Moving On To The Ethereal Home of Peace, Happiness & Bliss

Sumendra Nath Mitra ******************************************
Debika Mitra

Nov 11, 1921 - Jan 17, 2009 *********************************** Jan 30, 1929 - Mar. 7, 2009

The light had been progressively fading for sometime, as if an unseen hand had irrevocably gotten hold of the dimmer knob and was turning the voltage down all the while. Physical & mental systems embarked on a path of irrevocable degradation. The maintenance crew couldn't reverse the course and in most cases couldn't even arrest the progressive failures. Shutdown was looming.

The wasting away process is often like the build-up of menacing thunderstorms. The blue skies with their wispy white clouds are obliterated from view quicker than you had ever imagined. Sunshine and a bright day is soon substituted for a premature dusk and menacing droplets which would grow quickly in size & stature pelting you into headlong retreat and helplessness with its irrevocable force and fury.

But for a while, let us reverse perspectives here. If the ability to retreat, seek shelter and relief are taken away by the relentless onslaught of advancing years and irreversible ailments, it isn't easy for even a bystander, far alone a progeny to observe helplessly the pounding and the damages being inflicted as a result.

The end came rather swiftly, somewhat unexpectedly even. One was told about the latest ailment, the medical opinions given out when it assumed somewhat threatening proportions and the removal to a familiar healthcare centre in the case of my mother. The news about the final, irrevocable end was delivered briskly,factually and brutally soon afterwards.

The lifeless shell looked distinctly unfamiliar and remote. Where was the warmth, love and care which had emanated selflessly and unstintingly for over five decades of my lifetime? The lifeless apparition, stiff and unmoving was like the shell left behind while transitioning to an ethereal home whose parameters of happiness, bliss, love, care and kindness are unimaginable to mere mortals like us.

The cremation passed off with metronomic regularity with me robotically going through the steps ordained by religious & social traditions. Surrendering the shell left behind to the hungry flames of the electric crematorium and the consecration of the ashes to the waters of the river Ganga happened in a surreal haze and struck me as the eminently logical next steps after the soul had moved on. The tremendous assistance and warmth provided by some of my cousins, relatives and friends throughout this trying process with plenty of potential pitfalls is a memory which will be treasured by me forever.

I know both of them are now experiencing levels of peace, happiness and bliss which are unattainable for all other mere mortals. Just that thought alone will be an eminently comforting one and a guiding beacon for the rest of my stay on this giant playground we all refer to as Mother Earth.

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