They tell me you died. You are no more. A stray dog barks outside, the pressure cooker hisses, the television blares a news channel with men arguing over politics; all the noises distil into a single hollering in my head.

What do I do with the knowledge of you not being around anymore? Reminiscence is my balm; your soft pudgy skin that transmitted love every time you embraced me, the ragda pattice you kept ready whenever I called to say I was on my way, how I’d sit on your floral-upholstered sofa and feel safe enough to nod off to sleep, the money you slid into an envelope and placed in my hands to go buy something nice for myself even though I was a grown-ass adult, how disappointed and mad you were when I didn’t call for months because I was ‘too busy’.

Now your ring-adorned hands are cold and blue, waiting to be incinerated. I will never hear the word ‘beta’ from your ever-concerned mouth again, never watch you display the colourful outfits bought and hear you rattling off the bargain prices proudly, never see you flick the hair off your face with mild irritation. And though I called you auntie, you were an infinity beyond that label.

My grief comes in pieces, not erupting at once. I wish it would. There are the unexplored fragments like little seeds that need to be left behind to keep the memories of you abloom.

I want a carafe for us, for what you mean to me, to store the wonderment of your warmth and inhale it whenever I long for the past. I want to go back to the last beautiful afternoon I saw you and pay closer attention as you tell me about your weak heart. For all the pain you endured, your greatest gift was being able to set it aside and thrive in simple pleasures.

Your life was special. To your children, husband, friends and people like me who looked to you as a cocoon of comfort. As I grow older, I find myself trying harder to hold on to authenticity. Evolution demands that we become more efficient, even with our relationships. I will miss the rare sweetness you brought to my world. And instead of mourning your death, I shall promise to keep the circle going by being true, kind and mastering the perfect ragda pattice recipe.