Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dealing with the death of someone close

My father died unexpectedly last week. He was in great shape and loved life. So to see him gone overnight was a huge shock and I still don't believe that he's not here. He and I had a special bond so I'll miss him every day till I die. This experience taught me a lot of things - emotional and mundane that I wanted to share with those who might have to go through the same sad reality:

- Inform family and friends right away. Not only people care, they actually want to help. And you'd need all the help you can get.
- Take care of the living. My main focus was making sure that my mom was ok and providing emotional and psychological support to her. It was important for her to understand that she'd be taken care of and she should feel secure
- Find the right funeral home. It can make a huge difference. A little bit of online search and checking with a few folks can help you narrow down your selection
- Communicate funeral details as well as any other religious ceremonies at your church, temple, mosque. Assign this task to someone in the family so you don't have to deal with it.
- Ensure there's enough food for everyone where the family is getting together. In our case, all our friends were very nice and dropped off food every day for many days.
- Find out if there's a will. You don't need to address it right away but it'll be good to  know if there were some specific wishes for funeral and other things
- There are a lot of agencies like Social Security, DMV, etc. that need to be informed of the death depending on the person's age of course. I researched on Google and found a lot of resources. This one had good details -
 -You'd wish you had spent a lot more time with your relative. There's a feeling of guilt. But realize there's nothing you can do to change that. Focus now on the living. In these tragedies people tend to focus so much on the dead that they forget people who are living need a lot more support
- Don't keep dwelling about your relative. You will miss them without dwelling on it. The more you think the more painful it'll be.
- Be careful about what you say to your other family members. Emotions can lead to words that might hurt others.
- Cry. It's good for you and you have to let your emotions out.
- And it's true what they say about time being the best healer. Every day it gets slightly better. Keep yourself busy in work, taking care of others, gardening, sports etc. Distractions are a good friend

Remember like is a continuum. We keep living in one form or another. Stop fighting over the small stuff. Enjoy every moment in this life and don't be afraid.

I know I'll see my father again and I look forward to the day I'll be re-united with him.

Here's the poem I dedicated to my father at the funeral

My Papa, My Hero
-          Mandeep Khera

My Papa, My Hero
He was our rock
And I never thought he would stop;
Issue, big or small, he worried
Looking for ways to solve the issues, he took them as his own and hurried;
Always there for family, friends, and even a stranger,
Extending his help to others even while fighting his own cancer;
Jokes, poems, political speeches, he knew them – big or small,
His confidence, charisma, and passion made him the leader of all;
He called for advice except for fashion
He always wore dapper clothes with passion;
The thing that mattered to him the most was family,
Let’s go have fun, watch a movie, play cards or holi -but only together as a family;
He wanted to be always in touch and communicate,
When he called, and I didn’t pick up the phone, he felt betrayed;
When I called him he would always enthusiastically say, “Hahn, beta, kya haal hai?” (yes, son! How are you?)  and made me feel special,
To not make him sad, I wouldn’t tell him my plans for travel;
I want to be strong like him and not cry,
But how is it possible no matter how hard I try;
I know he’s still here to watch over us and pray,
His family is here so how can he be far away;
He’s my Hero, He’s still our rock,
And I know he’ll never stop.
I love you Papa and will always miss you until I stop.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Inspiriational video

Came across this so I thought I'd share. Will bring you up if you are down.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miracle Stories from Japan - Destiny at Play

As I talk about in my book "Why?", destiny plays a big role in our lives whether we admit it or not. In every catastrophe there are stories of miracle that defy logic. There are stories of survivors in planes that crashed where every one died except for four people (Japan Airlines crash, 1985). There are cases of miracle survivors in the Tsunami that took away 250,000 lives in 2004. And, now with this huge tragedy in Japan with the Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Plant meltdown, there are amazing miracle stories:

- A four-month-old girl who had been swept from her parents' arms in the shattered village of Ishinomaki is saved from the rubble three days later. How do you explain that? What is this girl supposed to do when she grows up. What's her destiny?

- According to AP, Ayumi Osuga was practicing origami with her three children, aged 2 to 6, in their single-story home in the coastal city of Sendai (pictured) when the ground started to shake. Then Osuga's husband called. "Get out of there now!" he yelled. Chilled by the brusque warning, the 24-year-old factory worker quickly gathered her children into the car and fled to a hilltop home belonging to her husband's family 12 miles away. Though her home was destroyed, Osuga knows she is lucky to be alive. "My family, my children ... I have come to realize what is important in life," she said.

- Sai Abe, a 70-year-old woman, from her toppled home in the port town of Otsuchi (pictured) Tuesday, four days after an earthquake-spurred tsunami tossed the house off its foundation in Japan's northeast.

- An 80 year old woman and her grand son were pulled alive from he rubble after 9 days!

If you know of any additional miracle stories, please share them here. I am sure every one would love to hear them. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Japanese Great Earthquake - 8.9 - You never know how quickly things change

Nature's fury has struck once again. A 8.9 magnitude earthquake just struck about an hour ago. Tsunamis are expected to hit Japan coastal towns as well as potentially many other countries. Live videos of Tsunamis really put life in perspective.;_ylt=AsvwB9ic5mQHsrfPbOHVIqes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqb2RuMzUzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMzExL2FzX2phcGFuX2VhcnRocXVha2UEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNtYWpvcnRzdW5hbWk-

The powerful and terrifying waves destroy everything in their path. Also shows you how meaningless our pitiful daily complaints are. Life is too short and you never know when it'll end. Enjoy every moment, don't worry about petty things or politics, prioritize what's important to you. Before it's all gone. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What is happiness all about?

It's not the money. It's not how successful you are. It's not what toys you possess. These things can help of course. But, ultimately, happiness comes from inside you. You have to be willing to be happy. Once you have taken that step, then it's the company of your family and friends that would make you feel happy. Then, it's the material things. Most people are so lost in accumulating the material things over everything else that they are rarely happy and when they are happy it's usually short-lived. So, with the Thanksgiving holidays coming up, please try the following:

1. Talk to yourself about being happy. Internalize this thought. If you want to be happy, no one can break through that shield.
2. Always try to be around people with positive vibrations.
3. Enjoy every moment with your friends and family. When you are together enjoy them. Don't fight them. Don't let ego come in the way of your happiness. Remember, don't let anything break through that shield.
4. Enjoy your material things but don't let them come in the way of your happiness. If they make you happy, that's fine but only if they don't come in the way of the most important things in your life.
5. Take a moment every day to close your eyes and reach your own soul. Try to understand the purpose of this life. And, when everything seems to be going horribly wrong, think about the fact that every thing is short lived. Try to focus all your energy on positive outcomes and wait to see the impact.

After you try these things, let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Miracle story - Coincidence or Destiny?

As I watched a TV show today on MSNBC on some of the major flight crashes caused by maintenance problems, it made me think, once again, of why certain events are destined to happened. Why is that Aloha Airlines Flight 243 whose fuselage was ripped apart during the April, 1988, landed safely with most passengers except for one senior flight attendant C.B. Lansing who was sucked out of the airplane. Her body was never found. Every one else survived as the plane landed safely after that. Why her? A nice, helpful, courteous person had to go and in such a dramatic way?

What's even more dramatic is the Japan Airlines Flight 123 that left Tokyo International Airport on August 12th, 1985 with 524 passengers. The flight took off at 6.12 P.M. and after the vertical stabilizer broke away, the Captain struggled to control the plane for over 30 minutes. The plane crashed in the mountains 32 minutes after the flight took off. Every one thought that all passengers had died. Well, almost. A miracle - 4 female passengers - from 8 to 34 year old had miraculously survived. Against all odds. Do you still believe there's no destiny?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sad story of the circle of life while living

When I read this story of this 52 year old man accused of pouring urine on this father , I was overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions about life. Did that father treat his son so badly as a kid to deserve this? Or is it related to some other karma associated with the father and the son? We don't know the full story. But, it's interesting how when we are young, we are on top of the world and can't do anything wrong. I have seen young and even middle aged people treat their kids, friends, spouse, and parents like crap. They don't ever think of the repercussions. No, there are no legal repercussions. But, there are definitely moral repercussions. That, my friends, is Karma. Karma is not just about paying for your deeds in the next life. It also means you have to pay some of that debt in this life. When you are old and helpless. That's when it might strike. Oh, you Mr. or Ms. arrogant, flying high no-good homo sapien - will you be ready to bear that pain?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

People around you will be gone

As I was walking through the park yesterday, I noticed people walking around and observed them. I was thinking that all of these people will be gone one day. Some sooner. Others later. But, each and every one of us will be gone. So, all the petty things that we fret are not going to mean anything anyway. Same applies to all your friends and family. It's only a matter of time. So, enjoy every moment and appreciate the presence of every one - even people you run into at the parks, in the mall, or on the streets.

People have been happy?

I have been traveling a lot lately to the East coast. In spite of the economy, flight delays, and all the craziness at the airports, I have noticed that people have been very friendly and pleasant. Even the flight attendants. I am not sure why this is the case. May be people are getting tired of feeling depressed and unhappy. But it's good to see that people are resilient and trying to be happy. Life is too short anyway and why create all the unhappiness around you.

Has anyone else noticed this as well?