‘The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid…’ – Harriet Beecher Stowe
One of the most difficult things in life is when someone you have known for long becomes ill. It is heartbreaking. And even though you have not been with them for some time, the memory of them in your life comes rushing back and it seems like yesterday when you shared a smile or a laugh. Or even a tear.
You may not have thought about them for days, weeks even, but now you cannot stop thinking about them. Memories of them consume you. You re-live every conversation, every joke you giggled over, every book you ever discussed and every burden you ever shared. That is the interesting thing, the heart never really forgets, does it? It hangs on to those myriad memories, the ones that may seem trivial or insignificant to others but mean so much to you. Imprints are made that have surprisingly big feelings when brought to light. It cannot be ignored. It cannot be dismissed. Their influence changes you – makes you a slightly better person than you were.
Sneha ma’am, was my friend in spite of the very obvious age-difference and I kept her in my heart, if not my day-to-day life. And now she’s gone and it pains me to know it. I wish I had seen her one last time. I wish I had gone to the hospital the day I got to know she was ill. I wish I had listened to her and collected my novels as soon as I got back to Duabi. She wanted us to have lunch from Saravana Bhavan and talk about Wangari Maathai’s life and story – that will never happen now.
I know that life can be cut short but I wasn’t prepared for *this*. I wish that she could know how much her smiling face helped me to get through my first few years in Dubai and how much I looked forward to swapping notes about books and some of the hilarious things that kids say to us every day.
But now she’s gone and the burden of knowing that I didn’t get to say goodbye is one that will stay with me for a long time. Thank you so much for everything ma’am, If only I had articulated those words more often than I did.
We will miss you so much. So much. My heart remembers and so do I.