& occasionally about other things, too...

Friday, March 31, 2017

what makes the world stop still

My father’s mother -- Harvilas – was a widow for 44 years before she died. 

Devi – my mother’s mother – had married a man old enough to be her father. It was his second marriage.  Devi also lived as a widow for nearly four decades.

My grandmother’s sister Jaisukh was a widow, too.

I don’t know who named her Jaisukh.  It means Hail (Jai) Happiness (Sukh)! The name turned out to be inappropriate because Jaisukh saw no happiness in her life. Yet, she always made all of us feel that she was contended and happy. She smiled easily. 

Well into her eighties, she would giggle just as an eight-year-old would, but her eyes were sunken and sad.

She kept herself busy, always busy, almost deliberately so, perhaps afraid of being alone. Her life was lost in lives of her sisters’ families, their children and their grandchildren.

But her only family was her mother and when she died, Jaisukh lost her will to live.  She died soon thereafter. 

Unlike her sister and other widows in my family who had seen married life, albeit briefly, Jaisukh did not know married life at all. 

She was married when she was nine.
She became a widow before she reached puberty. 
She was a virgin widow.
And she lived as a widow for more than 70 years.

When Jaisukh died, we did not shed tears; we were happy her misery was finally over.

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