a heavily-sedated man with a ventilator tube
stuffed down his throat, held in place by a large unevenly cut
strip of surgical plaster across his face.

I love you. Thank you. I’ll miss you. You were wonderful. Good bye.

I said all these things, I think, to a man whose chest may only
have been moving up and down because of the machine pushing
air into his lungs. Somebody said later, that he was already gone
by the time we gathered around him in the ICU, and that
his reaction to my words might have just been a reflex,
a coincidence.

Because when I said these things, one tear gathered and rolled
from the corner of one puffy, closed eye. 

So I said a bit more. 

Don’t cry. Don’t worry. I’ll be okay. We’ll be okay. I’ll manage. 
I’ll take care of things. Go in peace.

Some of it was a lie. I’m not okay. I’m not managing. I don’t know
how to take care of anything. I cry. I worry. I have very little peace.

I hope my friend will be better off. I don’t know what else he said
to his father, but I hope he got to say all the things he needed to.
All the things he will need days and months and years from now.
When the if-onlys, the should-haves, and the why-didn’ts
come calling, I’m hoping his last memories of his father
will see them off at the door.

All I have is one teardrop. Sometimes it feels like everything,
and sometimes it feels like nothing. But it's all I have.

2 comments:

zohra said...

Nazu!
I've always said it and I'll say it again - you're the writer the world needs to know.
Rohini

Safire said...

You have struck a chord in my heart. I feel it too as I said the same things too to my father during such a moment.