My mother, my friend, philosopher and guide was a very cheerful and a committed woman. She was a caring mother and a loving grandmother. Her life revolved to establish her four daughters while serving to her husband. She was an extremely virtuous woman whose teachings will forever echo in my mission. The sad demise of my father led to opening of this Pandora’s Box as explained.
Initially I thought she was lonely and depressed because of a large vacuum created after the loss of her life partner (my father). She suddenly became lonely in her own house which was always full of hustle and bustle. She loved having guests, so she would still work and supervise in the kitchen, wanted to prepare the best dish for her grand children and would always look forward to take her son-in-law to Gaylord (a famous restaurant in Connaught Place, New Delhi).
I would often feel as if something was dying in her brain which could not be figured out. Suddenly she feared dark and sometimes later she politely refused to any family dinners. Little did we know that it was the Sun Down Syndrome that was showing up. My energetic and active mother slowly went down the stairs of a dark well despite my siblings’ occasional visit from the USA, to see her.
She started forgetting the calculation, forgot to switch off the gas and would come out of the bathroom without taking bath. Sometimes my mother was irritable but most of the time she was still joyful and eagerly waiting for me to have lunch together. This raised a doubt in my mind, is she really losing her memory ? or is she just pretending to gain attention ? Nonetheless, I never ever missed a day to visit her.
I physically stayed at my home but mentally I was always with her and was stressed even in my sleep. I was deeply saddened by the deteriorating mental health condition of the woman (My mother) who gave birth to me and raised me. I already had the responsibility of my family and my profession but I accepted the responsibility of my mother gracefully and with gratitude.
It was in July 1999 she developed Hypertensive Encephalopathy and suddenly fell unconscious. The doctors in the hospital then did their best and I brought her home after a week. It was then that a neurologist advised brain biopsy to confirm her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease to which I refused.
In the next six months, the deterioration was very fast and on 28th December 1999 she passed away very peacefully with a goodbye smile on her lips.