When Amma passed away, a few months ago, there was a sense of overwhelm in the whole family. The feeling was justified because we had not only lost a loved one, but we had also lost someone who had managed the entire house and a lot of aspects of our individual lives. Deep within, we all wondered how we would move on in life without her.
For the first few weeks, each cupboard in the kitchen spooked me. There were so many boxes and bags that contained stuff I couldn’t recognize. I tried to decrypt the contents through touch, smell, taste and even neighbors advice but I wasn’t 100% successful. I admit that I ended up trashing somethings which days later, I realized were very important. I washed somethings that water should never have touched. For now, I have given up and and left a few things for the next round of decryption. I figured it would be nice for Toyna and Yog to inherit some mysteries as well.
After months, we have the house more or less functional at half its previous efficiency. Sadly, it is not only the stock of goods, the processes and the humans that are performing at half productivity; the machines of our house also seem to be missing Amma dearly. All of them seem to be breaking down one after another, in a vain attempt to indicate that they need better handling. In spite of multiple followups with service technicians, the smoke chimney, inverter and a washing machine still don’t work, today.
What does all of it mean? Where is the silver lining to these dark clouds?
I see the silver lining in the fact that we have been through 3 months already. We are able to eat decent food, sleep for a couple of hours at night and manage school, work and household chores without a nervous breakdown. We are not doing as well as we were before, but with practice and commitment we will get there one day.
What I have learnt through this experience is that when life seems too scary like my kitchen cupboards, we should not panic. As long as we pick up one box in one cupboard at a time, we will, one day, have the kitchen (aka our life) organized and functional.
In normal circumstances, we always work with goals and deadlines in mind. I have learnt that under extreme circumstances when we don’t even know where to start, we should never think about the end result and a deadline to achieve the same. When the end result seems so far, thinking about it doesn’t help at all. As long as we pick one box in one cupboard, each day, we will have our life sorted out some day. Till then, whenever we miss the right oil or the right pickle in our food, we try and replace it with the love of the family who is still sitting down together on the table.
That’s my silver lining and I hope it helps those who are or have been through a similar loss like ours. Feel free to share your silver lining.