Gone too soon: building hope to live once again.

It’s a beautiful monsoon morning, am sitting in my backyard, the music of the falling raindrops echoing in the surroundings filled with the enchanting smell of the wet mud. That’s how monsoons are in India, making everything they touch pure, wet, fresh, and magical.

I have been a pluviophile by birth, finding my joy and peace of mind during rainy days, but this year it was different. Instead of the fascination of this weather I loved, I found gloom all around. The dark clouds haunted me with the darkness that surrounded me, the falling rains were more of a noise and me drenching in them was the only escape to letting my tears fall freely.

They say rains are a season of love and romance but what do you do when you have lost the only love of your life. Never in my weirdest imagination did I thought that I will lose him so early but then that’s life. It just feels like yesterday when we were enjoying our life to the fullest, making happy memories with our son YUG, celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary, and planning for the future.

My husband was a true family man, taking care of us each day, every day, looking after our minuscule needs, and living life with great enthusiasm. We were just back from vacation from the Maldives, keeping all our safety and precautionary standards and wrapping up the Valentine and our anniversary. Covid wasn’t much of a crisis, as the case count was low and things were beginning to open up.

It was a normal routine day, and after hustling through the morning chores of getting ready, worshipping, making the breakfast, prepping Yug for his online playschool and packing his lunch, and seeing him off, I took a breath of fresh relief. That’s how the usual mornings are for Indian Women, after getting everything sorted for their family, they start their day with household chores if they are a homemaker or office work if they are working.

Since I was on a complete work from home, I had enough time to juggle between the responsibilities of a CEO and a wife and mother. There was happiness on my face, in my eyes, and in my unprecedented smile, the vacation hangover you see. Can’t believe this was my life. God has been kind. While working through the day I was alternating watching the beautiful Maldives pictures and this was exactly what dreams were made of.

This was my definition of success, a loving family, a fortune-making career, name, fame, friends you can rely upon, network worth a million, and exceptionally good quality of life. Couldn’t have asked for more and gratitude filled me as I worked throughout the day till the dusk.

It was 9’o clock in the evening and I just heard his car honk on the porch. I and Yug were so damn excited to meet their favorite human, as we rushed towards the door of our villa. As I watched him get out of the car, I saw a different paleness on his face and he was coughing. “Must have been the weather transition or little carelessness” he said as I inquired worriedly. He entered the house, took a warm shower, sanitized himself and his mobiles as we headed towards the dinner table. Yug was so excited to see his father and so was he, because that’s the kind of bond they share. Dinner time is our little family time, where we talk about the day and create amazing memories. The coughing was a bit calmed and so was I.

The next morning, when he got up, I sharply remember he had this weird body pain and a mild fever. I asked him to take a rest and go see a doctor, but as relentless he is towards his work and profession, he took it in the air and went to work. Life is something that keeps you so busy that you forget about your very own self. Days happened, I also got back to my usual schedule for working around from home, monitoring the house help doing their tasks, and of course playing and learning with Yug. I guess it was 8.30 in the evening and I turned on the television, and everywhere it was a rising alarm about the COVID cases increasing throughout the country and the shortage of beds, oxygen, and the falling apart of the Healthcare system due to excessive load.

I don’t know why but my heart skipped a bit and I prayed for the families battling these tough Covid times. It has been four days since his Cough hasn’t been improving and he was facing persistent weakness. While I was lost in my thoughts, yes, I am an overthinker, his car honked and while he was coming out from the car today, he looked extremely weak, but still in denial that everything was ok and it was just a weather change.

While we were having dinner, he asked why is there no salt and spices and flavor in the food today and it rang an alarm in me. Without wasting a minute, I went into my dressing area and picked up my YSL perfume, not because it was expensive but it had that strong aroma and he loved it. “Smell it!” I said, he looked towards me and I knew by his look that he couldn’t smell it either.

For a moment I was about to faint, it was like having the rug swept out under my feet. My fears and what-ifs and could-haves have started haunting me. I rushed to pick up my phone called our family doctor but his number was switched off. Tried reaching out to other known medical professionals but no one picked. It was quite late by the time we figured it out and he said and let’s go and see a doctor tomorrow morning, no point in panicking now.

He isolated himself in another room, and I was sleepless throughout the night praying for things to be in control and get better. I informed my brother-in-law who lived in Gurgaon two hours’ drive from our place in Saket Delhi. Somehow the night passed and I woke up with the rising sun to check him. Wore a double-protected mask, took a thermometer and oximeter as I entered his room.

As I entered, what I saw gave me the sweat of blood. He was lying on the floor, coughing badly, not able to breathe properly, and bubbles coming out of his mouth. His body was all red and hot. I reassured myself calmed me, and made him sit on the bed. Fetched him some water and as I measured the temperature stood at 104 and oxygen at 84. I called my brother-in-law immediately, irrespective of the fact that it was just five in the morning. He arrived in an hour, thanks to the empty roads and we rushed my husband to the hospital. My parents reached home to take care of Yug, and I thought things would be under control if we get him an oxygenated bed. With fingers crossed and prayers on my lips, with utter helplessness, we moved from hospital to hospital with nothing more than disappointment at our hands.

After a lot of hardship, putting in references, and toiling for invaluable five hours we finally managed a bed in one of the built-up facilities for Covid patients. It was evening and his condition got worse. We have a known hospital in Meerut, which is close by and the doctors suggested shifting him there as better attention and monitoring could be done. Without a delay, we arranged everything and shifted him to Meerut. It was day seven and he was shifted to ICU. Remdesivir was in extreme shortage yet we somehow managed to get those vials for him, and then suddenly his condition started becoming stable. Oxygen levels touching 90+ with support and I had a sigh of relief.

The next day he was supposed to be shifted to a normal room and it was day twelve. We stayed in a hotel nearby for quick access, but what was more devastating was the lack of human support. Thanks to covid that weakened the human-to-human connection so badly. It was eight a.m. in the morning, we went to the hospital, and doctors preparing to shift him to the room. I was looking at him through the little ICU window, and he was smiling at me, all of a sudden, he gasped and the doctors rushed towards his bed. My eyes were pinned to the heart rate monitor and I could hear the sound, Beep, beep, beep, and beeeeeeeeeep. Doctors looked at me and I knew, my world came falling apart.

They came out said “Sorry! we did our best but couldn’t save him” and the only thing that flashed in my mind was what would I do know? I wanted to go inside and hug him for one last time, touch him for one last time, feel him for one last time, but everything was against protocol. The Body was wrapped in layers and sheets and we could just see the face through the transparent opening as we performed the cremations all alone. I came back home, Yug kept asking about his father and I had no answer.

Perhaps this is life. Things happen and all you can do is process them with shock, denial, sadness, pain, depression, and acceptance. It has been five months since he left us. Not a day goes without tears and I still experience grief outbursts that sneak up unexpectedly but I am in a much better place now. I live for Yug and his happiness and celebrate my late husband’s life and his love for everything fun. I am deeply happy and I am deeply sad and I have come to the realization that both can coexist in me without the war, the rain may not seem magical today but one day I will again fall in love with the pouring drizzle.

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