Last night my mind tried to disturb me again. Trying to make me remember that Grandma was ACTUALLY dead. I told myself to shut up and went to sleep. I woke up and wondered what had happened. I still don’t believe my grandmother is dead. It does not feel like it. Why do I do this?
Grandmother is dead. She is dead. Over a week has passed. It does not feel real. My Grandmother, whom I’ve called Nanu. My dear, sweet Nanu. No one will ever love me like you did.
Most of the time these days I feel very normal. I go on, listen to Music, watch youtube videos, etc But when the feelings come back, like right now, it feels real all over. I feel like I am still denying what happened, which is true. Every time I think, “She is dead,” I tell myself to please just shut up.
My chest feels like it is closing in and then opening up again and again. Whenever I think of her. My stomach feels weird. It’s been 8 days already but it feels like it happened two days ago. Grandma is really dead. I won’t be speaking to her on this lifetime. Ever. Oh Goodness. My cousin’s birthday past yesterday and Grandma wasn’t here to fake her liking of my cousin’s baking of cake. Grandma hates cake but on cousin’s birthday every year, she sacrifices her disgust on cakes and eats Cousin’s cake and under her breath tries to say convincingly, “Oh, oh, delicious!”
It doesn’t feel real. Nanu is dead? How? It half feels like she had died, but it also feels too unreal to be true. Two days after Nanu died…. Mom suddenly bawled like a baby and I held her. Mom didn’t scold me yesterday, nor today. I hugged her and told her I was waiting for her to scold me for something, I didn’t like seeing her so depressed.
Nanu died, she had cancer. I still won’t accept it. It’s not true to my head, even though it is true. Nanu is no longer on earth to speak to us here. To love us here. Oh my God, she really isn’t here.
The day Nanu died, Mom called early morning and told me it was an emergency and that I had to give the phone to Baba. Dad talked to her and told me Nanu was very sick. What a lie. I asked if we needed to hurry, he said no. let me not rush breakfast. I ate calmly watching Modern Family….but then shut the T.V off because I thought I shouldn’t be doing this. That I should really be focused on eating fast and visiting Nanu.
Before you read the next para, I should say I don’t know what the name of the thing was in which Nanu was put in, but I will call it a ‘casket’.
So we headed off after Dad put on strong perfume (perfume to my Grandmother’s funeral, f*cking voguish dad). When we reached Grandma’s place, a casket greeted me by the door. I was shocked seeing this as my uncle walked to me very fast and hugged me as he sobbed.
When I came inside the house and found Nanu wrapped in white clothing, the kind of clothing Muslims wrap the dead relatives in. I don’t remember how it happened, but everything got real and I sobbed and bawled. I turned away from grandma and off to the living room when Aunt got me a chair and a glass of water to calm me down.
I sat down on the floor beside Grandma and just wept though the whole morning. I bawled every time another surprised relative came to find grandma like this and started weeping, their surprise made the situation more concrete to me in my head.
I put my hand over her own over the clothing and rubbed her fingers. Trying to feel the touch of it, trying to feel the warmth of her compassion from that touch. When I touched it over the sheets, her hands felt so real, like silk and it then she was a dead person. I touched her feet for a while and then came to her hands again. I touched her face for the last time.
After all the tears, things seemed to be more fine again. It felt like she was merely sleeping under this white clothing, nothing more.
But when the ritual bathing of the body (after death) came and I saw how Grandma had to be carried outside in a private place by all the Uncles and Aunts from the bedroom, carrying her just by her bed-sheet. And then how she didn’t move once when she was bathed. How at one point during the bathing her hand was accidentally let gone and it hit the steel, oh how much it would have hurt if she was alive. But it looked more like she beared through the pain with her eyes closed, rather than a dead body’s hand hitting on steel. It looked like she was merely senseless.
Again, after it was all over and she was put in the casket where she was lying peacefully again, it seemed like nothing had happened. And that’s how it went on the next couple hours. It felt like she was just sleeping under these thick, heavy white clothes.
Until the truck came to carry her with her casket to the grave which is really far away. When the casket was pulled up and the men tried to situate it on the truck, the situation got real again. She wasn’t just sleeping, she was dead. And as the truck went away, so many of us cried. I went inside the house and sobbed and bawled alone in a room.
It still feels too unreal to even happen. It feels like Nanu is living on with her normal life.