Love and Strength ♡
Seven years ago, I lost my worldly Mother to a short battle with stage 4 cancer. To this day, the distinct nature of some details still remain with me. My mum fell quickly ill on July 31st 2013, diagnosed on August 21st 2013 where we were told she had weeks to live. Just a week and a half after my 30th birthday she passed away at home on September 9th 2013. I share these specific details as these dates are imprinted in my psyche but also because I am often asked how I coped and stayed strong through such a testing time. It has taken me several weeks to build up the courage and words to write this post. It is hard to convey what the heart is truly trying to say but I will surely try…..
My mum was a very strong Singhni mentally, physically and spiritually. Like other first-generation Indian immigrants, my mum worked ridiculous 7 day, often 12 hour shifts sewing in a factory whilst maintaining the home by cooking, cleaning, caring and so much more! She would work to ensure me and my brother had a good education and strong work ethic. Everyday at 6am she would go the Gurdwara and do her bit of daily Seva Emotionally, she was the anchor of our family- always listening to others’ problems, helping and supporting in any way she could- she truly was selfless. When she used to do the gardening she would give random passersby flowers and seeds, she wrote out recipes for her friends, made delicious achaars and chutneys for all, always spent way more time and money on others then she did for herself. I remember when Jehovah’s Witnesses came knocking- most people politely decline, not my mum! She would invite them in for pakorae and with her limited English would explain the beauty of Sikhi whilst they chomped away on her most delicious cooking! You cannot resist any mother’s cooking when their not so secret ingredient is tons of love!
I remember hearing in katha once that a mother is your first Mahapurkh/Saint, I truly believe that. Not only did she listen to others’ problems she would pray for them! She had picked different bania for each of her brothers & sisters, nieces and nephews alongside my dad, brother and me, and anyone who needed it really The bania she picked were dependent on what the individual needed- strength, protection, peace, courage, even worldly desires like academia, financial stability etc. I myself witnessed her do this, alongside her 1am nitnem start and daily 2/3 Sukhmani Sahibs so she could fulfil an Akhand paath every month as per Baba Nand Singh Ji’s bachan. Whilst I saw with my own eyes how much she prayed, I never knew why or who she prayed for until later on in her life.
A few times during her illness my mum mentioned to me and my brother that we would always have our Eternal Parents; Guru Gobind Singh Ji & Mata Sahib Kaur Ji and we would never be alone so long as we follow their Hukam and remember them, even by saying their names once daily. With all due respect, I paid lip service to this and it was almost factual and rote type learning that they are our parents. As my mum got worse and worse, she began to speak less and less. Where she could speak, she would say Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Dhan Mata Sahib Kaur Ji. As my mum’s final hours approached, we wanted to focus on naam around her rather than worldly attachments, goodbyes, hugs & crying….as she took her last breaths, we continued the Vaheguru jaap. Watching someone die right before your eyes is a very humbling and a frankly sobering experience. A further meaningful experience is washing the body of a loved one- it really hones into the fragile and precious breaths we all have.
Back to the original question, where did I find the strength to get through these final moments & sevas? Well, I didn’t realise it in the immediate aftermath of grief, but the strength was the Shakti of Mata Sahib Kaur Ji. Grief is a complex and natural thing; I don’t often think of my mum’s final breaths but when I do, I remember my mum is also the daughter of Mata Sahib Kaur Ji & Guru Gobind Singh Ji as am I and everyone reading this! My mum took her guidance, power, love from her Eternal Mother….that’s what made her strong and compassionate. In turn that love, and strength is passed onto us as their children. I find a lot of solace in the fact that Mata Sahib Kaur Ji is nurturing my mum’s soul and mine…. we are all children of this beautifully giving and powerful Mother.
After the cloud of deep grief cleared, I knew Mata Sahib Kaur Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji were standing with us that day during my mum’s final breaths. Whilst I may not have the eyes or kamai to have physically seen them, I felt them… they always hold onto their children especially during the severest ordeals. They shared their shakti and love to let our souls know they are forever with us. I want to feel their presence and engage more with my Eternal Mother’s life story and lessons.
This animation for me personally I think will resonate with the soul. I want to know more than the facts of their jeevans, I want to be taken to a world where I can visualise, empathise and love them more because it is them who gave me and my mum immense love & strength.
I would urge everyone reading to donate to this project to bring our lineage to the big screen and engage the masses. The very least we can do for our parents is remember them and share their stories.
To view the teasers please visit https://www.motherhoodthemovie.com/about-us/
If these short previews stir such emotions of pride, love and gratitude, imagine what a 90-minute feature will do.