In a matter of one week my wife and I lost our respective Grandmas. The two of them were so different in their mannerisms and yet in the last few months of their life they were so similar. It only makes me wonder how Death is the most common denominator among us humans.
With my wife’s grandma - who was healthy as a horse - we imagined her to live a 100 years. But she took her final breath at 89 and bid farewell to the world. My own Grandma on the other hand who was frail as a Lilly plant went to live 6 months shy of a century.
My wife’s Granny earned the nickname of “Modern Ammumma” from the kids in the household for her (for lack of a better word) uniqueness. She was extremely “at-home” with gobbling Pizzas, Noodles and Ice creams. She would even have the occasional peg of whiskey with my co-brother! On the other hand my own Granny preferred the local delicacies like “muruku”, “mixture”, “avalose unda”, “banana chips” and other South-Indian Condiments. This despite the fact that she had lost all her tooth ages ago. She would just put them in her mouth for a very long time till it becomes soggy and soft enough to munch with her gums and swallow it.
While one Granny was a cleanliness freak who took bath on her own every day, bathing was optional for the other. While one never cared about her great grand kids, the other’s best friends were her great grand kids. But despite these differences, there were few common traits between the two. Both loved to receive gifts (“set mundu” and/or money) from their respective offsprings. And both of them treasured their “abharna petti”.
Both their lives were cut-short by a devastating fall that rendered them bed-ridden till their last breath. The inability to walk around increased their frustration. This led to them having delusions and certain hallucinations. Senility crept-in. They started to become a little violent and stubborn. Bed sores were a frequent occurrence, for not getting up from the bed. Screaming their lungs out was as common as having a meal. Personal Hygiene was thrown out of the window. Then slowly the food intake reduced. They refused to take any solid food. The last couple of weeks they took only “kanji vallam” or oats or juices. They were both a picture of wrinkled flesh and bones in their final days.
And then the inevitable happened. It was my wife’s granny that departed first. That day she had trouble breathing. She was taking quick breaths. Her daughter who diligently took care of her all these years knew the end was near. She put her in the car and drove to the hospital, but it was all over before they could reach the hospital. And then a week later, my granny, in the dead of the night started having breathing trouble and a few minutes later it was all over.
Two great souls who lived to see 3 generations of offsprings departed to a better world. A place free of the shenanigans of this cruel world. I know I will miss them, but I won’t - and didn’t - shed a tear for them, for I know they are in a happier place and I’m not jealous of their happiness. They have lived their time in this world and now it’s time to meet their maker. It was not an abrupt goodbye but merely the end of a long vacation in a place called Earth.
Picture Courtesy: Despair.com