Over the last weekend we bade farewell to our beloved aunt Geetha, my father-in-law’s sister who was ailing for quite some time now. Geetha-atte as she was fondly called, was a sixty year special child with an amazing zest for life. With a mind of a five year old, Geetha-atte charmed everyone with her free-wheeling spirit, including Abhay who was extremely fond of her. Geetha-atte was in may ways Abhay's nanny rocking him to sleep when he was an infant, an in-house play-mate, a peer to pretend play, boss over and and rival with - all rolled into one! As she breathed her last on Sunday, I was quite anxious as to how Abhay would take the sight of everyone grieving over her death. But Abhay seemed quite composed as he watched his beloved Geetha-atte’s body being taken away for cremation. He had one question though, “Which God will Geetha-atte go to – Vishnu, Shiva or Hanuman?”
Geetha-atte during healthier and happier times!
Since Abhay is a little too young to witness death on such close quarters, I was looking for some books on bereavement and landed this link of a famous book that reassures children that no matter what they will always be loved. "No matter what" by Debi Gliori is a story of a young child named Small who is feeling grim and grumpy that no one loves him at all. Then Large, a character representative of a parent assures him that grim or not, no matter what, he will always be loved. Small then asks what he is a grizzly bear, or turns into a bug or becomes a crocodile, would he still be loved to which Large answers in the affirmative. Finally Small wonders aloud “What about when we’re dead and gone…would you still love me then, does love go on?” Large takes him to the window and asks him to gaze at the night sky full of bright and shining stars, some of them having died a long time ago and yet continue to shine in the evening skies and thus finally concluding with a reassuring note that love like starlight never dies. So no matter what Abhay….you will always be loved by your loved ones. Similarly, Geetha-atte though no more…but her child-like enthusiasm and unconditional love will always live on! Rest in peace …Geetha Karanth!