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Even though I am gone, I shall always remain with you, a part of your life. Thus began her mother’s letter…
Clustered around the estate lawyer in his cramped office, we awaited the reading of Ma’s will. She had departed recently after a brief fight with cancer, leaving three bereaved children.
Father’s untimely demise a decade ago had not impacted us as much as Ma’s. My two older brothers were married with families of their own. The youngest, I was still single and unable to come to terms with the loss.
In an impassive tone, the lawyer informed us of the equitable division of Ma’s assets. The formalities over as we stood to file out of his office, he said, “Neha Beta*, your mother left one additional thing for you.”
Surprised, I asked, “For me?”
“Yes. Here.” He extracted an envelope from his desk drawer and handed it to me.
Intrigued I turned it over in my hands. On a nondescript beige envelope was written in Ma’s trademark scrawl – ‘For Neha’. Her handwriting brought a fresh wave of grief. A sob escaped as I clutched the letter and slumped into a chair. Was this Ma’s last letter to me? The last physical association I would have with her?
Composing myself and sipping some water offered by the gentleman, I slit open the envelope. Almost reverently, I unfolded a sheet of paper. It even smelled of Ma. I read…
My Darling Neha,
Even though I am gone, I shall always remain with you, a part of your life. I know that I shall live on in your heart immortally, for that is the bond that you and I share.
If I had my way, I would have begged God for more time with you. Sadly, that was not to be.
A fresh tear escaped. “Oh, Ma”, I moaned. Dabbing at my eyes, I continued reading.
I know that my death will affect you the most. You may feel cast adrift as if swirling rudderless in an eddy. Keep your faith beta, at such moments. Keep your belief in God’s destiny for you. Find your anchor in that. As an introvert you tend to hold things in. You tend not to share or seek help. No, don’t shake your head to deny it. I am your mother, remember? I know you.
I stopped the involuntary head shake and smiled. She had caught the gesture even from beyond the grave. She did know me so well.
Beta, do not hold on to your grief, rather let it flow out and purge you of negativity. Why let sadness rule over happiness? Why rue that we had such little a time together? Instead, why not celebrate what we had?
I grinned. “Sure Ma. This is classic you. Only you could preach and still make it seem like you were doing a person a favour.”
I made you smile did I not? C’mon admit it Neha.
Ha! I knew it. This is how I want you to remember me…always…with happiness.
The office I had entered crying, I exited smiling.
First published here.
Image via Unsplash
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