For the better part of the past month, I have known that I want to write this eulogy for Ammachi and yet, the words didn’t come till today. I wish that there was a way in which I would be able to capture what she meant to me and do justice to her awesomeness, but sadly these words will have to do. It will be exactly 40 days since her peaceful demise and yet, I find it hard to accept that she isn’t going to be sleeping on that diwan in front of the T.V., watching her serials when I come back home.
Kamalam Mathai, in the 90 years that she graced this earth with her presence, played a lot of very important roles. She was a loving daughter, a doting and generous sister to six siblings, a devoted and supporting wife, a caring mother to three beautiful girls and the coolest grandmother any child could ever ask for. She was a doctor, mentor and therapist to her children, a warden to her grandchildren and the most incredible friend to everyone she met. She never had a lavish lifestyle nor did she care for one as the only thing that really mattered to her was family. She was a considerate and generous woman who always took time out to lend a hand to those who needed it.
“A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.”
From the time that I can remember, Ammachi was the one to sit with me while I did my homework in my neatest handwriting, the one who made sure that Ajay and I were dressed in the best costumes for fancy dress competitions, the one who oiled and combed my hair with such love and care, the one I’d scream for when Ajay and I would fight like cats and dogs, the one to counsel us when we disagreed with Mummy and Daddy, the one who would be there at every annual function in school, no matter how big or small the part, the one who made sure that we weren’t watching inappropriate T.V. shows, when Mummy and Daddy weren’t home and the one who made sure that we learnt all the prayers and songs to be said and sung during Sunday mass, in Malayalam.
People might think that being a woman born in the early 1900s, she would be orthodox and old fashioned, but not our Ammachi. Ammachi is probably the only person in our family who approved of my eyebrow piercing and didn’t make an issue of my tattoo. She was totally supportive when Varun decided to wear his hair long and make a ponytail and supportive when Ajay wanted to worship in a different church. She would have been supportive of Akash doing anything wild as well, but he somehow managed to walk down the right path.
Ammachi, you will be missed!! You were honestly the glue that kept this family together and you have taught us so much about love and forgiveness, in the time that you were here with us. Your presence filled our lives with such joy and happiness, but I know that it is now time for you to take on another role; that of an angel and join Appacha who has been waiting a long time for you. My relationship with you, over the past 27 years has been and will be something that I will cherish all my life.
As we bid you farewell as you embark on a new journey, I would like to end with this saying:
“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. It only means that I will miss you until we meet again.“