How my 8-month old saved my parents…
There is nothing more precious for grandparents than their grandchild. Our daughter Karma is the first grandchild in the family. So needless to say, she brought a lot of joy and everyone absolutely dotes on her.
But then tragedy struck our happy family. Within 10-12 days of moving to Mumbai, we got an early morning call from my parents. My younger brother – Karan Angad Singh Oberoi lovingly called KASO by his friends – had passed away in a car accident. It’s the kind of thing you read about in papers. Something that happens to other people. But this time, it happened to us.
We flew to Chandigarh and I saw more sadness than I ever thought possible. I am not going to write and paint a picture of what it was like because it’s too traumatic. If I think about it, then I can’t function. But even in this tragedy, there was an outpour of love and where there is love, there is pain.
Friends would ask us what was it like when Karma was born and we’d say – “It’s the biggest joy we have ever known. The ferocity of love is so overwhelming, it gives you a headache!”
What’s happened to my parents is the exact opposite. Losing a child goes against the natural order of things. The ferocity of such a loss is comparable to none other.
When I saw my mother that day, I wondered if she would ever survive this. It’s only been a few weeks. Sometimes I still wonder. The torture that her heart is going through is unbearable to watch. Every time she talks about him or cries (which is a lot), I don’t know what to do. What can you possibly say to a grieving mother that would make her feel better? My dad, true to his Army training, stayed tough but I can see him phase out sometimes. He only mourns when he is alone. I have never felt so helpless. I don’t know how to ease their pain. This time, I have no answers.
His friends brought some solace. We have never seen such loyalty & love. Some 80-90 people at my brother’s cremation were just his friends – not only from our hometown but from Delhi, Calcutta, Dubai, Australia etc.
They held tributes in different cities. They spent time with us and told us stories. He was very spiritual and wanted to live in the woods. He loved music & gave away whatever he had to whoever asked. They all said he was different and way ahead of his time. They shared his jokes & wrote beautiful tributes. We learned many things about him that we never knew. His philosophies, his view of the world, his giving nature, his love for camping and animals. We will forever be grateful for the support from his friends. Words cannot express what that meant to our family.
But he was still gone…
The only source of hope – Karma. I honestly believe my mother would have had no motivation to carry on with life if Karma had not been there. Maybe I am being extreme, but the only smile on my parents’ faces comes when they are with her. She keeps them active and makes them laugh. She scratches their faces silly and lights them up. They step out to make her play in the garden and take her for walks. She also reminds them of things he did when he was a baby. The grief of losing a son so young will never go away but hopefully, their grand daughter will help them heal to an extent where it’s slightly easier to live with it.
My husband Karan has been a big support through all this. He recently went back to Mumbai while I’m gonna continue in Chandigarh for a few more weeks. I sent him some videos of Karma the other day.
I asked him – “You must be missing her…”
He replied – “I am but that’s okay. They need her more right now!”
I don’t think I could have helped my parents through this on my own. I believe my daughter was born in the same year that my brother was taken away for a reason – To give them a reason to live… a reason to laugh… a reason to love!
When we became parents, we never realised what we are creating. Yes, it’s nature’s biggest magic trick – You create another human being. But at times like these, a child is so much more than that.
She’s hope. She’s love. She’s strength.
Even though I am helpless and can’t take away any of my parents’ pain, my 8-month old is already serving a bigger purpose in life than I ever did. She’s a healer. And she doesn’t even realise that by saving my parents, she is also saving me.