Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A turning point

       Well I was away for a long time.Just could not get myself to write as we had a sad event in our lives.Specially for Prisha it was a very difficult thing to cope with.I had to explain things to her which she had no clue of  and I too found it difficult to combine emotion with language.
       Prisha lost her paternal grand father on 15th June.Dadu was a big thing in her life.He had seen the time when she was about to come on this planet and had been living near us for the last 6.5 yrs of her life.He loved little girls.All the girls in our family were pampered by him.But Prisha being the youngest, took all importance.Then when she was detected for deafness,he became all the more protective for her. When I was firm with her during her speech development initial years, he was very upset.He spoilt her with colours, papers and all kinds of stationery as she loved the paper shop.If she needed somethings, she turned to him and looked with such a look in her eyes, his heart would bleed and for sure she would get it. She could get away with murder with him around.And now suddenly we heard that he passed away was very shocking to us all.
      We moved to Germany as my husband had been living alone for 3 years and we finally decided that Germany would do good to kids as the whole family would be together.I too was finding it tough to live alone with the kids.He was very attached to Prisha and she was one of reasons for him to be happy.She loved him, put balm on his knees when they pained, gave him the stick when he wanted to walk, held his hand if he wanted to get up and walk, sometimes she mothered him.Her going depressed him further as he was not a very social person.He loved to be at home with his near and dear ones.He had various health issues for the last 40 yrs.Within 5 weeks we heard that he passed away.We all rushed to India.I did not know what to tell Prisha.She used to miss them so much and used to keep telling him that she would meet him in December and he should look after himself.And now, I was left to think as to what should I tell her with her limited language about death.I told her dadu was unwell and we have to go back.She was so happy and she kept a box of chocolates  (that she got from someone), in her bag for him.I was torn inside.
      She kept asking me on the way why we were sad and crying.On reaching home, she was puzzled to see her grandma at home as she could not believe that dadu was alone in the hospital.The next day I thought it was too traumatic for her to see his body and so I left her with a friend.Inside of me I was torn between the choice.They loved eachother so much, both deserved to see each other the last time. Plus there would never be a connection about his leaving suddenly.the physical aspect is required to connect with that new concept for her of death.I could not deprive her of it and one day she might just question me on this.I decided to call her.I held her little hands, not knowing her reactions.I told her that dadu was not well and he was missing his parents a lot and so he is going into the clouds to be with them.She knew something was up and so kept nodding and listenning. he had told her once that when he is very old, he would go into the clouds and so I built the whole thing around that.She said after he meets them , he would come back to her.
      When she saw him, she just kept looking and I was looking for some reaction.She sat on the sofa with pursed lips.Suddenly she cried so loudly that everybody in the room turned with horror.She started to cry uncontrollably and people looked at me with disgust but I did what I thought was best.Everybody was upset that I could allow such a small kid to go through the pain.She saw the whole procedure and she saw him go.Later in the afternoon ,she asked me when he would be back.When I told her he had to be with his parents,she said he told her once that his mummy did not want to stay with him and so she went to the clouds and now too his mummy would not want him and send him back.I held back my tears.She has been since then talking to the clouds, talking to his photo.She played house and cooked pasta and fed his picture.She tickled his picture and kept talking to him as if he was around.She would enter the house and say "Hi Dadu" and behave as if he was around.But it was her way of trying to look normal.next day she told me that his mummy would say I don't want you, Prisha needs you and so he would come out of the cloud, sit in a hot air balloon,come down on a beach, sit in the ambulance and dad would get him back home. I was amazed at her imagination.
      On the way back to germany she looked in the clouds for him.Said there were no houses.I said he slept on the clouds.She now has started to associate white hair with going into the clouds.She gets upset when she sees a couple of white hair creeping out in my black hair.She says "your hair would always be black mumma".She says, we would all one day have white hair and go in the cloud and I would shout at dadu for going there.She keeps telling me that one day he would return to her.His mummy would send him back.When she was sick with viral for 8 days before coming back to germany, she talked to him.She told him that " now since you are in the clouds closer to God, tell him to cure me and to take my terrible headache away.I want to be all right".Every night  before sleeping she would pray to her dadu to make sure she is well again.
        I love the way she has made her adjustments through her own thought processes. We feel that kids are too small and would not understand.But we underestimate their strength.They are stronger than us and know how to take care of us and also older people.I am very glad that I let her see how her grandpa left.Once she grows up she would always be glad I did what I did.She would connect with this concept of death and I do not have to make more stories. As she matures I would clear her concept further and I am sure she would always feel closer to her loving dadu. Dadu I am sure, sitting in the clouds must be hearing everything she does and says and is now her guiding light and her "guardian angel" looking after her from there. I don't have to worry, he would make sure my little adorable girl turns out into a fine human being and her life is going to be just fine.I am glad also that I talked about it and their was a lot of new language and new words and every action we saw was verbalized.


  1. I am Really sorry for your loss.

  2. Oh, what a painful time for all of you. And I agree that you did the right thing. Lying to a child, especially about something this important, is only going to cause more grief in the end. When she found out the truth one day, it would be like having to go through the grieving process a second time. It's much better to help her through the experience now and help her adjust, just like you did. Well, I hope all of you find some peace and comfort now.

  3. thanks Mayuri and Julia.We are all learning to cope with it and life goes on with just memories which you feel you could maybe better them.

  4. Oh, what a very difficult and sad time for all of you. What a wonderful man Prisha's Dadu was, and he will never be forgotten. I wish you much peace and comfort in your fond memories of him!

  5. i have been a sient follower of your blog since quite a while and like what you write. i especially understand when you talk about the lack of resources and understanding in india.
    neways, its always sad to lose a grandparent especially when they love you so much. def. wish you all peace and comfort