Perspectives from the Himalaya

A Mother to the World

You left us too soon. In a blink of an eye, you were gone. We were stumped and numbed and anaesthetized.

To reflect on mortality in the wake of your departure, taken away so quietly from the clasp of your beloveds, a murkiness so thick and stifling surfaces. It stirs the insides, like a nauseating whirlwind. And then, a sudden void lingers so cold and alien, and black takes over. I try to make sense with words but words come scribbled between the lines. I struggle and persevere in the hope of remembering and of feeling from the deep, to know that with eyes closed that you are truly gone, and that you can somehow be felt by the shape of your absence.

You were the mother to all of us, and all that crossed your path. You flamboyantly embraced and drowned us in your love, in your joy and laughter, and lighted up the world so glaringly and unreservedly. Everything was grandeur. You had lived a life so full and yet full was never enough for you. There was still so much that you wanted to do and share and be a part of.

How can we not miss you?

We do. I do.

I will miss our gorgeous dark, before dawn breaks and when the rest of the world is still asleep. You were part of my gorgeous dark – the musings and thoughts, no matter how wacky, frivolous or downright ridiculous they might have been, and I, knew that we could simply laugh it off whatever the outcome. What mattered was the time you gave of yourself and the endearing support over the many virtual coffees that we threw at each other. Today, the gorgeous dark grips me. The clock ticks at 4 am. I hear not from you. I wish time would come to a halt, at least until your usual message came. But it didn’t and I knew it wouldn’t. Time ticked away. And still, I waited. And life slips, as it does. It grips me tighter when I know 4 am will never be the same again.

It is a heavy gift to hold, feeling your absence, between worlds apart. For it reminds us of the temporality of living on this planet, the impermanence of things and the emergency of the present. To live it with joy and light-heartedness and saying ‘yes’ to life as you do with a wicked cackle, a little twinkling of the eye and an outrageous flaunt of the hips. For life is truly too fleeting to not.

“Rude, hilarious and rich,” Big A ponders thoughtfully when asked how he remembers his time with you in your last decade and his first. He knows that there is none other like you. None who gave free rein the way you did, but now I know, that is how you express yourself, just the way you are.
You were madly young at heart. The music and the rhythm of life that you loved was ours too. As ironic as life is, ‘Wrecked’ by Imagine Dragons, their latest song that we shared together, just last week, was written for a lost and loved one. In this thickness, we can hear you sing the words to us:

…“Remember the life you led
You’d say, “Oh, suck it all up, don’t get stuck in the mud

Thinking of things that you should have done
I’ll see you again my loved one”…

You left us too soon; we were to meet again with wine in your glass, taking the stage on the white snow-capped peaks of the world. Your truancy is teasing. Big A asks if you are playing a mean joke on us. Little A wonders to whom he can now whatsapp silly gif stickers to for a mutual laugh. But alas, it was not meant to be. Life has its ways of gripping and twisting and taking us for an outrageous ride as you will say. But in your infinite spirit, we will continue to live the dreams we talked, laughed and cried about, hitching you for the promised ride, the promised ride that we had looked so forward to. The ride will be in our hearts, no matter.

We will dwell not in sorrow, for you would not approve of it. You will soar and with courage so will we. In living memory of your passion for aliveness and for life itself, we are inspired to love and trail across the plains and mountains and any darkness, however the wind blows and however the rain pours and however the sun blazes, and to take with us that one hand we know.

You are the stories that are a part of our journey and the shape of our lives.

You showed us what it means to be a Mother to the World.


Meena, the many faces of life, 73 years of age soon to be 74 on 17th October, left us in a heartbeat just the way she anticipated, but peacefully on 1st August 2021.

She could not have done it any other way.

Wrecked, takes a whole new meaning for us

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. 🙏🏼
    Death is like the golden thread in the rich tapestry of life. And I guess more golden threads will appear and weave itself as time passes, either enriching or scarring it depending on how we live to experience it… Have always had a curiosity in the cycle of life and death and have read much of it from a spectrum of cultures and belief systems, from just wanting to know. And I had always imagine that confronting death would be an inevitable hiccup in our journeys here until we have the courage to pick ourselves up and move on, but memories keep triggering emotions and is difficult to control. It is easier as the day goes by when life slowly pans out again from the microscopic-ness that one feels with another living being. It is easy to forget the ‘whole’ and be anchored down by memories. I feel that the best antidote in times like this is to remind oneself that she would have wanted us to move on and to be remembered as an inspiration to the gift of life. Also, it helps by listening to the plights of others like the stories of North Korean defectors especially Yeonmi Park who described her experience of escaping to survive, and of what life was like in North Korea and for all North Koreans – even in the 21st century and even as I write this – the entire country is a concentration camp. And these stories really throw an incredible and profound insight of what humanity has been and is, on this planet. I am in disbelief. And then when I zoom back on what I am crying about, I feel the need to pull myself together and always be reminded how fragile life is, and that we have so little time here and that we should do the best we can.

  2. The most beautiful eulogy I have ever come across–
    it can come only from the heart and soul.
    Most fitting for a truly remarkable, unique ,loving and exceptional being

  3. ‘Those whom we love and lost
    are no longer where they once were.
    They are now wherever we are.’

    Beautiful wisdom. Thank you.
    Yes, there is certainly another void there, and where I can clearly remember your mom’s presence. The last time I was home, she still had that great beaming smile.

  4. Just read this Ii Ling, how are you? just two days after Meena left you all. but you know she is very near in a deep, mysterious way, may your writing help you at this time of grief and loss Ii Ling.
    Strangely my mother has been very real and near lately, her first anniversary is on 21 Aug. cannot yet believe that the next time whenever that be, when I am home in Ipoh she will not be there. you take good care of your precious self Ii Ling.
    ‘Those whom we love and lost
    are no longer where they once were.
    They are now wherever we are.’

  5. The void is too big to fill 😢 i agree what you expressed😢

Leave a Reply