TEN

10 years. How can it be. How long that sounds. Yet how sharp is the pain of your loss. Everyday in some small way, we remember you. It is one of my biggest regrets that I couldn’t goodbye to you and that my kids will grow up not knowing this super cool, funny, awesome uncle they had.

I read a comment by your beloved teacher, Mala Miss today. She said how you were a student that every teacher would wish to have, how you were more than a student to her and that you shared a unique bond with her. And that is exactly how I would describe you. You were more than a cousin to me. And I bet everyone who knew you well would likely use those same words. You were so much to so many people. That is truly your legacy.

You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure Sandeep. Today and everyday.

Lots and lots of Love you Kunji Chech – Anu

Dear Sandeep,
Today, 34 years ago, you were born, not only as a gift to your parents, but as a gift to the world! With every passing day, the inspiration that you give me becomes stronger and stronger. On days when I feel baffled and low and scared, I think of you. Your life is one of the best examples of courage that I lean on, to push myself forward. I recall the words of encouragement that you have given me; I recall the belief that you had in me; I recall how you made me feel good about myself. These pull me out of any hole that I find myself in.

Since the first day that I got to know you in school, I always felt that you are a special and unique person. Every single day since then has reinforced my intuition. You are the blessing that we received from the Heaven.

Do you know what the best legacy is that a person can leave behind? It is the legacy where our lives inspire others to fight on, and not give up. You are the owner of this legacy. Yes, an ever-burning flame of inspiration: that was your life and that is your legacy! You are blessed and so are we, to have known you!

Your friend, who misses sharing the joys and sorrows with you,
Teena

Nine

How can it be?    Nine, long years.  And while life goes on, the grief stays.  Seeing your dear cousin get married last month was bitter-sweet.   As fun as the wedding was, as joyful as the family reunion was, the thought remained throughout….YOU should have been there too.    

I don’t know what causes more grief –  the harsh reality of what happened or the bitter realization of what we will never have.  

Love always,

Anu-Kunji chech

Happy birthday.

You are in our thoughts today. But that is nothing new. You are in our thoughts nearly every single day. Happy birthday my dear, dear brother. Missing you more than ever.

You should be here today getting ready to fly to the U.S. for your cousin’s wedding just like everyone else. It is simply not fair that you aren’t. Nothing is the same without you and nothing will ever be the same without you, the eternal wise-crack in our midst. But I like to believe that you are watching over us and you can see for yourself how much you mean to this family.

So wherever you are, keep rockin’ my dear brother. Happy 33 !
Lots of love, forever your Kunji Chechi (Anu)

Eight

Eight long years.   As we start to look forward to a reunion (after well over a decade), the heart alternates between being  heavy with the realization that you will not be with us and being positive that you WILL be with us.  In spirit, in our memories, in our togetherness.

Missing you today and always,

Your kunji chechi – Anu

Seven

Seven years in this world without you.   It’s funny how some days, a memory from days long gone comes back, so crystal clear that it feels like you never left.  And other times, especially when I see young guys your age,  I feel so outraged at the unfairness of it all.

This poem, by Emily Dickinson, captures so  eloquently, what all of us who knew you feel.   It is so true, we cherish more than ever, all the memories you left us with.  You were larger than life when you were with us.  Always in the thick of conversation, always in the middle of everything !   And for that, thank you.

Love always,

Kunji (Anu)

Death sets a thing significant – Emily Dickinson

Death sets a thing significant

The eye had hurried by,

Except a perished creature

Entreat us tenderly

 

To ponder little workmanships

In crayon or in wool,

With “This was last her fingers did,”

Industrious until

 

The thimble weighed too heavy,

The stitches stopped themselves,

And then ‘t was put among the dust

Upon the closet shelves.

 

A book I have, a friend gave,

Whose pencil, here and there,

Had notched the place that pleased him,–

At rest his fingers are.

 

Now, when I read, I read not,

For interrupting tears

Obliterate the etchings

Too costly for repairs.

I Imagine

I imagine..

You in a room with a huge window,

A beautiful view of the big blue sky and puffy white clouds.

A room with a big comfy couch, a flat screen TV

And lots and lots and lots of books…

I imagine..

You lazing on the couch, your long legs propped up on the arms of the couch,

Watching the World cup cricket games.

I imagine, you, taking a break to catch up on the crazy day that Kerala politics saw.

I imagine the witty comments you would have made on seeing the chaos we all saw.

I imagine you having a great big wonderful birthday with your new friends and family

 Happy birthday my dear, dear brother.  I cannot tell you how deeply you are missed.  I hope you knew how much you were loved by all of us and that as each day goes by, that bond only grows stronger.

Always, always, your Kunji chech

Anu

“Forward, forever forward,
For, at the end of the tunnel is light,
At the end of the battle is victory.”

Sandeep, these were the words that you wrote in my autograph book. They have inspired me ever since, and have helped me keep going forward, when the going was not easy. I am sure that your positive energy, empathy and genuineness have deeply touched the lives of all those who have known you. I feel truly blessed to be one of those.

A person as wonderful as you,
I have never met another!

You make me smile! And here, I am sending you loads of smiles, for all the cheer that your memories bring to our lives! 🙂 🙂

-Teena

Remembering you

Hi Sandeep Chetta,

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t seen you in 6 years. Your memories are still so fresh.

On this day, I thank you for always being the perfect big brother. I miss you, your wise words and your silly jokes 🙂

Lots of love,

Geethu

On the eve of your sixth anniversary, Sandeep, thinking of you and hoping you are happy and peaceful and watching over us every day. I know I have said this before, but we have so many memories of you that it’s like you are still with us. The other day, a friend of mine at work, lost her niece, a five year old, to DIPG (one of the rarest forms of brain cancer) and as I drove back, so upset at the loss and the unfairness of it all, I looked up at the sky and asked you to watch out for her and help her. As naive and crazy as it may seem, I like to think of you as with us, just not in the same room. My happy memory for today is of one of the Onam or Christmas holidays in trivandrum when your chechiamma were on a “chambakka” making craze. They had made chambakka pickle and chambakka jam (maybe) and chambakka squash. You gave her such a hard time for a number of years after that. Everytime you came over after that season and chechiamma asked you if you wanted something to drink, you would say “Ayyo, Chambakka juice venda please”. 🙂

love you always,
Always, always your kunji chechi.
Anu

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