By Suma Varughese March 2012 The passage of her mother has spelt the end of a long and arduous journey, says Suma Varughese Suma Varughese is a thinker, writer, seeker, latentcrusader and Editor-in-Chief of Life Positive.Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org I have shared my experience of being a caregiver to my mother so often through these pages that it is only appropriate that I record the end of that experience in this column too. My mother passed away on February 7, 2012, at around 8 pm. The end, when it happened, took us by surprise. We knew that she was sinking, for the antibiotics injected into her frail body were powerless to heal, and every day there was evidence that her organs were failing. And yet, my mother’s indomitable spirit had been balancing on the edge of death for more than a year. By divine design, both my sister and I were with her when she left in less than 15 minutes after she began her death throes. I have now come to understand that when you successfully complete a task you have undertaken without compromise, you are left with a great sense of peace and completion. My mother’s passage, as I see it, is an occasion for celebration and not for sorrow. My mother’s passage, as I see it, is an occasion for celebration and not for sorrow. A huge journey has finally reached its end. A huge journey that we undertook jointly has finally reached its end. She is now free from her terrible suffering; and I too have been set free. I do believe that the karmic equation that bound us has dissolved and that my mother has been liberated in every sense of the word. By the great grace of God, she left on an auspicious full moon night. Friends have told us that anyone who dies on such a night is bound to go to heaven. A friend I respect and who reads the tarot had earlier told me that my mother had taken this birth to settle her karmic accounts. I now feel that she may have freed herself from the cycle of birth and death itself, for she was a highly evolved and wise soul.She was a giver to the hilt, who never counted the cost of time, energy, or money in supporting and serving others. Even when she was 90, she thought nothing of cleaning, cutting and cooking fish to send to my aunt next door who had a heart condition. My aunt says that these little gifts always reached her when she most needed them. The quintessential mother, she would have happily spent every drop of her blood for her children. Growing up, our large family never had much money and she bitterly rued the fact that her own lack of education prevented her from supporting my father better with an income of her own. She worked herself to the bone, therefore, and deprived herself of even the smallest luxury in her determination to give us all a quality education.A deeply centred, philosophical person, her sense of self-esteem was unshakeable and her wisdom profound. She would often say that for the first three years of its life, a child must be loved unconditionally and only after that must it be corrected. Psychologists today affirm that unconditional love for the first three years of its life will give the child the self-esteem it needs to face life.Hers was a heroic life in which she met and triumphed over great difficulties with dauntless courage. When my father died in 1984, I went home to Vishakapatnam, inwardly fearing that my mother’s spirit would now falter. But one look at her as she opened the door was proof that even this loss was no match for her powerful life force. An umbrella of grace that sheltered us all has been withdrawn, but with her deathless love still watching over us, we will do well, I believe.
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