LEAVE // 02.13.2018 | 13:25 PM PST | PORTLAND, OREGON
ARRIVE // 02.15.2018 | 08:40 AM IST | HYDERABAD, INDIA
TRANSPORTATION // ALASKA AIRLINES | EMIRATES // VISA ON ARRIVAL
LAYOVER // SEATTLE, WA | 2 HOUR // DUBAI, EAU | 8 HOUR 50 MINUTE
(HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS IN DUBAI, 4 HOURS)
ACCOMMODATIONS // IBIS
It has been four weeks since my grandfather passed away unexpectedly. He was 88 years young. Full of life, laughter, and really bad jokes. Loved that man dearly, so this was trully heartbreaking news to receive. To add, it was sounding like I would miss his funeral as I was due to depart to return back to Hyderabad on Wednesday Feb 7th and his funeral was set for Thursday Feb 8th. While coming to terms that I would not have closure of his death, my father went in for a routine procedure that Monday and was immediately hospitalized and was in need of bypass surgery due to a full blockage. Not the easiest news to receive. I was a mess. In no way could I leave before my dads surgery. I needed to post-pone.
Now set to leave on Sunday Feb 11th. Which gave me a chance to attend my grandfathers funeral and be there for my dads scheduled surgery on Friday. What more could happen in just a week, right? One of my dogs decided to quit eating for two days. Took him to the vet on Tuesday, only to find out he had another tumor that needed to be removed. Surgery was now set for Friday, same day as my dads surgery. Maybe I shouldn't have asked my previous question above. At this point I decided to go on bereavement leave from work. Rotating nights at the hospital, with my sister, to keep my dad company as he didn't want to be alone. Working late nights, early mornings, leaving office early, and not staying focused. Being on the verge of tears all week and barely able to hold them back anytime someone asked how I or my family was doing, I needed to take some time off. I had to keep it together. My family needed me to stay strong, not only for them but for myself.
It was my turn to stay at the hospital the night before the big day. I made arrangements for my dog to be dropped off the next morning for his surgery, and I stayed with my dad while they did pre-operation procedures all night. No sleep, no food, and needles stuck all over his arms. Just an hour before he was due to be taken back his surgeon called in sick with the flu and it was now rescheduled for Monday. After much frustration, I post-poned my trip again. Now set to leave Tuesday Feb 13th. This time thinking to possibly cancel it all together. Something obviously didn't want me to go back to Hyderabad.
Monday came and surgery was a go, they took him back at 4pm. I wasn't prepared for what I saw when we finally got to see him again at 1:30am. His body laying there, unconscious, with tubes and IV's. The nurse not taking us into consideration as he adjusted and moved the large tubes around that were sticking out from his chest, and then my dads body started to tremble. Was he cold? In shock? Worse, was he in pain? All I know is I stood watching, helpless, as his whole body shook vigorously. For this to be the last memory I had of him before traveling for 28+ hours, I was devastated. Silently shedding tears. This was tough.
The journey back to India was long, too much time to be immersed with my own thoughts. Unable to shake the images I saw that morning. Not properly dealing with the events of the past couple weeks. Hiding behind work to stay distracted. Going back to India may have been a mistake. I've not recovered.
Finally landing in Hyderabad, 8:40am, Thursday February 15th. Wasting no time after arriving, checked into the hotel and headed into the office. I was extactic to see my Hyderabad friends again. They always have a way to lighten the mood. Many laughs.
After a couple days in the office, the first weekend had arrived. The weight of home had settled back in. In hopes to get a little peace of mind, I ventured out to Shri Puri Jagannath temple and Jublie Hills Peddamma temple. It was peaceful and helped ease some of the pain I was feeling at that moment. While attempting to be respectful to the Hindu methods (watching, observing, and mimicing what I see), I did get a chance to pull out my grandfathers photo and pay respect to him and made a wish for my dads recovery. [Next day my dad was released from the hospital to stay at my sisters house for the remainder of his recovery. Coincedence? Maybe. But I'll take it]
Just over a week has gone by. Weekends are definitely the hardest. Spending 90% of my free time outside of the office alone. Again with my own thoughts, I have lost my strength and will. Waiting every evening to receive the most recent update from my mom on my dads progress and only to receive word that my other dog has fallen ill. As much as I thought I needed to escape, I may have left too soon. My heart feels torn here. Wanting to be in India enjoying every moment, but another part is feeling regret and pain.
Here it's the end of another weekend and in an attempt to not let all of this to continue to overcome me. I randomly picked a spot on a map and headed there today, which just happened to be a large park about an hour cab ride from my hotel. Walking around. 90+ degrees. Kindly declining photo ops with my fans. I found a nice shady spot in the grass where I laid on my back, peacefully, and for 3 hours wrote to this point. I can already feel a heavy weight lifted. Maybe thats all I needed? Fingers crossed.
*** The day after writing this, and after much deliberation, it was decided to put my beloved dog Mocha to sleep the following afternoon. After spending 13 of his 15 years with him, his health had deteriated enough that it was time. The hardest part was not the act of playing God, but being unable to say goodbye, holidning him one last time, and looking into his blind, toothless, crooked nose face. This was truly heartbreaking and the final piece that broke me. Many hours of tears, screams, and heartache. It was so hard to find the strength to move forward, especially being a world away. Drowning myself in work was not going to heal this wound. I needed to find peace in all of this. And I needed to find it quick