Dear Papa

This grief thing…

I know this grief thing is a bunch of peaks and troughs, but damn is it hard.

The last month or so, in particular, was difficult; in fact… one of the most difficult since you left, 1 year and 4 months ago.

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep because Aaira is teething? Or.. maybe it’s because of the ongoing anxiety around covid and trying to protect our little family? Or, maybe it is simply that I miss you, so much.

Papa, a part of my mind is always with you – in one way or another. The thoughts never fail to make their way to the front of my mind: sometimes they make me smile, and other times… they make me cry, or fall into a pit of sadness. The latter has been the case this past month.

I was pulled out of sleep one morning: I wasn’t fully awake, but I was conscious enough to feel and register the waves of pain I was experiencing. It hurt so much. I could feel myself crying – I could feel the physical pain in my chest: so real, relentless. As my mind left the folds of sleep, I realised that my heart was reeling from a dream about you – it was the realisation that it wasn’t real, that you’re still not here, that hit me like a tonne of bricks. To my heart’s relief, Aaira’s sleepy cries chased away the remainder of my sleep and gently soothed the rawness of the pain.

You know, she points at your photo and says ‘BabBoo’ – her attempt at ‘NanaBoo’ (grandad). Every time she leans forward to kiss your photo my chest tightens yet again, bringing multiple emotions.

Oh, how I wish you got to watch her evolve into the bright human bean she is. Even if it were just conversations over FaceTime, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Even if it was just one conversation, heck, I’d spill all the details of the past 18 months, I’d catch you up on your little grandchild, the little human that has stolen my heart and would have taken yours too, I know it.

Oh, how I wish you got to see me be a Mum. I didn’t get to show you just how much of you is mirrored in my love for my own little girl. I wanted you to see me be a mum, I wanted you to look at Aaira thriving and I wanted to FEEL you be proud of me. I wanted you to have Aaira’s photo as your screensaver, maybe even your WhatsApp DP. I wanted to FaceTime you, first thing in the morning just because Aaira wouldn’t stop asking for her BaBoo. I wanted to feel whole with everything I ever wanted in hand, and yet… it’s without your bright smile shining on it.

When I got married, I remember when you would come to visit and you’d give me a hug and say: ‘Dekho, mere beti kasi itni bari hogi hain?’ [look at that, how has my daughter grown up so much?]. I wanted to hear you laugh and say in happy disbelief: ‘Ye meri beti ki beti hain!?’ [Is this really MY daughter’s daughter?!’]

The other day, Aaira gave me an air kiss from across the room; she puckered her little smooshy face and sent love my way – it made me squeal with happiness because that’s what I do to her.

I realised that you used to do that ALL THE TIME. Whenever I’d do something funny, or say something funny, and I was too far for you to give a bone-crushing hug, you’d give me an air kiss. I understand now. I understand that rush of love you felt that you just had to show me, so something had to suffice. I wish you could witness how much weight that simple gesture carried; so much so, somehow I passed it on to my little one. She now does it to everyone and everything that she loves (including cats). 

This month I was clearing out my wardrobe; I found your jumpers and a shirt. I pulled them out and the first thing I did was bury my face into the soft material; allowing your familiar comforting scent hit my chest – without warning, tears sprung to my eyes.

Once again, my brain asked, ‘how are you not here?’ It still feels surreal.

I picked at the jumper and noticed that your hair was still on it; I gently pulled it out and wrapped it in a tissue – saving it. ‘Chor do!’ [leave it be!] you’d say with a loving chuckle, but I can’t help it – you’re my Papa and you’re not here, but this single strand of hair is, it’s half white too, and I’m going to keep it. Because that’s all I have left of you, physically. Another little reminder that once upon a time you did exist, you were here, you were living, you were breathing.

I know this grief thing is a bunch of peaks and troughs, but damn is it hard.

So my dear friend, if you’ve reached this far, I thank you for reading – I am holding you in love. You’re not alone ❤️

4 thoughts on “This grief thing…

  1. this is so moving and so lovely. i can feel the ache you feel through your words and the love that you are passing on to your sweet baby girl. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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