The observable examined

Day 45

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Yesterday was Day 45. Unbelievable! Father Time is on a tear. This all seems so unreal still.

During the last almost four years since we learned of Lechi’s condition, I had been matter of fact about the situation and went about matters clinically, mostly Spock like with occassional emotional bouts in solitude. This was required of me as a caregiver.  After the fact, things have turned out quite differently.

On Day zero, I cried when I woke up my daughter and informed her of Lechi’s passing.

She came out hugged mom as she had been told mom is going away for a long time. The guys came to transport her to the funeral home. I assisted them by helping hold Lechi’s head as she was transferred from the recliner onto the gurney. I remember weakly asking them for a pillow to support her head thinking she would be uncomfortable without it. I don’t think anybody listened or even noticed.

Later that day, we completed some formalities and rituals at the funeral home. When we are getting ready to leave, I was feeling terrible. I had never let Lechi go alone to any of her hospital visits (during pregnancy or during the ordeal). Now thethought of leaving her alone was distressing. I leaned over and whispered in her ear that I was always going to be with her.I had similar feelings when we sent her on her final journey.

Makat was understandably very upset in the early days. She cried a lot at night. She was angry at me for not taking the best care of mom. She hated Stanford. She was asking me hard questions for which I did not have even the semblance of a decent answer. For example, you have a mom don’t you, why shouldn’t I? She and I agreed that we would build a wish machine which would help bring her back. I have told her it will take two to three years to build it. She drew up a blueprint and I pretend to work on it everyday. This is her escape hatch.

Almost everything in the home triggered memories of mom. She even wore one of Lechi’s T-shirts at night. She is possessive of mom’s things and questions me very hard if I try to move them or am not careful with them. In the early days, she remembered a lot of things they did together (preschool, knitting, favorite colors, bedtime stories, sharing of mom’s childhood stories etc.,). I was amazed at how much Makat remembered.

She shared the piece of news about mom with all comers (even with strangers she was meeting for the first time). A character in saddle club (an Australian serial in which girls share a passion for horses and horse riding) has provided her a mental model to identify with (this character is a girl who also lost her mom).

Earlier, she found it hard to watch other kids interact with their moms. This happened in India. She was very upset in the car and was angry that I was not working hard enough on the wish machine. She was initially uncomfortable with the thought of going to school and the attendant social interactions but was fine later.

Makat has been a brave girl, surprised me in many ways. For the most part, she has handled it remarkably well. Sometimes she talks to herself. Sometimes she has been very angry and irritable at me, even violent. I had a talk about it. Now theseepisodes are non-existent. She carries the hope that when the wish machine is done she will be able to do fun things with mom. I think this is acceptable as I know a part of her knows what has happened.

I am trying to fill her days with activity to distract her. She has really taken to horse riding.

As for me, it has been a discovery of sorts these past six or seven weeks. I have realized how much I really loved Lechi and keep thinking of her prophetic words (you will realize my worth when I am gone.) I have felt guilt. I have wondered whether I did everything I could possibly have done for her. I have wondered whether I was remiss in not helping her detect it earlier than we did. I have wondered whether we made all the right decisions, in her care and treatments, along the way. I have been assured I did but I get these thoughts anyway. Sometimes, when I resume my normal routine, I feel like I am moving on too fast and Lechi should be in my thoughts more often.

At other times, I have replayed events over and over in my head to convince myself that Lechi was really ill and this was the better outcome given the amount of suffering. Strangely, I have enacted for myself the last moments right in the middle of other conversations!! Interestingly, feedback from friends and their reactions have calibrated the enormity of the loss for me.

Part of me understands with Spock-like clarity what has transpired.But another part of me does not want to let go. I want to be able to spend more time with Lechi, talk to her about so many things, comfort her, laugh with her, walk with her. I had two photobooks made of Lechi photographs. I find myself reaching for them quite often when I am alone.

Some people have invoked karma theory as an explanation for the goings on. I have wondered if karma theory is the precursor to modern day eugenics.

Streams of consciousness is an interesting philosophical concept. These past few weeks I have found myself having normal conversations with people at work or home while at the same time there are one or more thought processes constantly reliving and thinking about Lechi and our lives together.

I have welled up, consciously or unconsciously, thinking about Lechi, at all times of the day : during brushing, in the shower, driving, at work, in bed, during the ceremonies, wherever.

I still find it very difficult to talk about Lechi without choking up. Today a dear friend wrote to me offering words of solace and encouragement. I happened to read her e-mail in the car (stopped for traffic). That was enough to trigger a deep emotional response (tears, quivering cheeks, lump in the throat) in the car. 

They say Father Time heals all. I want him to take his time.


Written by asterix98

September 17, 2010 at 7:26 am

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