My father's demise

12/2/08

My father died!
Someone who survived from three heart attacks & a stroke, then stayed for number of years very happily with the family should be a lucky person, still our selfishness, bond or love don't let us accept even a simple truths of the life.. I simply couldn't accept this… I was waiting him to come up again with his so refreshing smile!
 
Ending of his life too was very smooth as well as his actions in the day to day life… He was so simple & very realistic with the expectations, but very rigid with the policies. He stayed according to a Buddhist life rules, but never rush to Temples or believed much about hell or heaven. I think, he believed in what he sees & feels; what is good & bad for his senses.
 
I think, the poem below written by my bappa (Mr. Sunil Perera, UK) reveals some of his characteristics very well.. this was posted by him on my father's one of the last birthdays..
 
 
About one & half years back, he was so sick with a stroke & a heart failure at the same time. He was so sick & was just lay on the bed for couple of weeks without any sign of a life. We were so helpless and waiting for miracles. Even when he was brought back to home, he was just a lifeless person who didn't talk or show any emotion. After all the attempts to make him talked, we tried to do something different. Myself, my brother &  Mum sat by his bed & started to sing one of his favourite songs. His lips showed a very slight move & he started to whisper!! I think that was the most emotional moment I faced in my entire life! Then we knew "Lionel Obeysekera" is still in this motionless body!
 
This is what we sang;
 
 
Anyway, a miracle happened! With my Mum's incomparable care, unmatched rehabilitation program worked out by my Bappa & Punchi, doctors fruitful advices, love & blessings of others and mostly Thaththa's willingness to fight back made him improved so much; walk, talk (even with some problems) and live with us..  He was back with us happily!
 
On 7th November 2008, morning was not with much differences, sun was shining.. birds were singing.. I just wanted to say bye to my dad before leaving to office, then I noticed he was in a deep sleep, with a very peaceful smile on his face. He had already said Bye to all of us! I knew, this time, his favourite songs would not wake him up…!
 
My father is like a book. We were so busy to read some of the chapters. At least now we have got time to read it from the scratch. Already we understand the meanings in far different ways.
 
I am so sure; we might reference this book so many times again & again, in this voyage of life and find more and more meanings.
 
I guess, this is the real story of every father…

8 comments:

Kaminda Berugoda said...

It is so true Summa, It brought tears to my eyes. Fathers are a book that no one reads carefully but at some point realises we would have read it properly. Anyway I am really sorry about your loss. And hope you will be a same good farther as your farther to your kids.

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Thax for sharing my feeling machan.

Below are few comments came via e-mails;


Podi
Excellent. With out doubt you have portayed AIYA in fine words.
Sunil Mama

For me he was a man of principles, a beautiful mind and a good human being in this imperfect world. He would not have been happier as his was a FULL life.

Nihal Perera


Dear Sumedha
Only today I read this....I cried....

Dr.Nihal

Hi podi,
I know exactly how you feel, becouse that is how i feel about comming to sri lanka since achchi died. I have this empty place in my heart nothing seems to fill.Only that now this empty place got bigger.I hope as they say time is a big healer ,even so i don.t think it can fill gaps.To help us we have to remember we are made of strong stuff. We have achchi and thatha in us , we saw how they dealt with life.We have to learn to take lessons from them.We might not do so well in the biggining,but that will be a start.I can.t even imagine how amma is feeling,but we are all here to take care of amma and do any thing to ease the pain.
Also remember amma is made of very solid stuff just like achchi.

take care
punchi

Anonymous said...

dear sumeda
I just read the story.its so sad to read. but u still did a great job to keep him so happy and comfortable till his end. Aruna

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Yep. I know. There wasn’t any alternative way.
As a friend, you too were with us with all your professional advices on his condition related matters.
I don’t use word “Thanks” to the people around us when we wanted them so badly, since that word is not enough to explain our feeling.

Anonymous said...

Hi Podi ayya,
This was so touchable and it brought me tears to my eyes. Yes podi ayya we all missed him a lot.
u are absolutely correct. He was a book. We (me and my malli) refered only few pages of this book coz we were just left school and finished our studies when he was sick. we just arrived to the society. we were so unlucky that we couldnot refer this book until we get different kind of experiences from the society.

By the way, he and achchi both left us in a nicer way and i hope that is the best way to leave the loved ones without giving them another bad memories....

KALHARI...

We all missed him!!!!!

sumedha Obeysekera said...

Thanks for sharing the thought. Yep, both of them decided to leave us in a nicer way, as same as they lived!

Now both you are becoming much more mature and wise.. Nice to hear from you. Take care..

sumedha Obeysekera said...

I received below appreciation from one of my father’s friends. He has posted it to the newspaper.
------------------------------

LIONEL OBEYSEKERA

Mr. Lionel Obeysekera of No. 23/10, Wickremasinghepura, Thalawathugoda, Battaramulla passed away on Friday 7th November 2008 after a brief illness. As a tribute to a dear friend I write this appreciation with profound sorrow. He was well known as OBEY among his friends.

The friendship I had with Obey dates back to about 4 decades. Obey and I both joined the then Local Government Clerical Service in sixties. At that time there was a unique feature in the Local Government Service. It was divided into 3 Areas geographically. Area A – Colombo & Southern Provinces; Area B – Central, Up-country, Sabaragamuwa, Uva and North Central Provinces; Area C – North & East. Obey served in Area A and I served in Area B.

At that time there was a very powerful trade union in the Local Government Service, the Local Government Clerical Service Union led by late Mr. D. R. Sendanayake the veteran Trade Unionist. He had formed a group of members who supported him and continued as President for more than 15 long years. He was unbeatable but by that time gradually his popularity diminished and mass membership forced to form another group to fight his leadership. We formed a group and unsuccessfully contested in the years 1970 & 1971. Then we realized our weak points and the organizing capacity was doubled. In the year 1972 we gave a good fight which lead to a glorious victory. The elections were held at the Central College Hall, in the historic town of Anuradhapura at which Lionel Obeysekera was elected to the important Post of Treasurer with a large majority. I had the privilege of getting elected as the Deputy Secretary. Actually it was after that I came in close contact with Obey.

During the period I associated Obey I have found him to be a person of high caliber, honest, trustworthy and open hearted. He was very helpful to his friends. He never betrayed friends. He was very popular among fellow officers. He was a very good orator who expressed views & ideas to the point without fear or favour. In a nutshell he was a man with principles.

As the Treasurer of the Local Government Clerical Service Union he did immense service for the benefit of members. Later he functioned for a short period of time as the President of the Union.

We are all victims of the famous July 1980 General Strike. We lost our jobs as a result of participating this Strike. Many members were scattered and we could not find there whereabouts. It was at that time a group of members like late Mr. M. N. Silva, Messrs D. P. Yahampath, S. M. D. Samarakkody and others got together and tried to locate our friends and unite them again. As a result of this the Local Government & Provincial State Service Pensioners Association was established. Once again our old friends rallied round this Association.

Obey functioned as a member of the Executive Committee of this Association for a considerable period of time and participated the Exco. Meetings until he fell ill. As always at the Pensioners Exco Meetings also he has contributed valuable ideas for the benefit of members.

Though I have not closely associated Obey’s beloved wife Daya who worked in the Colombo Municipal Council and later in the Ministry of Social Services, I am quite confident that she whole-heartedly supported all endeavours of Obey which helped him to be successful in life. I’d like to mention that Obey had a close relationship with all his family members. Both the members of his family and that of Daya’s had a high regard to Obey and listened to him at needy hours.

Obey was sick for sometime. I went to see him once at the Nawaloka hospital. He could barely express his ideas. He had the courage to tell me “Ranji I am OK, I will be able to go home soon.” His beloved son was there with him. As he said he came home but his illness continued.

Obey will be remembered by his friends forever, his pleasant smile, positive attitude and unbound love towards his friends will never be forgotten. Remember Obey “Best of Friends Can Always Meet –Along the Way of Memory Sweet”. We may meet again in the long journey of Sansara before we attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana which is our ultimate goal to eliminate endless suffering.

RANJITH M. FERNANDO
Kottawa

Charith said...

Hi Summa,

I read the articles related to your father and it brought tears to my eyes. Having seen him, spoken to him and having heard a lot about him from you it worsen the tearing situation.
You both (You and Bro) are very lucky to have a father like that. I must say the same thing about your mom. Having seen the way you, your brother act inside your house I can imagine the influence your father and mother had on you two.

Thank you for sharing the articles. In this world of machines that we live in, after reading the articles I was reminded that we still have human qualities (Principles, Emotions) and also we had quality people among us during these dark days.

Charith.

 
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