Sheba walked in while we were singing.
I knew what that meant.
It was 9.10 AM. She would not have come with Enoch for any other reason.
The door next to us was closed.
Sheba walked in. A few moments later Sashmita - our nurse on duty came out - only to reenter the door with two bedsheets and some cotton.
I was pretty sure that Mrs. Tanya had died.
After 20 days of care at our centre. Twenty days of receiving love and support by her husband who is HIV negative. 20 days of love.
Mrs. Tanya was about to die over a year ago. She miraculously recovered and seemed pretty healthy till 3 weeks ago she suffered a sudden stroke and had a persitently high fever. It seems that she had a hidden TB which infected her brain - causing the stroke and paralysing her left side.
For the first 2 weeks she seemed to improve. A physiotherapist friend of ours came and Mrs. Tanya started to regain the use of her foot and partly her hand. She spoke a few words too.
Then 5 days ago she slipped away into semi-consciousness. We had her on oxygen and called the relatives and the church. Mrs. Tanya was a first generation believer - and the others in her prayer group rallied around her. They had hoped that she would walk out of our centre - healed. Instead - they came to her bed and spent time with her - knowing that she was most likely to wake up in heaven.
Which she did.
The funeral - on a monsoonal afternoon at the Mulund cemetary - was a testimony to God's goodness in the midst of sorrow. We don't have easy solutions - but we have a God who values each person.
Its not easy to pour yourself into a person and then have them slip away to death. But Mrs. Tanya was infinitely worth the love that was poured into her by the JSK team. Her husband - a man who tenderly looked after her throughout the ordeal - testified about how grateful he was for the care given to her.
We cannot but admit, however, that small bitter knot that death leaves us with. That yearning for something different. That gentle rage that it is not meant to be this way. And that is how it should be. Lets not have window-dressing and idle words when the cut and thrust of severance takes place.
But at the same time - we know for sure that Mrs. Tanya is with her Lord. And we know that a time will come when we meet again. No idle speculation this. No 'Pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-by-and-by". The reality wrestled out on a lonely hill by a brutally beaten naked man who cried out 'my Lord, my Lord, why have you forsaken me?' before shouting 'it is finished!'