GO! Smell the Flowers with your Father!

Posted on December 20th, 2007 by god

make the most of your time with your father whilst you can

This is Arvind here, back after 2 weeks away.

My father (pictured above in his prime) suddenly passed away 2 weeks ago after a short bout of flu. It all still seems rather surreal and hard to believe that I have lost forever someone so close to me.

We have been overwhelmed with the support, love and comforting words from so many people.

As we try and get back to “normal” life, I am still left with the regrets and thoughts of what might have been. Through the current fog of grief, a large part of me wants to carry on his work and live up to his very high expectations of me.

But for now, my biggest regret and sadness is my father not finally seeing the Taj Mahal as scheduled to do so in January 2008.

What one thing would you like to do with your father whilst you can?


125 Responses to “GO! Smell the Flowers with your Father!”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your father. I really like the picture you posted here…he was very handsome man!

    My father passed away 2 years ago…the last few years of his life he lived with us so we had the opportunity to see each other often. At times it seemed a little too close for comfort…but ultimatley it was a great way for the family to bond in a way we wouldn’t have otherwise.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Drowsey Monkey for your words of comfort.

      Yes, my father was quite a handsome dude in his prime! We have been looking through his photographs lately and there is a stunning picture from the year my parents got married.

      Someone said that my father was very handsome, but I looked much more like my mother! She soon retracted her comment when she realised it was a “back handed insult” to me.

      It was great that you were able to bond with the family in the last 2 years of your father’s life. Over the last 2 weeks of mourning, we too have bonded more as a family which would not have happened otherwise. So there are lots of good things to also look back on during this time.

  2. Sorry to hear about your dad. He may have missed that trip to the Taj Mahal in life, but I bet he can take a look at some of the grandest views in the after life.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Funky girl.

      Yes, I can imagine my father right now lording it over some stellar views and writing about it (He was a writer in his former earthly life).

  3. taylorblue says:

    Sorry about your dad…my grandfather…(dad) passed away a week ago on Saturday. I am still hurting. But I see I am not alone. Welcome back by the way.

    • arvind says:

      Dear Taylorblue,

      So sorry to hear about your grandfather passing away. My condolences. Please know that my thoughts are with you.

      Thank you for your kind words and warm words of welcome.

  4. fab says:

    Hey Arvind, Welcome back!

    Thanks for sharing your loss with us and the photo really struck me! I’ll be telling my folks how much I love them today – something I’ve never had the courage to do.

    I’m sure your pop is smelling his flowers.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Fab.

      Yes, go tell your folks just how much you love them.

      My last words to my father were over the telephone soon after the doctor had been to see him at him. But I guess he knows just how much we all loved him.

  5. Jim & Em says:

    Hey Arvind, Jim here…

    A BIG welcome back to you here at flowers, you’ve been missed and it’s great to have you back aboard so you can get amongst in the fearless way that you always do!

    Sorry to learn about your loss and the photo really struck us and we’re honoured that you share this with the community here, one which, as you know often blogs it as it is!

    No doubt he was and still is proud of the difference you’re making in the world, through your book, coaching and general contributions to making some sense of this world as you strive to….

    ‘Make it happen’,

    Which, you already are!

    The one thing I’d like to do with my father is to play an effortless 18 holes of golf with him with the sun on our backs, confidence in our strides and a pint of cask ale when we’re done after a close game that’s settled with a handshake.

    Provided he pays for the beer of course. :-)

    • arvind says:

      Thank you Jim and Em for your warm welcome back and your words of comfort, love and support.

      Now more than ever, I feel it is time for me to make things happen.

      Enjoy the game of golf with your father – when will you be playing him?! Sunny Dubai seems the perfect place your round of golf – it is currently freezing here in the UK.

      Here is something to encourage you to make it happen soon. The beers are on me if you arrange the match asap!

  6. Hi Arvind! I am looking forward to getting to know you here at Flowers. I’m deeply sorry about the loss of your father – that’s a very beautiful picture of him.

  7. dubaidave says:

    Yup, welcome back Arvind and sorry for your loss, I honestly can’t asnwer your question and should be able to. Maybe I could tell the old boy how I feel about him? Gulp.

    it’s been a blast here with the new gang on board, Gary, Angry & Gareth in China on good say-it-as-it-is form.

    Cheers, Dave.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Dave for the warm welcome back and your words of comfort.

      Yes, just tell the old boy how you feel about him!

      I once said to my newphew, then just 12 years old, that I loved him and I hope he knew that.

      His reply was, “Yes I know, but you never say it”.

      I was gob smacked with this reponse and teary eyed too.

      So I am wondering what your father’s response will be like.

      Do share with us afterwards :-)

  8. mel says:

    Great to have you back Arvind.

    Thanks for sharing the news and I am so sorry for your loss. may all the good memories and his remembered smiles help you through this time.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Mel.

      Yes, his remembered smiles will surely help us through this time.

      And also the support from all our friends – personal friends and also virtual friends such as yourself and the wonderful crowd here at Flowers :-)

  9. jonathan says:

    Hi Arvind

    SO very sorry to hear of your Father passing away. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

    My father is a very keen gardener and as anything i touch shrivels up, I regret not having his skill (or love of gardening) but I can appreciate it and I think I would like to probably just spend a day digging the frosty soil with him.

    He might think there was hope for me yet.
    Jonathan

    • arvind says:

      Thanks Jonathan for your kind words.

      Do share with us how you get on with the digging and gardening with your father. With some luck you could literrally be smelling the flowers with him.

  10. BO says:

    Hello Arvind and welcome back,so sorry to hear about your father.Make sure you go to the Taj in honour of your Father,he’ll see it through your eyes i’m sure.

    I would like to go and see my Dad’s favourite artist Eric Clapton and see the joy on his face when he belts out his favourite tunes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRsJlAJvOSM

    Eric wrote the above after the tragic death of his son.

    • arvind says:

      Hi Bo,

      I just checked out the Eric Clapton track on YouTube and related properly to his words and emotions for the first time ever. And now the floodgates have opened…

      Thank you for your kind words and warm welcome back.

      What a great suggestion to go and see the Taj in honour of my father – and see it through my eyes.

      Thank you.

    • arvind says:

      PS – And enjoy seeing Eric Clapton with your dad. He is one of my favourite artists and his song “Wonderful Tonight” is in my all time top ten soppy songs. I can sense a future post on Flowers coming up on this theme.

      PPS I am a typical Picses – very soppy!

  11. Lib says:

    Arvind,

    My deepest sympathies about your father, I am actually writing this with tears in my eyes. One of my biggest fears is losing my parents and for you to go through that realisation, well, I can only imagine what it must feel like. My thoughts are with you and I really hope that time is kind to you.

    I’m the same as Bo with my dad obviously but I’ve actually been lucky enough to see Eric Clapton with my dad, would love to see that again though.

    I’m planning to take him to Old Trafford cricket club next year as he is a massive cricket fan.

    Now that he has MS, time has become a lot more precious.

    • arvind says:

      Thank you Lib for your kind words through your tears. To be honest it would have been a great loss anytime, but the suddenness of his death has made it that much more painful, if that is possible.

      Enjoy taking your father to Old Traffrod cricket club early next summer – and also Eric Clapton again.

      As you say, time is so precious.

  12. sarah says:

    Arvind, I was touched by this post as well, such a striking image of a man you posted and as Bo says, the trip must GO! on, right?

    **Lib / Bo – hope your Dads aye OK and we should all remember to do these things with the ones we love while we still and while they still, can.

    Welcome back Arvind, I’m looking forward to your posts here, a great mix with the new gang don’t you think!? :-)

    • arvind says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for your kind words of welcome.

      Yes it is a great mix here now with the new gang – I am looking forward to digging in.

      Let the party begin!

  13. Gary says:

    Arvind sorry to hear about the old man- keep your chin up squire!

    As for something I’d like to do with my dad………….

    An armed robbery. Not your run of the mill one- a massive job. We copuld even rough up the security guards- tie them to chairs, pour petrol over them etc etc.
    It would be great fun.

    We could have my mum as getaway driver. Sorry scrap that- a woman getaway driver????

    So for me either an armed robbery or take him out dwarf trapping.

    • arvind says:

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks for your kind words, man!

      We never did get to meet in London that fateful Monday evening, the day of my father’s passing away. I am sure we will meet one day soon in the great smoke known as London.

      Good luck with your planned activities with your folks :-)

      Keep us posted in your usual inimitable way!

  14. Arvind,

    Sorry to hear about your loss. Mes plus sinceres sympahties.

    Isn’t it a sad reality of today’s hectic times that we often get mixed up in our priorities and neglect our parents, maybe when they need us the most as they grow older? We don’t give them enough attention, enough love, enough of our time. Sometimes, God forbid, we even think they are a burden as they grow old and dependent – while we arrogantly forget how they unfailingly cared for us when we were little and defenceless.

    Then one day they are gone. And suddenly our world is shaken to its very core. Suddenly we understand that what made us strong and confident to face the world was our mom’s and dad’s love and prayers. Then we know really what ‘alone’ means. And regrets hit us. If only..

    The two people whose love remains unconditional no matter what you do, no matter what you say, no matter how much you hurt them in your process of growing up and discovering life, are your mom and dad. It is possibly the only absolute love. It’s perhaps now that I am separated from my parents by physical distance that I truly understand this truth.

    DrowseyMonkey is lucky to have spent her dad’s last years with him. I wish I will have the same chance, though I know it is unlikely. It is the one ultimate thing I would like to do for both my mom and dad. Be there for them when they need me the most and do my duty as a daughter. Losing either of them would be the biggest loss of my life.

    • Lib says:

      A mixture of too many espresso martinis last night and your writing BJ, now I am definitely crying.

    • arvind says:

      Dear Bridget,

      Wow! You have said it all so eloquently and from the heart.

      Losing either parent is possibly the biggest lose in the life of most people. And right now I can fully vouch for that.

      Here today, gone tomorrow, without even a hint of his departure.

      I am hoping that the readers of this post and the various comments will all be drawn closer with their parents this Xmas and in 2008.

      I am right now looking back on the many times my father has been there for me, unconditionally and stauntly supporting me through my own good and bad moments. And so many times I have lost patience with him and considered him dumb and old fashioned. Yet, he was always unwavering in his love and affection.

      So I urge everyone to make the most of your precious time with your parents – and be there for them – whilst you can.

  15. mike says:

    Hi Arvind,

    Welcome back and sorry to hear you’re sad news. I saw a hearse on the way back from picking up my youngest from school this morning. It had flowers in it spelling out Dad and it made me sad for some reason. Prob because I was thinking of Joel in the back and how he would cope without me if anything happened to me.

    I think I would like to hug my Dad more (No pun intended here at flowers with their group hugs) we used to when I was small. Then it became a hand shake and now I hug him to say goodbye and refuse his hand shake.

    • arvind says:

      Good on you Mike for hugging your Dad and refusing his handshake.

      Sometimes I think in the West, we are all so formal even with our loved ones. Or maybe it is just an English thing?!

      For my father’s hearse, we also had flowers spelling out “Dad” from us five siblings and also “GrandDad” from five nephews and one niece. It was quite a poignant sight.

      I am sure Joel is very proud of his loving father :-)

  16. I am so sorry to hear. My deepest sympathy for you. When you go however, he will be there with you. Have you seen the Tom Hanks film “The Terminal”?

    I lost my father in 2000. That same year I became my grandma’s live-in caretaker until ’04. She passed in Aug. ’06. Actually, the opportunity I had to live with her gave me the chance to spend the time with her I would have regretted not spending had I not been there.

    My mom and I want to go to Vancouver for the 2010 winter Olympics. I’m going to make every effort to grant that wish.

    • arvind says:

      Thanks BellyDanceGirl.

      I shall order the Tom Hanks “The Terminal” DVD to watch over Xmas.

      Enjoy the Vancouver Olympics with your mother. 2010 will be here before we know it.

      • arvind says:

        Hi again BellyDanceGirl,

        I just checked the Xmas TV listings and the Tom Hanks Movie “The Terminal” is being shown on Boxing Day, BBC2 at 7pm!

        So I don’t even need to get the DVD :-)

        Thanks again for the tip.

        Arvind

  17. RYK says:

    Arvind, I am shocked and very sad to hear about your sudden loss. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I would be devastated. I have no words to express my sorrow and my very deepest sympathies with you.

    I realised a long time back that I am getting poorer every year. I was born very rich: parents, 2 sets of grandparents, 10 aunts, 8 uncles, parents friends, my own friends and family homes. Every year since I was about 12 I have been getting poorer, 1st one grandparent died and then another, then one of my aunts passed away, then I lost another grandparent.

    Over time I will lose all these people and their joy, contribution and support. Such is life.

    • arvind says:

      Dear RYK,

      Thank you very much for your very warm words of love and support. At such times, one doesn’t even need words, just loving thoughts are enough.

      You have described life and getting poorer every year so well. But at the same time, as we lose these people from our lives, we are left with their rich memories and memoirs.

      My father has left us with is rich collection of writings and books and his many friends and relatives. Though we are poorer due to his death, we are much richer due to his life.

      And I guess the same goes for all your own losses too.

      Over the last 2 weeks, we have been asked 100′s of times how my father died, as it was all so sudden and unexpected.

      Ultimately, however, it is not so important how he or anyone died. But it is key to know how he lived. And he lived a wonderfull life – one full of joy, contribution and supporting others.

      Such is life – we all just have to make the most of each moment, each day and each relationship.

  18. Diane says:

    Dear Arvind, I think everyone has expressed what I feel very eloquently, especially Bridget, who brought a lump to my throat, just like Lib. I hope you are coping with your loss. I think Bo’s idea of going to see the Taj Mahal in memory of your dad is a fine one, such a splendid place to remember your father.

    I’m sure he was very proud of all you have and will continue to achieve.

    Thinking of you.

    • arvind says:

      Thank you Diane for your kind words and thoughts.

      As you know now, my father passed away only a few hours after we spoke on that Sunday afternoon. That was only 2 weeks ago, but it seels a lifetime ago.

      In fact, after I finished talking to you, I called my parents and soon after that we called a doctor home…

      And yes, my dad was very proud of me and he always kept asking me when my next book was being published!

      Finally, his death is ultmately going to inspire me to make even more things happen….

  19. arvind says:

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful and comforting words of support and love.

    In the last hour, I have replied to each and every comment and it has been wonderful to have been able to this.

    This is probably part of my own healing journey and thank you Jim and Emma for creating this forum.

    I hope my post and the various comments will support and help others who have suffered a loss.

    Love and Gratitude

    Arvind

  20. aussiecynic says:

    Arvind
    I am so sad for your lose my friend…
    I do you are ok !
    Please know that our thoughts are with you
    And take care…
    AC

  21. Gareth in England says:

    Sorry to hear that Arvind. It how you remember them thats important.

    Regarding my father, if I ever clap eyes onim again the one thing I intend to do? I fully intend to break at least one of his limbs and possibly nose or jaw, not really certain at the moment – probably one of those things that’ll be decided at the time.

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