Letter To A Grief-Stricken Daughter Over Loss Of Her Father
By talking about this event, about this unbearable moment of losing your first true love, your baba is trying to bring some relief to you. After all, that’s what fathers want for their daughters; that they should be free from all grief and despair.
Disease, death, disaster, hopelessness, helplessness, betrayals, rejections, dejections—all such events suck out the meaning from our already meaningless lives.
To be or not to be, is the last question on our minds. Kafka describes these feelings in The Trial as such: “After a certain point there is no turning back, and it’s that point that must be reached.”
I believe we must lose hope and meaning in such an extreme way that even suicide, the sword of unbearable human existence, loses its inherent significance; that even harming our own selves, weeping, starving our own selves through grudges, regret of our losses, misfortune and defeat, would be no more than a hopeless event that would fail to make any impact or get anything back on the right track.
There is infinite amount of hope in the universe but not for us. Kafka would have put it that way. We must reach the extremes of hopelessness, helplessness, despair and doom in order to be left with no other choice but to live, and to live in such an extraordinary way that when death comes to take our lives, we can look fearlessly into its eyes and keep singing melodies of eternal joy and freedom.
By spending a life of responsibilities fulfilled and youth well-spent—we start to glow so brightly that even the angel of death tremble and bow in reverence before taking our lives.
But we must wish for death as the first sign of understanding is ones strong urge to die. Death sucks out the meaning from our lives but it is disruption and deprivation that shatter our old worlds so that new worlds are born. We should not fear death. We should not hate it. Death must be loved.
By and large, life is a terminal disease and death is its cure. Death mustn’t be mourned, instead, it should be allowed to induce a certain kind of melancholia in us. While we mourn, it’s the outside world or some component of it that gets lost. The outside world becomes empty.
Everything heals in the end and external wounds are filled with indifference. But in melancholia, it’s the self that is injured in a secret way and which heals to become fertile again, ready to grow whatever seeds you sow there.
My secret belief is that through this melancholia of death, nature gets accomplished all unfinished tasks of the deceased. Thus death must be considered as a teacher.
After the demise of your father you are remembering his golden words and conversations, teachings and aspirations, and the physical and mental labour he went through to become a good human being. You remember him as a progressive man and an ideal human being because he had love and compassion for humanity. He also adored you and directed his affection towards you.
Now you can sublimate the love of a daughter for her father into extraordinary feats that are a rare treat for human species. Do this by not only loving, caring, being compassionate, being available to the needy and the poor, the downtrodden, the misery-stricken, the ignored and the devoured ones, but also by loving the people whom you care about most.
You can go ahead and do something trailblazing and pioneering by working on your father’s dreams. And for all the unrequited love of a daughter for her father, she can understand the meaning of the following verses written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz to accomplish her father’s extraordinary dreams:
[Tainted sinister spells of innumerable centuries
Woven in silk, satin and brocades
Bodies sold everywhere, in lanes and bazaars
Smeared in mud, bathed in blood
Bodies arising from the furnace of diseases,
Pus oozing from incurable sores
My gaze returns towards these also, what is to be done
Your beauty is still alluring, but what is to be done
Other sorrows exist in the world, apart from love
Other joys too, apart from the ecstasy of union
Ask me not, my beloved, for the love long past]
Your father is looking over you, perhaps from somewhere peaceful and serene, or more accurately through your own eyes. He is part of you so you must take care of the material and emotional needs of your body.
His teachings are a part of you as well so you must read more, think more, imagine, imitate, evaluate, integrate and dive deep into the ocean of knowledge.
You must take care of your sleep. Eat well and enjoy all adventures as it’s is an essential human quality to be a voyager, explorer and a seeker of truth, values, peace and prosperity. Helen Keller writes about this fact in the following way: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
It is a scientific fact that our parents are a part of us, they live in our bodies as genes and archetypes. We owe them everything from a single cell in our bodies to the way we think, behave and act. They are in our minds and our memories, so we must take care of our own selves to grow into something meaningful. We should gracefully continue their legacy in the best possible manner.
Maybe, this is what can be considered as our reunion with them.