Friday, January 30, 2009

My Son Is No Longer Innocent

My son came home in hysterics this evening. He was crying - couldn't catch his breath. He started repeating over."Oh my god, oh my god, ohmygod..."

Tonight, as my son was walking along M.G. Road in Gurgaon, he saw a man crossing the road. He wasn't a beggar, more like one of the walking poor, carrying a basket of stuff. Suddenly a car came out of nowhere and Will said, "He went right up over the hood and his head exploded when it hit the windshield."

He couldn't wrap his head around what he had just seen. "I just saw a man die today, Mom. The driver didn't stop. No one stopped. No one even went over to see if he was okay." Will couldn't have done anything. He didn't have the cell phone and we don't know what the emergency numbers are anyway. He waited a moment, in shock, waiting for someone to do something, then ran home.

When our cat died earlier this year, Yu Yu and I kept vigil over him until he passed away. I asked to Will to go get some rest, and he fell asleep around 1:00 AM. Our wonderful brother passed away in my arms around 3:30 AM. Will was upset that we hadn't awakened him. I have been with many pets when they passed away and it never gets easier. My only other experience with death is being a half hour late to the hospital when my grandfather/best friend passed away. The next day, since he was giving his body to Columbia Medical School, we were allowed to view is body in the morgue at the hospital. One eye was open - he looked like he was winking at me, but he was surely dead. His sarcastic smile was missing. And he was cold. When someone you love dies, the fascinating thing you remember is watching the light that vanishes from within. Their eyes go far away, sometimes they cry out... some call this the spirit, the soul or life essence. Whatever, I am grateful to have been there for those on their way to their next journey. I don't want to die alone. I want someone holding my hand and telling me they love me and it's going to be okay.

This sudden death of a stranger hit my son really hard. He talked about how it could happen to anyone at anytime and cherishing every day as if it were your last. Even though this year has been very hard for us, at least we're together, healthy (somewhat), and relatively safe. We're certainly not secure, we never know when our next meal will be coming from (especially at the end of the month), and who I'll have to skip paying this month in order to pay his school fees, or if some major snafu will happen where I need capital - we literally run month to month with no savings whatsoever. It's been that way ever since we moved here to India. I've been cheated, extorted, and robbed since I moved here; I was promised things that never came through. Yeah sure, it happens everywhere - I get it.

When Will said I just saw a man die today, I knew his world would never be the same again. You see death and horror every day on the news, but until you personally witness it, it's an abstract. Death, even a stranger's, has a way of making you wake up.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am surprised by the last parah here, that you feel cheated with remunerations offered here. I am an Indian and surely know Indians cos are ethically not the best..not sure what your situation is but I really think you should take them head on if you have a case. Also I was touched with the story of the man dying..its true in India we dont value human life..very very sad.