I wrote the below post on 17 June, 3 days after my father’s death anniversary. I was too shy or may be not courageous enough to put my feelings out here for anyone to read. Mourning about my father, 16 years after his demise and letting anyone see how I feel inside, felt insane. So I didn’t publish it at all but just shared it with one of my closed one.
It was today that I mourned for another loss.My office and I collectively mourned over the loss of a great human being who was once among us. Filiz, a kind, empathic, compassionate, helpful and loving woman.
She was my colleague, sitting at the front desk of our Deloitte Studio office. She was a big hearted, gentle and strong lady. She was our center, who was connected to each and every soul in our office. We got an email in the morning, giving us the terrible news that we lost her in a fatal car accident in Turkey. I was taken aback, too hard to believe what I had just read. 10 mins into the shock and tears flowing, one colleague posted in the Teams Channel, expressing his shock and sadness. I had a chat with him, expressing what a horror and unbelievable thing this is. It didn’t take him much time to say that he cried. I was touched with the openness of his expression. I was in tears but was too shy to mention that. I couldn’t focus on my work, so couldn’t he and so couldn’t all of my colleagues in the Deloitte office. People went on expressing in Teams how they are feeling and handling the news, with utmost vulnerability. I was still trying to process the news but at the same time was touched with this vulnerability and openness.
I kept on recollecting all the moments I had with Filiz, remembering how she looked, the way she spoke, the way she would move gracefully around the office spreading good vibes. Her smile and energy was contagious. Somedays she would teach me German words, greet me in German and make me answer back in same way, just to motivate me. I remember her talking about her family, speaking about her daughter. I remember the day she said to me that I could think of her as my mother, the fact that I live away from my family. And while I was reminiscing all that, it didn’t take me long to go back in time and start mourning about my father. I cried like it was yesterday. I cried like I was the 16 years old girl. The vulnerability that my office shared with me today, we mourning together over the loss of Filiz, gave me the courage to mourn about Pappa in open and publish the below passage.
14 June 2005. I had come back home from my higher secondary. I was at home alone. Back then we didn’t have any landline or mobile phone. So I didn’t know the current situation. Only until our neighbour+landlord came and told me that my father just died. I didn’t know how to react. Rather, I didn’t understand. There was a blankness in my mind. I don’t remember now how or who took me to our main house. When I reached, the road towards our house was lined with cars and bikes. There were people standing on the street leading to our home. I didn’t know if I should say hello to them or just walk. I just kept on walking, I entered our house, which was full of people, crying loudly. It took me some time to see him. Crowded by crying people around him. I wasn’t able to recognise those people for a while. I saw him, his body covered with a cloth I think and some flowers possibly, his eyes closed. One of my cousins came over, hugged me hard, cried out loud saying that he died. I was still not understanding until I spotted my elder sister crying and then saw my mother. He was dead, He was gone. I had heard news of relatives and people dying. Today it was about one of whom I know. My father. He was dead. How hard was it for me to understand? Don’t know if I should argue about being young or not mature enough but it took me a while to understand it. But when I did, I don’t know from where the tears started flowing out of my eyes, I don’t remember if I even wailed, but I remember everything getting dark around me and feeling being pulled in someone’s arms and continuing crying.
We 4 siblings were young then, each one at their stage of exploring the emotional state that the age brings in, from 16 to 24. We all had our struggle of coping with our father’s loss and so did our mother with the departure of her lifelong partner. I don’t remember discussing the struggles with any of them. But it surely left some scars & impressions on our souls.
On a usual day, I don’t feel much, though he is always in remembrance. But when I sit down, revisiting that day, as I did today, it brings chills on my body, chest pounding cries and a lump in my throat. I remember the empty forehead of my mother, blankness in the eyes of my sisters and my brother’s shaved head after the final riots. I remember eating the bland food for 12 days, people coming over home and speaking and remembering our father and putting(forcibly) our mother to bouts of expected cries. I remember her nose becoming pink as she would wipe the tears off her eyes. I remember coming to hate the visitors day by day.
Somedays I remember it, like it was just yesterday, somedays I cry, like it was just yesterday.