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Still Living...

by Purnima Awasthi
(Mumbai, India)

Got a call,saying that his hands had turned cold,very cold. I rushed blindly out of the house,hailed an auto,hurried through the hospital stairs and silently entered the ICCU ward. There, he was,lying peacefully,as if in slumber,the same way as he had since the last ten days,when Coma led him there. Never had I seen him so frail,so quiet,so very static. Moved his blanket a wee bit to touch his feet-they were ice-cold,his hands-ditto!Parameters showed that things were getting out of hand.


Dad-thanks for giving me these final private moments to bid you good-bye. I can never thank you enough for whatever you taught me in life,but ironically,these painful moments are the ones that I am going to value all throughout. You had seen me come to life;I am seeing you slipping out of life. After a couple of anxious hours,the hospital staff informed me and my brother that our Dad passed away. Neither of us shed a single tear. The most difficult task,but it was our Dad's wish...

I had just come back after a tiring day at school. Was about to settle with my cup of tea,when the door bell rang and Dad walked in. Usually,he dropped in on holidays or in the mornings,though our houses were just five minutes' walk apart. But,today, maybe its something important. He took his favorite place on the recliner,had a gulp of water and agreed to just half a cup of tea. He produced a printed sheet of paper in the form of a letter addressed to his close family members including his Son-in-law and daughter-in-law. Giving it to me,he said,"This is my will and after death I've pledged my body for donation. Keep it safely,as it has the contact nos of the Trust,who will co-ordinate with you all and the hospital for getting it done without any hindrance." I read the contents,printed bold & clear. Here,he was sitting hale and hearty in the pink of his health and on paper he had proudly declared his death and requested us not to mourn or shed a single tear. Instead celebrate his memory and
donate his body for the noble purpose of Medical & Educational Research. To feed the poor and not have any rituals and functions which are customary. It was signed,Love-Papa,with his photograph and signature.

Not wanting to discuss what seemed a distant possibility,I just kept away the letter deep below my drawer of files. Something shook me up that day.I had never realized my Papa was thinking of death! He has always been a man of spirit,vitality and brimming with life-never a man of destiny. Pushed himself very hard to achieve,whatever he aimed for and his goals were never the easy ones. He taught us never to sit back and wait,never to say,'I've learnt enough',never to limit our thoughts and actions. His dynamism was inspirational to all. At the age of 63,he enrolled in a Computer Institute to master the mind of the machine,so that he could regularly be in touch with his son who had recently got an over-seas project. At the same age,he never allowed me to enroll in a driving Institute,instead patiently and relentlessly taught me and my Sis-in-law the art of maneuvering a four wheeler,trusting his own brand new vehicle in our unsure hands. He,never once did make a demarcation between me and my brother. If he was a proud father,then he was the proudest father of a daughter. He was never the one to follow convention,always extended his love and support to his Son-in-law and Daughter-in-law in the same volume as to us. Never could I imagine my life without him...

Today,its been more than a year since we fulfilled his wish,his body was donated and it was we,who got the appreciation for the noble deed. But Dad,it was you who did it. You planned your own life after death-feet only a few would dare think about. You still live,amongst the batches of Medical students,like always teaching and guiding, through the maze of your body anatomy. You still live in our lives,guiding us even today through what you taught us. You still live Dad, you will still live even after we join you somewhere up there.

....End .....

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Oct 26, 2013
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Still Living...
by: Vaishnavi Rao

We all know death is inevitable,but not all of us have the courage to accept it the way he did. And to make his death benefit for others...I'm really touched.

Oct 05, 2012
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Still Living
by: PUSHPA RAGHURAM

A nice way of paying homage to a parent. Well done. I am sure you are a blessed child.

Apr 27, 2012
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Thanks..
by: Purnima

Thanks Jessica. God Bless!

Apr 26, 2012
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Nice
by: Jessica

Very touching indeed! May he rest in peace!

Jul 12, 2011
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Thanks..
by: Anonymous

Thanks Isabel...God Bless you always!

Jul 12, 2011
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Thanks..
by: Purnima

Thanks Isabel...God Bless you always!

Jun 30, 2011
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sacred...
by: isabel

Your father was so selfless even in death...
So touched by ur story, thank u for sharing...

May 18, 2011
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Safia A.R
by: Purnima

Thanks Safia....Fathers are the blessings with which we daughters are born :)

May 17, 2011
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Nice.
by: Safia.A.R

Very touching.Your father sounds like very nice person and you were lucky to have him!

May 17, 2011
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Thanks
by: Purnima

Thanks Lakshmi...it indeed is.

May 12, 2011
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Very touching
by: Lakshmi

Hi Purnima,

It is a courageous decision. Only few can do this!
Very touching!

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