To Cherish Your Loved Ones – This I Believe

 

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”  Richard Puz

When I was seven years old, my grandfather was diagnosed with a rare and deadly disease called progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP); it is the gradual deterioration of parts of the brain. As it is so uncommon, there still are still no medications that can successfully slow it down or eliminate it. After years of battling the discomfort and traumatic symptoms, my grandpa became bedridden. As an active person, this was a huge and dreadful shift for his lifestyle. I held him dearest to my heart and constantly – relentlessly – prayed for a cure. Despite his limitations, I was amazed at his mental and physical strength, especially his self motivation; he became my biggest role model. As a family, we did as much as we could to help him, but deep down we knew that there was no cure. I didn’t understand that there was no cure – I was younger then. 

 

I looked after my grandfather as much as a child could; however, there were some moments that I regret. I remember tip toeing past him, so that he would not start begging for his homeopathic medicine – the medicine that had no effect on him. I remember reluctantly feeding him lunch because I wanted to go play. I remember refusing to cut his nails, for I didn’t know how. I was younger then. 

 

Within a few years, he was hospitalized, and lost the ability to swallow. He could no longer eat through his mouth, instead, only through tubes. This could not last forever, and sure enough, he passed away from starvation. From this news, I was devastated, even enraged. At this moment, I finally understood that no one lasts forever because death is permanent; no matter how much you pray, death is inevitable. These thoughts did not result in a loss of faith, however, they actually cleared up the fog in my muddled mind. It was the first time I realized that the anger I was feeling was not directed towards my parents, the doctors, or even God Himself. I was mad at myself for not cherishing every day spent in his presence, and not assisting him to the extent of my abilities. I was mad at myself for justifying that I was young and ignorant. I had grown up.

 

After my grandpa’s death, I learnt so much about him that I wished I knew beforehand. The doctors had already estimated that he only had a few years to live – my parents did not tell me that at the time. In addition to being physically active, he was also extremely educated, which made it even more exhausting to cope with a neuro disease. My mother also shared some anecdotes about him from before I was born. She told me about how he always supported her in arguments, and how he believed in equality. In my opinion, he was mentally ahead of his generation and this era in general. From time to time, I find myself wishing I spent more time gaining his wisdom and intelligence. Often, I imagine how different my life would be if he never had a disease or passed away.

 

My goal now is not to try and elude the death death of someone I love, but to be satisfied with my actions when it arrives. I want to look back on the death of a loved one, not with remorse, but with a grin on my face as I recollect the joyful memories. Although a loved one can be stripped away from you at any time, the memories created with them will always remain with you. I want to replace the feeling of regret with a feeling of fulfillment, whether it is through spending time with family, or helping them with day to day tasks. I believe in cherishing my loved ones and supporting them through all of their hardships. 

 

References

  1. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/862483-death-leaves-a-heartache-no-one-can-heal-love-leaves
  1. https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=232751&picture=sunset-family-silhouette&__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=2be44f3e562dbccbda7bc058bdca2c0092fe4a6b-1582596655-0-AbVwuPa-KaIJ1y14yMLPEAE3Yv4Lwsnjk6Y6ze31ehg2Apsw1_Eu9XSuHAzEmyKRUHhcavfVYFn-lwmStLeiXFMynkqfYED7Il9-SZ2iDI36XvVNGuPMvMOg2rupyiQKJaDSMMpq9TdDCB1MfKcXUtIevj-j6RgAYf0buZdrfUP_5r33Ljd5gSqacgqPJ637YzndkTx0cSX0tVvo2rttF-J4ubRjKk7_TI9yPQDzz7DkI13cPJEtVct-7_LC0PiWynY0NVk9xWv9tILiZu9f_t-fgWx99wzCXi2H8jDba9IR0YGajqYgDl8XOYjdy8vs7JoycCcOtfYGdN7RbB-rN1AM_LsdO1NOqcOYH5ZGXehX
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5 thoughts on “To Cherish Your Loved Ones – This I Believe

  1. Dear Neha,

    While reading this blog, I found myself deeply contemplating the loss of my uncle when he passed away due to a car accident. Little did I expect my memories from almost a decade ago to be resuscitated, and I believe the way the anecdote was articulated caused this phenomena. I loved how authentic the anecdote was as this allowed me, as the reader, to establish an understanding at a further level. The anecdote opened the gates to my own experiences as it was very well described. I am astounded by your use of “I didn’t know much, I was younger then” to illustrate the contrast and contradiction of who you use to be and who you are now. This strong stylistic choice, I believe, sewed your paragraphs together and created a consistent flow in your writing. I would love to incorporate that style in my writing in the future.

    As for improvements, I feel that there could have been more text that relate your anecdote with your goal(belief) that you mention in the final paragraph. I believe that by doing so, the readers will be able to remain intact with how you formed your beliefs after the inciting incident.

    I would love to have a talk with you about the journey of life to death as I also have had some experiences in my life that gave me an opportunity to contemplate on this matter. Although I have not been able to connect with you and learn who you are just yet, I feel that by reading this I have been given an idea of who you are as an individual.

    Thank you for such a powerful piece; your stylistic choices are simply fabulous. I hope I get to talk to you and get to know you better soon!

    Sincerely, Dai

  2. Dear Neha,

    While reading this blog, I found myself deeply contemplating the loss of my uncle when he passed away due to a car accident. Little did I expect my memories from almost a decade ago to be resuscitated, and I believe the way the anecdote was articulated caused this phenomena. I loved how authentic the anecdote was as this allowed me, as the reader, to establish an understanding at a further level. The anecdote opened the gates to my own experiences as it was very well described. I am astounded by your use of “I didn’t know much, I was younger then” to illustrate the contrast and contradiction of who you use to be and who you are now. This strong stylistic choice, I believe, sewed your paragraphs together and created a consistent flow in your writing. I would love to incorporate that style in my writing in the future.

    As for improvements, I feel that there could have been more text that relate your anecdote with your goal(belief) that you mention in the final paragraph. I believe that by doing so, the readers will be able to remain intact with how you formed your beliefs after the inciting incident.

    I would love to have a talk with you about the journey of life to death as I also have had some experiences in my life that gave me an opportunity to contemplate on this matter. Although I have not been able to connect with you and learn who you are just yet, I feel that by reading this I have been given an idea of who you are as an individual.

    Thank you for such a powerful piece; your stylistic choices are simply fabulous. I hope I get to talk to you and get to know you better soon!

    Sincerely, Dai

  3. Dear Neha,

    I am sorry to hear of these events that you have gone through, but reading your piece totally made me understand just how much the experiences have transformed you in regards to what you value as most important in life. “My goal now is not to try and elude death, but to be satisfied with my actions when it arrives.” This part of the piece really stuck out to me, as I feel that that this is something that I have been trying to accept. There is so much more to life than being constantly worried about the obstacles along the way, and you were really able to capture that idea throughout this piece.

    To improve, I would completely agree with Dai’s comment on how you could have connected your experiences more firmly with the ideas present in the last paragraph, which not only would have given a stronger flow to the overall piece, but also would have made these concepts more relatable to the audience.

    I have not necessarily gotten to know you much throughout this year and in the past, but this piece has really piqued my interest in what else you may have for us, and I am delighted to have you in my class this semester.

    Sincerely,
    Ekaum

  4. Neha,

    Firstly, my heart and condolences are out there for you because the loss you suffered must’ve been heart-wrenching. This piece was simply amazing. Just like Dai, I too had a memory reawakened as I read through your piece. A family member of mine was diagnosed with an illness, but I was fortunate as they survived. Your stylistic choices were great and the repetition of the phrase, “I was younger then.” helped demonstrate how your beliefs were back then. Once you said the phrase, “I had grown up.” that’s when I fully knew when your belief had emerged. This clarity added to this beautiful piece of text.

    On the topic of improving your piece, I agree with the previous comments but also you could try to describe in more detail the results of holding this belief so deeply to your heart. Also, you simply went from pre-belief to your current belief, maybe you could discuss what it was like in the transition period between your views on cherishing those close to you.

    Through this, this piece connected to me deeply and with your style, I can’t wait to see what you create next. Through what you write and by interacting in class, I desire to connect more with you and to find out what other great writings are next to come.

    Sincerely,
    Kaydence

  5. Dear Dai, Ekaum, and Kaydence,
    Thank you guys so much for your kindhearted replies! As I was reading your comments, I couldn’t stop smiling – I’ve never felt so accomplished. Since you are all very impressive writers, the fact that you enjoyed my blog post made me geek out. I’m glad that you were able to relate to this story as it is very difficult to get through such a sorrowful situation.

    As for feedback, all three of you mentioned that I didn’t write enough about my belief in the final paragraph. After I read this, I definitely noticed that, and I will try to improve it when I find some extra time. Kaydence, I will also try to expand on the details of the transition period. Thanks for the constructive criticism. I didn’t catch sight of these errors until they were pointed out.

    Again, thank you for reading my “This I Believe” and notifying me of areas that I could work on. You are all talented writers full of potential and I am so excited to read your work. As a class, we can continue to lift each other up by giving appreciation and valuable criticism!

    Sincerely,
    Neha

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