I was sitting in the library idling away till the next lecture when dad called me asked me whether I could get a flight to Trivandrum before evening. I immediately understood the bad news. When I was leaving last time, I couldn't get any response from her. There was only one reassuring sound coming from her - that of her breathing. I was very sad, and most mornings I dreamt that I was talking to Ammumma - only to wake up and be disappointed that it was only a dream.A few days that Grandma had become so weak that she had to be put on nasal feeding. Though this brought back some energy into her now frail body, it were not to last very long.
While waiting for the plane, I called up home and was told that cremation is to happen only the next day, and the body would be kept in the morgue till then. It was a tough night, with very less scope for private grief as there were a lot of relatives staying overnight.
In the morning, as the body was brought home, I found it tougher to hold back emotions, at the same time, being nice to the people who were pouring in. Grace had returned to Ammumma's face, and her face looked very peaceful, as though she was sleeping. One good thing I felt was that she didn't have to struggle in the ICU wards of any hospital - she was in her room, in the very house she loved so much till her last hour. And, on her last journey to the hospital, she was lying on her son (my uncle)'s lap.
Her absence in the house is something very difficult to come to terms with, after having lived with her for many years. I was her pet grandchild, one of the very few people she listened to, and was the one who ran most of her errands till I left for Chennai.
Ammumma, your house is very empty without you.