Live like there is no tomorrow and Call your parents today.

I lost my dad on September7th, 2006 at 8:35 pm. He was just 65.Had he lived, he would have been 66, this November 18th.What is shocking is that it was most unexpected.It was a day like any other day.It was a full moon night. Not that it matters but it is little details like these that come to the mind. Who knew what fate had in store?

Dad was so fit and so healthy. In fact that morning too he went for his usual three kilometer walk with my mom. Dad and mom are very health conscious and always maintain their weight. Both look much younger than their years and both never had any health problems like diabetes, a high blood pressure or a high cholesterol count which usually affects people their age.

That day, like all days, he spent the whole day at his office (he was the Secretary of a Trust which he’d established after retirement) and in the noon he had some visitors.Every Thursday they have a small prayer meeting, which they conduct and both dad and mom attended that as well.. They, then had their dinner and were both watching television, and were having a conversation. Dad was in his easy chair and mom was lying on the bed, next to him less than a distance of two feet separating them.They were having a conversation and suddenly Dad stopped talking. Mom wondered why he was not answering and when she turned to look at him, his eyes were closed and he was gone.It was that quick, that sudden and that unexpected.In fact both their flight tickets were booked for the September 28th, to come to the place where I live. Dad so badly wanted to come and visit me. He died of a cardiac arrest, which I am told is different from a heart attack. A cardiac arrest happens for no reason. A healthy heart simply stops working, like a clock stops working when its battery finishes.

Dad and I have always shared a very close relationship. Whatever I have achieved in Art is because of my dad. Dad had even preserved the paintings which I did when I was just 7 and has kept it so carefully. In fact I still have all the pictures that I painted right from the age of 7. .It made such a difference to me because whatever I did mattered in the eyes of my dad. Dad was always very optimistic, jovial, friendly and a cheerful person. The very large number of people, who came to the funeral alone, spoke volumes about him as a person. He had so many friends and so many people respected him, sought his advice or would come just to speak to him because they would feel better, after talking to him for a while.He had that magical ability to really listen to people and to give them confidence and hope.

Dad used to work for a large Oil corporation, which also figures in the fortune 500 list .He had retired five years ago as the Chief Area manager.I am so proud of my dad, not because of the official position that he held but because of the kind of person he was. Dad always believed in helping others and in fact after retirement had started a Trust and done a lot of Social work, to help the aged who are poor, abandoned or neglected. Dad used to also hold these English conversation classes to teach the village kids to speak English and it was free of cost. While I was visiting him once, I had accompanied him and conducted one of the sessions. Since I work with children and am very good with kids, the session I conducted was a big hit. Dad was so proud and wished I could do more. But I had to return, as my own two children’s school was re-opening after the vacation.

Somehow dad's death has made me, my brother and mom closer than ever before. It is amazing how much strength we get from each other. Not a day passes without dad on my mind. When I break down, it is almost like telepathy, my brother calls.Or when he is feeling down I seem to know instinctively and I call him. So too with my mom. She says I have this amazing telepathy and I seem to know exactly when she needs me and I invariably call when she is totally down.. After talking to me she feels so much better. It is the same with my brother. It has happened so many times, that now I can no longer dismiss it as coincidence. .I miss my dad like hell.. Some days the grief is unbearable.But what he has taught us always will remain. .I'm so proud that he is inside me and my brother-Confidence, self esteem, cheerfulness, willingness to help others, generosity, unselfish attitude, a spirit of adventure, zest, inquisitiveness, kindness, a love for nature and animals, positive outlook.. so many of dad's qualities are in me and my brother and I feel thankful for that.

In retrospect I am so glad that I had sent my children to my parents place during their vacation and Dad had really enjoyed the exclusive time that he spent with both my kids for two weeks. Later I too joined him and we stayed for a week more. .After returning I used to speak to my dad almost every day. Looking back I am so glad that I did that.

In the end it is only the memories you have left, which you take with you and which continue long after the person has gone. A big lesson which we all have learnt from my dad’s death is that life is so unpredictable and so short. So, one has to live like there is no tomorrow. Do what you want to do. Tell the people close to you how much they matter and how much you love them. Call your folks every day. Because there will come a day when you want to, but it may be too late.So do it NOW.

I do so want to speak to my dad.But there is nothing in this world that I can do to bring him back.


  1. You have my deepest sympathy -- he sounds like a great guy.

  2. Anonymous2:56 AM

    having known your father is a blessing & honour & his way & attitude to live life is worth emulating.making time for parents is so important ,as it gives them a purpose to live on & for us a way to express our love & gratitude for their time & life spent in making us what we are.There is no room for excuse or regret much later when they are dead & gone as\Unhapy & lonely people because we took them for granted while they were alive.

  3. Reading about your dad makes me feel like I know him and I understand why you miss him so much. It's not everyday that we learn something new about somebody and today I got something more to learn about you and your family...AND it's time to talk to my folks now! Take care.

  4. Anonymous7:07 AM

    Hi Preetiakka,
    Not sure why I lost touch with you guys though a few years back, we used to be pretty close. Your blogs are amazingly down to earth, so very real and from the heart!

    I came to know of your dad's death from somone recently, and I have gone through the same depression when my near ones passed away, whether its my dad, my fav. uncle, aunt, grand dad, they all died after going through lot of pain and frustration.

    Your dad's time had come, but he was blessed to be gone "just like that", with no pain or sadness. From what you've written, looks like he left when he was at his fore, having taken care of social responsibility, given to the country's economy in some way, spent some really beautiful moments in life with near and dear ones and kept himself at his best health. I think it all shows good karma. So look at his death with a smile.

    And yes!, all friends and family, the close ones, gotta remain that way. We all forget that, thinking our day to day life is more important. Your blog helps us realize that's not the case.

  5. I know wat a great guy he was.. Many times he has inspired me n i ve always admired him..
    I remember when i topped in my tenth class ur dad n mom came with a cute hand made congratulatory card.. n also when i got my first job they were there to appreciate me with a present.
    he was truely a great man..Very pleasent, inspiring, full of energy n zeal. n i am really proud to ve known him..

  6. I was directed to your post "My special friend" by Mr. Fab. It was awesome.

    I had to come here to read more about your Dad.

    He sounds like he was such a great father to you.

    I lost my Mum similarly, suddenly in June 2005, except that she was alone at the time, in her bed, drinking her morning tea and doing her crossword. My Dad found her when he came home that afternoon, after a day at the cottage.

    It was such as shock to us all! I think I've actually only recently got over it. Until this month, I couldn't think about my Mum without crying - now I only cry sometimes. I'm slowly climbing out of the fog / depression that her death seems to have put me in.

    Blogging has helped. Having like minded people and people 'around' you who understand definitely helps.

  7. Hi, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I had tears in my eyes when i read your blog. Understand how much parents mean to all of us. Am sure your dad is up there looking at you and your lovely kids. Take lots of care and time is the only healer.

  8. That was beautiful. I truly am envious that you have this wonderful relationship with your dad. I love mine a lot, but I wish our relationship was better. :(

  9. your post made me feel a bit scared - about my parents, my near/dear ones and worried about how unreliable the next moment could be...
    The lines, "...his eyes were closed and he was gone", sent a shiver down my spine. How could it be so sudden and so cruel? Should have been such a shock to your mom...and to all of you!
    Its good that you three are telepathic about eachother's emotional needs.
    Yes, in the end what matters is good memories and I am glad you have loads of it. TC!

  10. Anonymous12:30 AM

    I do not yet know loss like yours. But every time you write of our father, I understand it a little more...

  11. I'm really touched. I have a sob stuck in my throat now. I wonder how I will be able to deal with a tragedy of such magnitude. My Dad is my special friend. SO I can almost understand how u feel. And he really has to be a great man to die so painlessly. I jus hope that u n ur family get the strenght to move forward.

  12. I cried all weekend missing my mother for some reason....18 months, but it still can level me into a ball of grief.

  13. I know how it is.. Even my dad's was sudden.. Thinks that what make it so shocking.. Anyway we need to face it..

  14. I knw hw difficult it s to go thru such a trauma.... D Worse part of it s though u r feelin so painful, u gt to hide it atleast 4 d sake who r still livin 4 us...
    But i Console myself sayin tht my dad s still arnd lovin me as he ever did.... Love u dad....

  15. omg! i can't even imagine wht life wud be like one day when i lose a parent...i'm really very sorry you had to go thru tht...n staying in the US, if something has to happen to them, we're not even nywhere near to go n see them whenever we wish...i think blogging really helps tht way...

  16. Preeti I really am emphatic towards you. Losing someone close is tough and a loss one can never overcome. No matter how hard you try

  17. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Read "My Special friend" and wanted to know more about ur dad... So digged into ur archives. Sure! U r ur Daddy's girl. He is living through u. He can always be proud about u..

  18. Hi Preethi,
    I am a habitual reader of your blog!
    I also happen to be a doctor.
    I wanted to write this in private but had no access to your facebook page coz Im not a 'friend'
    Hence im writing here as you have an option to not publish the comment as well.
    First of all, Im extremely sorry for your loss. Its difficult to get over such huge loss.Through your blog, I understand words have helped you heal a great deal and its validating!
    "Sudden cardiac death" is a known condition that sometimes runs in families. It could be a rythm disturbance in the heart and it suddenly short circuits, in the absence of known risk factors like obesity, diabetes, hypertension. Not to alarm you at all but I would suggest you get a check up as well. ECG may not show much but you could speak to your doctor regrding this.Dont worry if uve already done this :)

    Hope I have not taken too great a liberty at telling you this. It just struck me thats all.


  19. I'm sorry for what happened with your dad. Its so true that Life is very unpredictable. I experienced it in the last year when a girl i loved the most left me and since den i'm trying to get back with her but to no use. I cried like hell for months for the first time since i could remember. But one thing that she taught me was to never lose hope so i was waiting for her to get back to me. Last month i received a call from a mutual friend telling me that she got engaged to someone. I dont know what to do now. I've even tried to forget her and live normally but all things went in vane.

  20. i do not know how many times i have read this post. Our father left me and my sister and our mother on 30th June, 2013. He was perfect in health and habits and was 63 years ,with no lifestyle ailments, never required medicines for B.P. sugar , cholesterol etc. A sudden cardiac arrest took him away from us. He was our anchor,our biggest support and he meant the world to us. Why were we chosen to be separated from each other. Why did this happen to us. No matter how many questions i ask he never comes back.


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