To the best person I have ever known,
I could not see you. The consequences of choosing to leave for further shores are many, and so deep, that I could not possibly have foreseen them when I left at a naive, chirpy seventeen. So I did not see you. And the last memory I have of you is not hooked up to the dozen tubes and one half of your already barely-there frame. The last memory I have of you is of you holding my hands in yours and asking me “Kobe ashbi?”. I glibly assured you I’d be back in seven months. I’d be graduating. “Ei baar toh khoob kam shomoy, Didibhai”. In my mind seven months was nothing. Barely seven days later, you were in the hospital with poison in your blood. I wish, I wish- I wish I’d lingered then. ‘I wish’s are so useless aren’t they? So let us not speak of this now.
I wish I believed in heaven. The conventional happy-place. I really, really do, because I want to believe that you’re in the best place you could be, getting all the things you deserve, in peace, in comfort and in happiness. Now more than ever, I wish I believed in heaven- because then I could see you again. Right now, the news hasn’t registered really- and it keeps hitting me in fits and starts that next year when I return, your old familiar face, and gentle hands and constant anxiety won’t be on the bed underneath a lazy fan to greet me. It is unreal. And painful.
But let’s not speak of that. Going by what I believe, you’re bigger than your body now and you are energy, the universe(!) again- and what could be more wonderful than that? We are the only ones deprived in this situation, and you are not suffering- which is fine with me.
I don’t know if I can honestly believe in heaven. But I would really like to believe that there is a special place where souls like you go, where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
You cannot give anymore, and perhaps that is for the best. I hope that you are being taken care of for a change. I hope that you feel strong, and free, and are finally, finally rid of chinta.
I love you and I will miss you. I will miss you next summer, and I will miss you this winter. I will miss you when I’m living in India, and I will miss you when I get my PhD. I will miss you when I stay out late and when I come home before seven. I will miss you when I get married and when I have children and when I eat, and when I sleep and when I wake. I will miss you.
I am happy that you are at peace now. Ma told me that after it all- of course you spared them from having to take a painful decision- you looked peaceful. Like Didibhai.
I am grateful that I am your granddaughter, grateful that I know that in a crazy, bad world, there is reason to hope. I know that goodness lives, and I will have faith, because I have been privileged to see it in front of me for nearly twenty two years- as has everyone who has ever known you.
Thank you for everything.