Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the Hospital

As I write this, my aunt, my dad's younger sister, a widow with no children, lies in the hospital, in a coma, after a stroke that she suffered a few days back. It is terrible, this waiting, watching, this horrible awareness of our powerlessness. Her vulnerable self lies exposed for all to see. Shorne of her dignity, she lies with the essential, but ugly tube that gives her oxygen. She breathes in. She breathes out. And we watch through the long hours, with bated breath ourselves. Sometimes she half-opens her eyes, and I could swear she recognizes the worried faces of family members keeping vigil by her bedside. And then again, you can never tell.

I remember lines from a poem I wrote a few years ago:

In the Casualty ward,

Only the workers are casual.

Patients of every age and background lie in varying degrees of pain. They groan, cough, moan, snore, sleep. The younger ones cry sometimes. We almost envy them these involuntary sounds they make. At the bedside by which we sit, there is only silence.

I leave you with a poem that has been haunting me ever since this nightmare started.

Because I could not stop for Death - Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –


  1. Boss, enge in an tak zel, tawngtainaah ka hre reng che u ania

  2. Distressing. Hope things change for better soon. This is a really painful situation.

    This poem, i had to teach it to degree students last year. Quite depressing, isn't it?

  3. Hotunu, in chanchin ka lo hria a, ka tuarpui tak zet zet che u. I ni awm ta lo hmun awl chu Pathian Thlarau thianghlimin a hnawhkhah sak ngei ang che u tih ka beisei.

  4. ICU awm hi hrehawm tak ani. Beisei sang tak siin, tihtheih nei chuang silovin rilru hah tun a awm ani thin a, ka hrethiam khawp mai che u. Tawngtainaah kalo hria che u.

    Btw, Mama awm ve laia inlo han tlawh te kha ka lawm takzet. Hetiang hunah hian mite thatna a ropui ka ti zual thin.

  5. Praying for ur aunt.

    Template chu ka bei mek. Exact replica chu theih loh. cos that site use frames and borders. but no worry, i wont let u down :)

  6. Dula msged me last night that your aunt had passed away yesterday morning. I'm so so sorry. A widow with no children too. My cousin is also very critically ill with cancer and has been on oxygen for a while. I go over every day despite the fact that my presence can do nothing to alleviate his pain. And the indignity of the dying disturbs me badly too...

  7. Dear everyone: Thank you for the kind words. It's kinda hard to know what to say right now, but we are grateful for the beauty that we see amidst the ashes in this time of grief.
    @dula: ty for taking the time to come and visit me in person.

    @mesjay: Yeah, it is depressing. I should probably update my blog soon, so that I don't have to dwell too long on this.

    @jinx: Thanks.Mama tha leh kha a lawm ber pawl chu ka ni ve awm e. I'm only sorry that I couldn't find the time to come again. Keini chu ICU pawh kan chang ve lo va, Casualty ah, mi zz pal tlangin kan awm tluan chhuak ta a nih kha.

    Btw, zanin chu thlalai ho an rawn zai a, Dawnga (of ex-Bial Zaipawl) a rawn kal ve a, kan zai dun nasa lutuk :)

    @henry: nghakhlel tawh khop mai, ty buddy.

    @calliopia: I'm sorry to hear about your cousin. I really do hope he finds peace and rest, in whatever way God thinks best.

  8. My cousin went home to his eternal rest last night, in fact only a few hours after I posted my comment here. He leaves behind a wife and four daughters who find it very hard to come to terms with their dad's departure. Please remember them in your prayers.

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  10. ma'm, you need to specify in details....the fonts, sidebars and everything...


  11. @calliopia: I'm so sorry to hear that. Will surely pray for the loved ones left behind.

  12. Sorry to hear your aunt passed away. Your family did your best for her, she died in the midst of loving care. My hearfelt condolences.

  13. @mesjay: thanks.I guess there is never a "right time" for something as final as death.

  14. I see I'm too late, I was just about to say that I wish your aunt recovers soon, then I saw J's comment :(

    I'm very sorry to hear it, my heartfelt condolences!

  15. Same here. I am truly saddened to read about it. Just want to convey my utmost condolences to you and your family, you will all be remembered in our prayers. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. May her soul rest in peace.

  16. How sad..vawiin tlai khan pa pakhat stroke vawihnih ngawt nei tawh, Pathian zar a la dam khawchhuak hram hram kan va kan a. A taksa engmah a chet thei tawh lova, a tawng thei tawh hek lo, mahse a mit meng erawh a la fiah tha. Chuta karah chhungkaw buaina avangin enkawltu a la nei mumal lo zui..

    Pray for this poor soul, I'll do the same for ur aunt

  17. Va han pawi ve aw... Kan thu lo em sia le kan dam leh kan thih ah hian. Pathianin awmpui che u rawh se.

  18. my deepest condolences...

    a pawi thin khawp mai. sawi theih dang ka nei lo e

  19. thanks guys. Kan la buai ve khawp mai, mikhual nen, kei ka hnaah kal a ngai tawh bok sia, mi an fel a, inleng kan la nei ve reng bok a.

    @Luliana: ka lo ngaihtuah chu, khatia engmah ti thei chuang si lova dam reng kha a hreawm awm ka tia, hospital a kan awm lai khan mi pakhat stroke nei, coma a awm, kum 3 dawn awm toh, thi si lo, dam si lo te an rawn sawi a, lehlamah chuan ka ni kha chu a chawl law law a tih ten kan inhnem.

  20. Ekhai, ka luh loh hlanin zualko lam daih mai a lawm awm a ni maw.. a va pawi thin ve le.. Hringnun hi a khawharthlak zawnga ngaihtuah chang phei chuan a lungchhiat theih ngawt mai. I ni chawlhsan che u chu a va pawi em. Mahse, natna leh hreawmna awm tawh lohna hmunah muang takin a chawl ngei ang.

    Hringfate hi kan thih hmasak zet loh chuan kan nung kumtluan dawn si lo a nih hi..