When a loved one passes…

My grandmother on my father’s side passed away today. She was 92 years old when she died, and her death was peaceful and calm and she was in no pain. She’s – she was – a complex person with tons of facets and sides, incredibly strong willed and sharp witted. She lived through so many difficult and defining events in India including WW II, Partition, the Bengal Famine, Indian Independence.

My father just sent an obituary of sorts to my mother’s side of the family and it was beautiful. The family is coming together to help and support each other get through this. I’m really grateful for that, but I really wish this year would let up for a bit, you know?

I cried for what felt like hours this evening and I’m glad I finally stopped because I had a pounding headache after I was done. I sang some of my grandmother’s favorite traditional Carnatic Classical songs in my repertoire until my voice gave out after. My cousin called late in the evening, and we were reminiscing about our grandparents and going through a treasure trove of stories. It really helped.

I’ve now lost another person I was close to, who loved me unconditionally. The world feels a lot more cold, harsh and lonely now. I feel like there aren’t a lot of people in a person’s life who can give that much unconditional love. I wish I’d appreciated and understood that better while she was still with us.

Rest in peace, Patti. We love you.

The Worm That Destroys Your Peace

I had a wonderful, lovely quick chat with my father this morning. He and I had had a big argument a few days prior, and I hadn’t talked to him since though I’d called my mom. It took a lot to pick up the phone to try again. My parents were in the middle of a movie, so the call was brief, but there was so much love and affection and happiness in his voice. He was really glad I’d called.

After I jumped off the call, I enjoyed my peace for a few seconds before going down the negative thought spirals that so often consume my waking days now. Anger at the system, anger at the bad leaders I’ve been exposed to at the international and smaller level at my company. Anger at the sexism and racism that I and so many of my friends have faced. Anger at the lack of repercussions and accountability at the very top where it matters the most. The burdens of some of the biggest problems are always borne by the people who can least afford to bear it.

To break the cycle, I brought myself back to my dad’s voice over the phone. It made me smile. Time for a list of things I’m grateful for:

  1. My family’s love, despite past disagreements. Right now, I choose to focus on our togetherness and unfailing love.
  2. I just finished a delicious cup of hot cocoa I’d made with spices that I really enjoyed. 🙂
  3. It’s a soft, foggy, humid, contemplative day in San Francisco. While I love sunny days, these types of days bring me peace because it slows my pace of thinking down if I allow it to sink in. If I allow myself to be present in the now.
  4. I’ve been getting tons of rest during the night this weekend. All the emotions, frustration, feeling trapped, anger, sadness and disappointment have been taking a toll on my sleep, so I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to get several nights of wonderful, rejuvenating sleep. It was much needed.
  5. I had an awesome Saturday. I was happy most of the day yesterday even though I mostly just ran errands and worked out and sang as usual. I got to hang out virtually with my brother and we watched a movie together on Netflix and then chatted about it on Skype.
  6. I’m grateful that technology still allows me to be close to people who are far away, who I really miss.
  7. I’m catching up with other close friends today.

Happy Sunday! I hope you find things that bring you peace and joy today!