“It’s the end of an era,” said Appa (my father) and my aunt separately when I reached out to them after my grandmother’s funeral. It truly feels that way. Today’s funeral was a really elegant and lovely ceremony with heartfelt speeches from my uncles and my aunt in Toronto. My grandparents moved there when I was a little girl because the largest cluster of their children was there. Growing up, they would split their time between my nuclear family, and our family in Canada. Her funeral was attended by people in Canada who were local, and attended virtually by people living across the US, India, and as far away as Australia.
I got to know them both well as a result. I’ve always admired my grandmother’s strong spirit and intelligence, her wit and her charm. It felt desolate and strange to see her shrunken body in the casket during the virtually streamed ceremony without her liveliness, warmth and personality. Hard to imagine they were the same person.
The funeral rites ended as they moved her to the crematorium. And then she was gone. We were left with our memories, tears, sense of loss and regrets. I can feel her spirit, and I know her love is always there for me to remember. But every time I think about it, I choke up and start crying.
I’m truly grateful that I have close family and friends to count on and reach out to right now. I’m really lucky that I have so many good, kind, loving and generous people in my life.
Here’s to the end of the journey of a remarkable woman, who had a very difficult life but persevered with a deep love of life and an amazing sense of humor. I never saw a trace of bitterness for any of the pain she had suffered, and I’m truly inspired by her strength.