Only the sound of shoes and heels reverberated despite the queue of people waiting for the visiting hours. Both anxieties and excitements shone in their face. It reads 5:56pm, four minutes to go. People rushed, I directly went to level 3 at ICU section. Uncle greeted me with a weak smile and directed to a place where he was kept. The security guard on the way said we can’t go inside. Uncle requested and begged saying I am patient’s sister, guard let us visit him and asked us to make our visit short. Am I the only one who feel whole hospital set up is so intense and depressing, can’t it be little livelier?
As we went nearer him, I saw him lying but inclining on the bed, living with the help of various technology and machines. He wasn’t he; not a chubby healthy smiling person I last saw him. His eyes fluttering, traces of tears at the corner of eyes, mouth slightly opened, he looked like he hadn’t eaten for months as flesh abandoned his bone. I felt my heart at mouth and I broke at that moment seeing a cousin just two years older battling for the life.
I couldn’t meet uncle’s eyes; eyes of a helpless father filled with a terror as he saw his son dying in front of him. Moist filled eyes that were looking for a miracle for his ailing son. When I asked him what his disease is, uncle said Doctors are yet to diagnose it, though ‘TB malignancy’ was suspected and he was being treated for that. Uncle recounted his every memorable childhood stories to the details of last few months of sickness. One day when uncle was back for a lunch, a cousin woke at that moment and confronted them saying that they didn’t care him well saying that somebody chopped off his hair in their presence. Another time, he asked them to fetch a person at door who he said has come to treat him though nobody was there actually.
At 8:00pm, an uncle whose daughter at 21 was admitted due to chronic kidney failure informed us that our patient’s health had further deteriorated. Fear gripped us as we looked at each other’s eyes and began praying for a miracle. A minute later, a relative informed that he is little better. We kept praying in a silence, a minute felt like a millennium and waiting seems tedious.
Precisely on 1st January, 2016 at 8:57pm, doctor said sorry to us and we lost him forever. He chooses a path, never to look back. The pain left him and he left us. He was too young to die but god felt he is too old to live. He was a 2nd year B.Ed student at Samtse. He was at vacation, perhaps a vacation so long that he might never return to his institute.
The cremation took place at 11:26am on 4th January, which lasted more than 5hours and when finally his ashes were sprinkled on the river, he went to the place beyond our reach yet to everyone’s destination.
What is new about this ‘New Year 2016’ is that old faces are vanishing from my life. I think 2016 is the year to lose the people around me; some to death and some to situation. Both can brings tears in eyes and haunt me enough. I am looking for the reason; the reason to live knowing we are to die ultimately and sometimes abruptly. The reason to live without feeling; when we can feel, we can feel the pain and when the pain feels us, we are hurt bringing unbearable sufferings in life.
Death is an old phenomenon yet every time it strikes us, the pain we feel is new and fresh.