It is not easy to see a dead body unless you are in the medical profession. I screamed at least three times when I saw the bodies of strangers, but they were my patients. I mourned the death of a one-month-old baby who was beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend. I felt helpless that day. The second time, when a young police officer died, I cried a lot. We over tried to revive him but with no success. No, we are not God. The whole team worked for four hours, but we couldn’t bring him back to life. He was a young man who served in Iraq and Afghanistan but was killed by a drug dealer. Can you believe that he survived on foreign soil but had died in his homeland? He often visited our emergency department, so everybody knew him. I kept myself strong that day. However, I lost control over my tears when he was taken out of the emergency room to the coroner’s office. On that day, more than 100 police officers in the ED were standing on both sides of the hall to salute him.
My another three-year-old patient had become the victim of collateral damage during gang fights. I cried when he took his last breath in front of me. It is not difficult to provide the best care for a dying person. However, talking to the family of the deceased is very uncomfortable. I have been in this profession for 20 years now. No, I still hesitate to break this type of news. I am not perfect at breaking this type of news. I doubt any of my partners are perfect in this area either. Sometimes I struggle to gather the right words to break this news. The hospital chaplain is our best resource and supporter in this matter. However, there is always a challenge or interruption in communication. But it is part of our job to do it at the right time.
I lost many loved ones one by one in a short time. I saw the dead bodies of my uncle, Abu, and father. Afterward I refuse to see the remains of any family members. They were the only three family members whom I saw dead. Since then, I have never attended a funeral or seen my dead family members. I refused to look at Binu’s body and as well the body of the father of my children. I did not see my mother’s body or any other dead family members. I always make excuses not to go. Everyone knows that I can’t see the death of family members or friends. I never give condolence call, but I always send them some flowers and a card. Recently, the father of our family friend died. She was close to me. I did not meet her because of COVID. However, I gave her a condolence call.
My emotions were filled with own my pain. I just needed an excuse to cry. Yes, I cried more than her. I doubt if she was in more pain than me. However, she expressed her concern to my cousin about my crying. The woman did not know that I was crying for both her and my loss at the same time. To avoid this situation, I am not sure if I am tired of seeing the bodies of my loved ones or am I a coward to face the truth? I love talking to my dead family members. I often talk to Abu, Chachu, Binu, and my father. I still feel their presence around me especially when I am sad or depressed. Honestly, I find them in my dreams if my day was rough or if I needed moral help from them. They had left me a long time ago. However, my recent emotional trauma tells me that they died again. I am an orphan again. My mother hardly ever came to my dream. But she came into my dreams to shout at me. she shouted at me, “Are you planning to live your entire life here? Who will do the family traditions? Who will visit your ancestors every month? Have you already forgotten the tradition?”
For centuries, it has been a family tradition to visit the ancestral cemetery on the 10th of each month to pay homage. There is a myth that only people of the bloodline can pay homage to our ancestors. We are supposed to follow strict rules to comply with this family tradition. After bathing, we make a Diva with flour dough and add some pure ghee. Then we walk barefoot to go to the grave of our ancestors, finally, we light up Diva at their shrine. Well, the dead ancestors are well aware that we can’t go every month now.
our ancestor who was the first warrior of our family was martyred fighting for the independence of the country with the British government. He was buried in this place. Abu was killed on just few steps away while fighting domestic terrorists and was also buried in this place. the door was locked during my last visit to my ancestors’ grave. But I managed to go inside to pay my respects. Often I wonder what will happen to my ancestral memorial after my death. Maybe someone will make efforts to continue the family tradition. who will do it out of three children, it depends on the time. However, I will leave some memories behind for them.