“That’s it – my fathers last words for me were – I love you!” –Marshal Eriksen (HIMYM, Season 6, Episode 14)
I wasn’t in for any serious content today, especially when all my flat-mates and friends are not in the town, half the city being closed because of the COVID outbreak, and me hiding in a sad, lonely house – and that’s why I tuned in to “How I Met Your Mother”.
But life had some other plans for me – I stumbled upon one of the most serious episodes of the series – when Marshall’s (one of the lead of the show) father dies and the entire gang travels to Minnesota for the funeral, and talks about the last words their loved ones had said to them.
And I realized two hard truths about myself – I can’t take death scenes anymore.
And I didn’t have the most memorable last conversation with my brother.
“Do you want to come over to my place for the night? I have to catch a plane tomorrow morning though, so you might have to leave very early.” – My elder brother, asking me out of genuine concern.
“No, it’s fine. I anyway have a lot of work to do, so I’ll not take a stop.” – Typical jerk me, acting all busy and avoiding an extra stop in Mumbai, as I was only concerned about some additional sleep I can get by doing so.
The moron me didn’t realize it back then – but it was the last conversation I’d have with my brother.
A week later I received a call from my parents. They asked me to catch the first flight to Mumbai – My brother had passed away. All of sudden. And he was just 29.
Me and my brother – we were quite an inseparable unit when we were kids. We’d constantly play cricket in the home, hang around the city together, drink those boring glasses of milk while making weird faces and watching Shinchan or Tom and Jerry together.
Being an elder brother, he’d always take my responsibility, and would carry me around like his wing-man. He’d always keep up with what would be happening in my life – be it my screwed up placements, or IIM admission interviews or girl troubles – his advise would either be a super hit, or super blunder. But the thing is, he’d always have my back.
And things had taken a turn lately – we’ve not been that close in the past few years – we had our stupid arguments, mostly around me not listening to my parents and running a muck . Though my brother would try to mend the gap by having frequent calls with me, I’d usually have one-word-I-am-too-busy answers for him – I kind off hated the fact that everyone loved him, and such an ideal person he was – a huge contrast to the rebel, impulsive personality I sported. In fact, I had hardly met him twice in the past 2 years.
There were so many things we didn’t talk about in those 2 years:
I never asked him about the girls he has dated or been dating, and neither told him about anyone I’ve dated – maybe I just felt too awkward about it.
We never had a conversation about my dream to become a writer – and I really didn’t know what his true dream was – I just didn’t care much.
I didn’t tell him about my crazy trips around the world – I didn’t need another advice about not hanging out with strangers or hitch-hiking, again!
Neither did I ask him about his recent struggle with his job – I thought he’d be able to figure it out by himself. He has always been.
And I didn’t tell him for such a long time – that I loved him – I always thought, I’d say that to him when we sit together for a quiet dinner, probably after his upcoming marriage, which he was finally happy about.
I always thought that I had time.
But I didn’t! And neither do you.
The thing is, life is one unpredictable, cruel monster – it can take everything away from you in a blink – and all you are left with are unspoken words, and a lot of regrets.
So you think you are too busy for that call with your parents, and you keep stalling it? Are you sure, when you’ll want to make that call, your parents will be around?
So you think that expressing your love to this boy/girl is futile, cause you don’t see the future with him/her? Are you sure, that you have a future for yourself? Or, will that person be around the next time, when you get your surety?
And you are having this little argument with your friend and you’d prefer not calling him on his birthday this time . Remember this, if something happens in life, your last conversation will be an argument.
A stupid argument!
There were so many things that I had to say to my brother, but I couldn’t.
I hope you don’t make the same mistake with your loved ones – and actually tell them, how much you really love them – without occasions, without clarity about your futures together, without thinking about the consequences. Who knows, those might be your last words to your loved ones!
PS. I just poured myself a glass of insipid milk and started watching Shinchan on TV – and imagined my brother to be with me, drinking that milk while making weird yet familiar faces.
Cause last words are so overrated – it’s the lifelong of memories that count 🙂