Sunday, March 27, 2011

Surviving K

It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. That may be true however it is painful when death takes away the one you loved the most. I lost K, the love of my life, more than a month ago. I am devastated would be an understatement. However I thought to myself that life throws difficult circumstances at you. There are two options available, one is to get completely devastated and whither your life away while the other is to pick up the broken pieces of your life and move on. The former is easy while the latter is rather difficult. I have decided to choose the latter one. I have moments of complete despair interspersed with moments of love and hope. Most of all, I am trying to not lose track of my dreams. Tragedy took away the most important person of my life but nothing can take away the love we shared or the happy memories in this 14 year old marriage.

K died of sudden cardiac arrest. It was so shocking that I had a sense of calmness around me. K and I used to pray to Shakti and especially to Mahalakshmi. I have had tremendous faith in her. That fateful night after I called 911, in despair I was screaming for help and in anger said to her, “Do you even care about me and what I am going through?” That very moment an elderly woman walked towards me and asked me if I needed CPR. I asked her how did she know and she said that her daughter heard my screams. Anyway she came into my home and tried to revive K. The 911 team and first aid squad arrived and took K to the hospital. By that time I had come to terms with the fact that the love of my life may not come back to me. I had lost all my faith and was very angry. I even decided to leave Hinduism and convert to Buddhism to try to comprehend pain and suffering.

The other day as I was reliving the moments of that fateful night, I realized that this elderly woman came to my door walking. I don’t live in Manhattan but in suburban Jersey. What are the odds of people walking? Also the old lady claimed to be living two houses down but it has been more than a month since the tragedy but I have never seen her again! I then remembered that it is said that whenever Mahalakshmi comes to help her devotees, she comes in the form of an old woman! It reinstated my faith and the fact that K’s life on this planet was limited. All of us come with a plan and all of us have to leave. There is nothing we could do to change it. However K died in his own home and with the one who loved him. He died suddenly so it was not painful! I find comfort in that fact because I would not have wanted him to suffer indignities of being incapacitated.

K’s funeral was very intimate and very private. Hindu ceremonies are very morbid. I didn’t want K’s to be that way. I wanted the ceremony to celebrate his life. I had a ceremony with a priest, who actually has a PhD in Physics. It was true to K’s spirit as although he was a Hindu he didn’t believe in the ritualistic aspect of Hinduism. He was more spiritual. I would like to share the eulogy that I wrote for his funeral ceremony. It captures the gist of who K was as a person. The eulogy is as follows:

K’s name in Sanskrit means someone who sees beauty in everything. It also means someone who has beautiful eyes. Your eyes are a window to your soul. K’s eyes reflected the beauty in his soul.

K as all of you know was an exceptionally kind and generous person. He had such a calm and peaceful disposition that one always felt comforted in his aura. At least I did ever since I met him that day in December 1993. We met when I had just finished architecture school and had started working at his father’s ex-partner’s office. They say opposites attract and it was certainly true in our case. He was extremely shy and quiet while I just cannot shut up!

We became the closest friends. Actually we bonded over our mutual love for crossword puzzles that we would solve over the lunch hour. Most men woo their women with flowers and chocolates, K, however, did with food. K always encouraged and supported everything I did. He was a great son to his parents and a great brother to his siblings and cousins.

K was a second son to my parents after my older sister’s husband. My parents always said that they didn’t lose two daughters but gained two sons. K brought joy and happiness in our lives. He came suddenly in my life and left as suddenly on February 24, 2011. He brought joy and bliss for the 17 years that I knew him. He taught me what selfless love was all about so in many ways he guided me.

As all of you know he was reserved, however as some of you know he had a WICKED sense of humor. Therefore although my loss is irreplaceable, we must celebrate his life! K loved life too much and as his best friend Ganesh would agree, K would have said right now in a thick south Indian accent, “What to do? What to do? Enjoy only, no.