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“The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next,” said Ursula K. Le Guin. Planning for bereavement in this uncertainty esepcially for someone who is still alive is an inexplicable endeavor. Amma and I have been infinitely deliberating the many opportunities in this conundrum after Bapu (Dad) passed away ten years ago. When he was gone, we were reasonably alright even if we did not have his will or that his body was illegitimately embezzled. Neither did we talk over our hurt over the fact that I did not have an equitable closure as a daughter. But now, we want to be equipped no matter how hard it is.
Every morning and evening we talk and for about three weeks we’ve been going over each and every relic that she’s saved and their whereabouts so I could find incase anything were to happen to her. Considering that we have had antagonistic sustenance our entire lives, there was no trust left, but between us. The difference of opinion voiced by many in the past often come flashing by – of dispensing her hard-earned money to worthless of her legacy. Since I am thousands of miles away, there is no dread amongst those that have this verbal diarrhea. Because, by the time I’d probably land on Indian soil, they would have done in vindictiveness what they always wanted to.
My heart goes into knots hearing the narratives about how many have taken this as a golden chance to dampen her spirits that she is getting old and nearing her grave, to why I shouldn’t claim any of her bequest being ‘well-settled’ or that she won’t see any grandkids because I happen to be too old to bear and on and on. Firstly, I don’t understand the absurdity of these senseless creatures that she has surrounded herself with. Secondly, I am unable to determine if psychosis is a knock-on effect of Corona virus. Thirdly, notwithstanding the former two, we have an imminent peril of making her ultimate voyage disgraceful.
So, we premeditated and calculated uncompromisingly. Knowing it the vilest we could ever do. But we did. I mustered the courage to talk to those who I can entrust if something were to happen; to those who would jump in and safeguard her final wishes and mine for her. Seeing what has been happening, even to celebrities, we had to do this. It is not a sense of peace that triumphed in our minds after we chivalrously had these conversations but a hope that it would be as less contentious as possible. Now, all we have to do is to be judicious that she is as hale and hearty as she can be for an 80-year old.
I feel so blue for people who have no understanding of the gravity of the situation. Of older parents being stuck in unwelcome situations, of families being in despairing epochs and many unfortunate who do not have a privileges like some of us do. If we are not able to get them help, the least we could do it to ensure that we are not creating mayhem (such as someone telling Amma that in few days, she will be too weak to live or an instance where a relative disowned their only living parent), or gallivanting with attention-seeking communal drudgery (like distributing food to the needy when your own are starving). Reminds me, “Showing-off is the fool’s idea of glory.” And we definitely have so many fools that are revealing themselves lately.
I tried my finest to make this write-up informal, comical and easy and it felt so wrong. Scheming quietus is factual for people like me and Amma, people like us who are affected in many other ways that are not perceptible. Pardon me, if I am unable to make the ‘best’ use of this time, besides writing my gut out. I do envy those, who are able to do so. While what is to happen always finds its way, I am beginning to believe that, ‘No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is always made known silently.” In our case an eternal journey that is dignified.
One thought on “Scheming Quietus”
Aparna, I can fully understand this whole thing. Its truly terrible. To some, this is a topic over coffee. Well written. I wish I too could express myself, but I’m just a few miles away…and maybe a few steps too…lol.