I still remember that night. I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. Dad walked in and said go to bed early as we have a long day tomorrow. He looked perfectly fine when he spoke with me…. or did I miss a sign? It was around 12 am my sister woke me up saying dad is not well. I quickly got up and saw my dad at the dining area, tying up his turban. Mum was calling up my dad’s friend to take him to the hospital.
A few minutes later, his friend came. I rushed out wanting to follow my dad. My dad looked up to me and said, stay at home. I walked back in where my family was sitting. It didn’t feel good..we decided to go to the hospital to see how dad was doing. Upon arrival at the ER, we saw dad’s friend. He told us dad collapsed as he was walking into ER….
The doctor called for my dad’s friend. He went in. As he came out, my mum asks how is Daljit (my dad’s name)? His friend looked pale as if he had seen a ghost. He stammered and said, “Daljit is gone”. My heart sank. I saw my dad lying lifeless on the stretcher. In my heart, I was pleading God to bring my dad back as I needed him. I kept having hope that my dad would come back alive just like in the movies.
Nothing like that happened. The funeral took place in the evening. That was the first time, my relationship with God went bitter. I moved on focusing on my life, suppressing all emotions to stay strong, refusing to talk anything about my feelings towards my dad. I just wanted to be practical and logical. Talking about dad was just too painful. I wanted to run away from this pain….
As I grew up and moved to adulthood, life was good. Everything turned out as I had planned. I got my education, working in Forbes listed companies, flying across continents, living in luxury hotels, dining at expensive restaurants and meeting worlds brightest minds in the field of medicine! What else could I ask for? My relationship with God became better….. but shaky.
Little did I know, my grief is now working silently against me at a subconscious level. It was 2 years ago, I experienced chronic pain. I could barely walk. For almost one month I was on strong medications including morphine. All imaging reports showed I was physically normal. This is when it hit me hard … I need to let dad go. Of course in the midst of all this, my career came to a screeching pause as well! It was too much for me to handle. It was the first time, I sat in the living room and cried my heart out with my dog. He licked my tears away and sat close to me until I fell asleep not knowing what my future holds…
One thing I always knew is, to keep moving forward but the new lesson I learnt was to pause, acknowledge what I feel and reflect on it. Today, I am proud to say, I found my calling as a Therapeutics art Practitioner. I realized there are so many people living in fear and suppressed emotions. It gives me immense pleasure when I am able to assist someone. So yes my grief has become my mission to assist people. No words can describe the true joy I get when I am able to help someone to acknowledge their pain and reflect on it through art. It is one of the most beautiful gifts God has given to me. Yes God has plans for you, me and us.