Monthly Archives: December 2010

A stranger at my doorstep

I heard the wailing first.  Of a man.  I was not surprised.  I hear it often.  One disadvantage of staying near a hospital.  Some patients die.  Pass on.  Leaving their loved ones behind.  It hurts a lot.  Some try to bottle it all up, at least, while in public.  Others cannot.

At times, I do the least that I can do.  Ask them if they are OK.  Listen to their loss.  Offer my sympathies.  Offer a bottle of water.  To drink.  To wash their face.  Whatever.  I always feel helpless.  Yet connected to them in one way. Been there, felt that.

Coming back to today, I went out to find out who it was.  A young man.  Sitting near my car just outside my home.  Calling up a few people on his mobile phone.  All the while sobbing away.  I don’t know if the people that he talked to understood him through his sobbing.  He felt my presence.  Our eyes met.  He got up.  I asked him if he was OK. He told me that his brother had passed away. I offered my sympathy for his loss.  I enquired whether this happened at the nursing home nearby.  He said that it had happened in a village near Hassan.   His brother was a farmer.  He was working on his land, complained of stomach ache, and a few hours later was no more.  Has young kids.

The young man is working here in Bangalore.  Field work is what he said.  I offered him water.  He had some.  Thanked me.  I offered to help in any way I could.  He said no.  And moved on.  Two young girls passing by watched with curiosity.   Why was this man crying?

Here is what I could not say to him.  Dear Stranger – May the Lord give strength and courage to bear this great loss. For you. Your family.