Despite the physical loss of her mother’s passing away, Megha Bajaj feels her loving presence more than ever
My mother is my background music. You know, the one that just continues to softly play on as you dine? Or when you enter a shopping arcade? When it’s there, you just feel soothed and, often, don’t even know it’s playing. It’s just there. Perennial. However, if it suddenly stops, you feel uncomfortable. Everything is just the same—yet, something is missing! On June 20, 2022, the brave warrior breathed her last in my arms. And ever since, the sun is rising as always. The cars are zooming past as always. The hands of the clock are moving, and so am I. Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner.
I am not sad. In fact, I feel a sense of relief, as she was already living her grace period. The body had become a box, containing her butterfly spirit. It needed to be set free. And yet, there is this strange feeling that I am not quite able to put my finger on. I express my best when I write, and today, as I finally have the courage to put words to it, what changed is that the background music which was playing outside me—is suddenly inside me!
It’s an even more intimate experience, but transitions are what transitions are, and I am learning to see mummy not just in that body with that gentle smile and determined look, that cute haircut and soft cheeks, but in every experience. It kind of feels like water evaporated into the air. Here it was, in the earthen cup I was holding delicately in my hands. And suddenly, it is now in the air. In everything. Everywhere.
I have no clue why death is seen as such a terrifying experience. Losing the physical form of one of the most crucial relationships in my life actually feels liberating to me. I am feeling the bliss of a union that I haven’t known. I am feeling a peace, deeper than the one I knew. A celebration of a life well-lived. Yes, I miss the form, but by some grace (I believe it is of my beloved guru, upon my family), my mind is instantly able to turn within and feel her.
I think these lines somewhat do justice to what I am trying to say:
I cannot see her,
But I feel her.
I cannot hug her,
But the embrace lingers within.
I cannot smell her,
But her fragrance hangs in the very air.
She isn’t there before me,
And yet, she is with me—in ways I can’t comprehend.
I have simply been myself during these eleven days. I cry when I feel like it. I laugh when I feel like it. I go into a cocoon of Silence when it feels right. Or I become extroverted. There is no suppression in me. No denial. Like the background music that played for three decades of my life, I play on.
Death has its way of transforming you. I feel blessed to observe the beautiful shifts it is bringing into me, and I wish to share it with you. Who knows!
The first intense learning I have had during this unique phase of my life is that life is to be lived. Every moment has to be lived. There is no scope for taking life for granted, and whether it is that piece that needs to be written or a sunset, whether it is that emotion or a person hugging me, I am feeling the need to breathe it all in. Just live it to its completion. So often, my beloved guru, Mahatria, would say: “The tragedy of life is not death but living a life like the dead.” Something seems to have shaken within me, and I feel the need to live like I never have before. I want to get that new haircut. I want to travel to that new country. I want to go hug that person. I just want to lay my head every night knowing it was a day lived. Fully. Everything seems heightened, and I am feeling this adrenaline rush to take it all in. To live.
The second thing this phase has taught me is that life is not enough to love. Where is the time for grudges, for judgments, for holding onto stale perceptions? Every moment is moving, and I have to move with it. That petty argument that caused the rift has no value. That hardened judgement of the other is so limiting. This is black, that is white, is of little value when you are lying there, as the last breath leaves you. Something has shifted, and I seemed to have dropped all my biases overnight. I don’t want to live a life of limitations; I want to live one of expansiveness. I want to live a life of love. Of infinite beauty. I want to love like I haven’t ever before. I want to express myself more. I want to hug a lot more. Snuggle to my heart’s content. Say that thank you, say that sorry. Say that I love you, even when it makes me feel vulnerable. Have that argument if I must, but end it feeling closer to the other. I just don’t want to miss a chance—to love a little more.
The third is this conviction that I have a choice. Even in the most seemingly choiceless situation, the fact is, I have a choice. In these moments, I can choose grief or recall just how much grace has been bestowed upon us and the woman, who should have given up in 2013 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4, Grade 4 cancer, went on to live a full life (sans any medicines, hospitals, or pain) for nine more beautiful years. Either I can miss the form or feel the formless. The person is no more, but the presence is eternal. How I see a situation makes all the difference. To me. And the world. Surrounded by so many beautiful people who have come with tears in their eyes to our home and left with a smile on their lips. And hearts. It’s been about the choices that we as an immediate family have made. Every moment, for the last eleven days, Papa Nidhi and I have chosen to cherish all that was beautiful: our craziest and happiest memories of Mummy. And oh, what a difference it has made! Close friends visiting home say, “Feeling deep peace, bliss, and love in this home.” She wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I am not sure if it is even okay to say this. But I will say it, nonetheless. That is how she brought us up. To be authentic to ourselves, no matter what the world feels. Life seems a little more beautiful, fragile, happy, loving, and unpredictable, all at once. I often find myself watching the seas dissolve into the skies in absolute wonderment of life for what it is! Beautiful. Fragile. Happy. Loving. Unpredictable. Much like you and me.
I love you, Mummy. Feeling you very intimately. Not even sure if I am writing this or you are, through me. Thank you for being who you are to each one of us.
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