“I am amazed at how I’m taken aback when I either see a picture of Antion or hear his music My heart feels his love so deeply as though he’s right here. That just happened again when seeing the New Lynn Gurdwara ceremony. What a blesser Antion remains!!” – Elandra Meredith
I now consider myself a bit of a veteran at the whole death thing, and I have formed some opinions about how people describe death as “passed away” and “left us.” Although I quite like “departed,” I usually prefer to say “died.” Because that’s the truth, and it is REAL. As real as the end-of-life, legal, bureaucratic, detailed paperwork, endless checklist of REALLY TEDIOUS AND EXPENSIVE tasks that grieving loved ones have to deal with IMMEDIATELY in the middle of some of the worst days of their lives. This is what I am currently mired in, and I’m feeling a little grumpy. Stressed. Oh, and I’m just really sad.
Yeah, it’s the way it is. Yeah, people do it all the time. Yeah, people survive it, and so will we. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is my second time through the process of a loved one’s dying and death, and it is hard. My dad used to say, “As our former president Jimmy Carter once said, ‘Life is not fair.’” Because when our immediate world stops, life never does, and it may not be right, but that’s how it goes. And it just seems so unfair!
However, in the toughest of times we will always find something to hang onto, to reach for, to strengthen us. That is also human nature. And in this very difficult and painful situation, something has lifted us that feels to me like a life ring thrown to a drowning man. We, our family, both before my father died and continuing on, have been the beneficiaries of an awe-inspiring amount of love and care and community. We are supported in so many ways by so many it almost brings me to my knees in amazement.
Wouldn’t you agree that there’s something about tragedy that brings out the very best in people in the most astounding and powerful way? We couldn’t have navigated the last few months without the support we received, my father’s last couple of months of life eased by it, our current situation made more bearable, the future paved smoother because of it.
Thank you to Suzanne Jordan who spearheaded a Go Fund Me to raise money first for my father’s cancer care and then for a memorial fund to support my mother. As the I-have-no-choice-someone’s-gotta-do-it parents’ accountant, I can assure you that if you donated—your donation has made a DIFFERENCE. . .
Thank you to Jasmail Singh and the Sikh Sangat of New Lynn Gurudwara who TIRELESSLY supported my parents in my father’s last two months of life and has continued to provide in countless and generous ways that I’m certain I still don’t even know the half of . . .
Thank you to my mother’s friends, Lauren Orlina, Mary, Erica Steele, Bryce Brown, TeMatera Smith and more, who keep showing up to be with my mom, who have messaged me to let me know how my mother is holding up and that they are there for her . . .
Thank you to my neighbors, my friends, my PNW peeps, everyone, reaching out to express how they are thinking of me and checking on me, repeatedly. My sister’s community has done the same for her . . .
Thank you to all for the hundreds of comments about my father and how much he and his music touched your lives. Thank you to those who have messaged me directly. Thank you for the feedback on my posts. I’m making my way through them as best I can, deeply touched . . .
And thank you to D Marama Winder, who appeared just when she was most needed. In her own words, “Being able to utilize a range of skills and knowledge, it has been a privilege to support and guide your mom and dad, and you both, through this very difficult, and very sacred, time of life (these have included: executor assist/personal assist/project management/mentoring/interfaith ministry/healthcare-healing arts/end of life specialist supportive care.)”
Thank god she could define her role(s) because I could not. And we were so thrilled that she agreed to represent us at the final Sikh ceremony honoring my father (there was an entire week’s worth, more on that later, I hope.) Her talk was a tribute to my father and an expression of gratitude from our family, shared in-person with a Sikh community that loved and embraced my father, and now, shared here with you.
So, yes, my father, Antion Vikram Singh Meredith, he died. It doesn’t get any more REAL. Just as real as the waves of love and support that came our way exactly when we needed it most. Because, yeah, THAT is the way it is. And, yeah, people RISE to the occasion all the time when tragedy strikes. And yeah, YOU are those people.
Thank you and bless. – Pri Potts