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A Funeral for my living Father

You mock about my ailing father,
Who is old and frail,
Who is battling with his memory,
Taking time to recall my name,
And yet greeting me with such profound expressions giving me the peace that feelings cannot be snatched even by Dementia,
Living his second childhood with his days numbered.

You curse about my living father,
Mocking about his funeral when he is alive,
Judging that I won’t make it for the funeral,
A funeral which you pitied the Leikai (community) will perform without me,
Such vicious words,
Such hateful words from someone I don’t even know.

You, hiding behind a fake name,
You have won in wounding me,
It’s true, I sleep every night with the biggest fear that I will miss his last moments,
It’s true, that I have failed to be with him at his hours of need,
It’s true, I have played out in my mind of every tiny details of how soon I can reach,
To be on time to hold his hands.

And I wish you would never have to feel the pain and helplessness of the separation and distance,
And remain blessed to be serving your Father living under the same roof,
Blessed to know for sure that you will light your Father’s funeral,
Blessed to know that you will be there holding your father’s hand as he crosses to the other world,
Blessed to be sleeping peacefully throwing words of mockery to the failed ones,
The failed ones like me.

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.

Author’s Notes: I was deeply pained and saddened by the threats, personal attacks (specially the ones about my father) and abusive vicious raw words/message I received for writing the Poem “Students in Manipur”.

Written while I was traveling in the Air India flight from Delhi to Imphal, completed in my Father’s house sitting in the Mangong (Portico) listening to the familiar sound of birds chirping. A photograph of my meal with my Father just before I left Imphal, a meal with the hope and wish for more meals together.

Comments (39)

  1. Bobby Irengbam
    Reply

    As I was reading through the lines of your poem, my eyes suddenly misted up and the words became blurred. I have been brought up under the notion that boys dont cry. However over the years, I started realizing that boys do cry, we only do so in secret, within the safe confines of our private space. The reason why I became emotional upon reading your poem is that your situation is so similar with the predicament I am now facing. My father, with whom I cannot stay together owing to circumstances beyond my control, is also suffering from acute memory loss, believed to be Alzheimer’s Syndrome. Most of the time, I harbour this persistent fear that I will be missing his last waking moments. Your poem has reminded me of this fact once again and have given me the courage and filled me with renewed vigor to visit my ailing father more often. Thank you Monica, for reminding me of the frailties of life once again and of my sense of duty and responsibilities towards my loved ones.

  2. Anonymous
    Reply

    How beautiful to have a sister like Monica Ingudam’s Findingthevoices. Such a beautiful writing.
    May we show our love to our parents and grandfathers today and this weekend before it is too late.

  3. Anonymous
    Reply

    Caring your father with sincerity and love, till the end will be a great blessing for you.we must all do this.

  4. Anonymous
    Reply

    Very nice ,one fear I lived in my life the day I left my home for further studies and after marriage with God’s grace i am near enough to meet them on and off but fear of loosing them shakes me almost every day

  5. Anonymous
    Reply

    Monica you’ve expressed so well what many of us living far away feel. Couldn’t hold back te tears. Wishing you strength and lots of blessings to your family.

  6. Anonymous
    Reply

    Take care Sweetheart!
    Don’t worry the Good Lord will take care of every little detail…Have Faith and everything will fall in place.
    Peace,Love and Hugs

  7. Anonymous
    Reply

    There is only one father to each child and U R father’s love for U always be with U until U R time. May the God bless him where ever he may Be.

  8. Anonymous
    Reply

    Deeply touching. I could easily relate to th words. The ony difference is it was my mom and she is now at peace in her heavenly abode. Best wishes for your father. May he live longer than ever.

  9. Anonymous
    Reply

    It’s too emotional for me…just lost my father ..hadn’t met him for last four years. It’s heart breaking… Blessed are those who get chance to look after their parents.

  10. Anonymous
    Reply

    Had the privilege to meet and shake his hand…surrounded by his family’s love…

  11. Anonymous
    Reply

    Very profound and touching. May god bless you to have more meals with Baba

  12. Anonymous
    Reply

    Sorry for your loss…
    Well written and thank you for sharing..
    My biggest fear staying far away from home.

  13. Anonymous
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing, it really touch my heart.
    I missed my father’s funeral. If I were a son, they would have waited for me. So ugly is the face our society; Man doesnt want a woman to be treated equally, woman doesnt want another woman to be treated equally. On positive note, my dad never said good bye to me, so he is still alive, young and strong in my memory…

  14. Anonymous
    Reply

    It’s like my Biggest fear of my life is well written here… for a daughter like me who stay far away from parents..beautiful n touch my heart..God bless u n ur family..

  15. Anonymous
    Reply

    Our society is like this only…when my mom expired some 15yrs back my bro was studying outside manipur…he was not there to say goodbye to mom…but my father was so strong n determined that he had gone all odds n waited 3,4 days for my brother…though there were many objection…

  16. Anonymous
    Reply

    Monica there is melancholy and emotions of hurt from some quarters in your expression……..don’t worry, you can touch their lives from distance too……….believe me ; ……I lost my dad while he was speaking to me on phone…….maybe here it is the argument of quality or quantity……cheer up!

  17. Anonymous
    Reply

    Father who meant d world s a child when you r adult n he is d child you cant love him back d way he did…dat unbearable pain n guilt….. how shallow n sadistic of the fellow to pass such cruel thoughtless comments at all.Che Monica may God grant you ur wish to be there holding ur father’s hands as he journeys to d other world.Love endures everything che even death. Me ur friend Tamphaebemma’s younger sister. Lots of Love….

  18. Anonymous
    Reply

    Even if you do miss it…he is alive forever as you haven’t seen him die… (my experience) May strength be with you…

  19. Anonymous
    Reply

    Sad.. But part of life, got to live life n proceed. Best of luck and be strong. May God bless him with miracle to recover…

  20. Anonymous
    Reply

    Have faith in God … he will live for more 100 years .. smile emoticon

  21. Anonymous
    Reply

    Touching….. I cn feel d ache in d feelings expressed. N isn’t it ironic dt people add on to ur misery by making harsh comments at ur sad ” failure”. We humans r capable of such sadism.

  22. Vijaya swami
    Reply

    Monica you have expressed so beautifully what many of us feel for our parents.God bless.

  23. Anonymous
    Reply

    I live 10,000 miles from my father. I feel your pain. Our love transcends physical barriers … I was not able to be there for my mother’s funeral
    I was there near the end..

  24. Anonymous
    Reply

    Any man can be a father. Not every man can be a dad. This well written poem depicts yours to be a Dad worth fighting for, and protecting. Sure he appreciates your poetry.

  25. Pingback: Missing my father’s funeral – FINDINGTHEVOICES

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