My father used to say, used to because I lost him a couple of days back – “It doesn’t matter how a man dies it is important to know how he lived”.

I never thought about what  kind of a man my dad was because when someone is alive you do not evaluate so  much. He was just dad. He was my ally and that’s where it ended. But I sat down to think about how he lived his life over the past few days,  it is hard to put an entire person’s life together in a nutshell. What is my memory of this person? 

What will I hold on to? Who was dad?

Dad, he rarely got angry with any one of us. Dad was woke in a generation that didn’t know what it was to be woke. He ironed our school clothes, polished our shoes helped mum with dishes,changed our diapers and later even ironed my sister in laws office clothes. Dad taught me to use  a drill, open car bonnets, change car tyres, (I am miserable at it) , teach boy stuff to a girl. 

Dad was a person who never imposed his dreams on his children like most parents do. He allowed us to dream our own dreams. Dad was the person who stood by me when  I went against every social norm and said I do not wish to marry. Dad was a person who stood by my mother in every decision.

Dad taught me to love poetry, fight like a girl. Dad spoke about God and had the most  wonderful stories about saints. He had great respect for monks because he had grown up with monks.

Dad was a person who was happy in 3 pairs of clothes I had never seen him want or ask for more. . He had immense faith in his guru.  And always taught us to surrender. If he had any weakness it was tea. He taught me to love animals. Dad, always favoured me a little more than my brother. Dad…

There is so much more ,but I disagree with what he said, I think it is important to know how a person died. And I want  to speak about how he died.

My father died like it was a dream. It was like he sat in his Gurus lap and was whisked away. You see for a man who was diagnosed  with stage 4 lung cancer. My dad passed away, completely aware, in no pain,yes no pain, no breathing difficulty, he passed away as I was holding his head. Impossible for someone with that disease. Yet it happened.  He didn’t need any bed help till the very end. 

Yes, it is important to know how a person died. Because as I look back in wonder as to the beauty of his moment of passing I understand what he meant by surrender, now.  His entire life he was grateful for what the divine had offered him never asking for more. He always said the Mother looks after us all , what we need will be provided. When he learnt about his illness he said he was ready. There was no regrets. Let mothers will be done. 

And that was the grace he had, the grace that led him like a child in the mother’s arms to the world beyond.