My Realisations After Losing My Papa Ji

My Realisations After Losing My Papa Ji

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve shut down a little since Papa Ji passed. I haven’t felt like talking. I’ve just wanted to be by my Biji, mum and Masis side so that’s what I’ve done.  I ended up taking a little break from most things as I haven’t really had much to say as I can’t find the words to express my feelings and to be honest even writing the below post has been really difficult – I’m really struggling to find the words to articulate how I feel. Hopefully it makes sense x

It was really tough saying goodbye to our Papa Ji on Thursday. Watching my mum and her siblings lose a parent and watching my Biji lose her life partner was heartbreaking. There are no words to describe how much we will miss our loving grandfather. He’ll be remembered for how loving he was and for his signature laugh. 

My most prominent memory of Papa Ji is him dropping and picking my cousins and I from school everyday all the way till we were done at secondary school. He’d come donning a leather jacket, jet black beard and a mobile phone blaring Sunrise Radio – everyone thought he was my dad as he always looked so young. 

He was such a handsome and smart man and we were all so proud to have him as our granddad. 


I’m eternally grateful to God for allowing Papa Ji to meet his great grandson and vice versa. Arjun is so blessed. Papa Ji was ecstatic when Arjun was born and we have some super cute memories of them both. He was always so overjoyed to see Arjun and became a big kid himself when they were together. He always said Arjun would be a strong boy and showered him with countless blessings.


I realised quite a lot over the last week since Papa Ji’s passing. Lessons and realisations which I hope will impact my daily life. 

1) Our parents and grandparents are unfortunately not invincible. I always knew that this day would come but never really accepted it. I struggle to cope with the thought that one day I may be without my parents – to me they’ll be here forever. Losing Papa Ji has made that more of a reality. He is the first grandparent on my side that we’ve lost while my sisters and I have been old enough to understand what’s going on. Cherish every single moment you can with your loved ones. Especially parents. My mum and her siblings long to feel their father’s arms around them again. 


2) Don’t wait until tomorrow … You may have seen that I’ve taken up an old hobby of sewing and have recently purchased a sewing machine. For Christmas I had planned to make Papa Ji pyjamas on my machine. I was super excited to make something so personal and with love as opposed to an off the shelf gift. I’m a complete novice but I knew he’d appreciate the sentiment and I thought I had time to practice. 

Never had I imagined that the first and last thing I’d be making him was his cover to keep him warm as we put him to sleep forever. 


I felt honoured to have done it but with each stitch my heart broke. This isn’t what I’d planned. Don’t wait until tomorrow to do something special for a loved one. It may be too late. 

3) Life’s simple pleasures … My Papa Ji and Biji have 6 children all of whom are married, 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren – what an amazing legacy he’s left behind. 

Losing Papa Ji has resulted in his children reminiscing about their childhood and sharing their stories. It’s fascinating to hear about how they lived, where they’ve come from (Kenya to India and then England), and the many characters they’ve encountered on their way.

Hearing about their simple pleasures like drinking water from the wells in Kenya and eating fresh fruits off the trees in India and giggling to sleep as the five sisters shared a bedroom when they moved to England made me realise how I often forget to enjoy the simplest thing. In comparison my life feels over complicated – I want to enjoy life’s simple pleasures so much more just like our parents and grandparents did before life became so complicated. Whether it be picking daisies in the garden with Arjun or building a forte out of chairs and blankets. I want him to also appreciate life’s simple pleasures. 

It’s also good to hear about their struggles through life to appreciate how easy we have it now in comparison. 

4) Five minutes to you could mean the world to someone else … I’d often drive past my grandparents house and think “let me pop in for five minutes” when I was rushing to some place or another. And then I’d think “actually no let me plan to come properly”. I figured spending quality time beat a quick five minute pop in. In hindsight I wish I’d done both. Five minutes of our time means the world to them. Biji and Papa Ji live alone and we often forget through the hustle and bustle of our own lives that actually theirs are quite quiet in comparison. Make time – even if it’s five minutes. 


5) Kirtan, Paat and Simran are all food for my soul … I didn’t need Papa Ji to leave us to realise that. It’s only reinforced it. Without religion I don’t know how I’d cope in such situations. Nor do I know how my mum and her siblings would. I take some sort of comfort from what Gurbani (Sikh holy scripture) teaches us. Papa Ji brought his children up in such a beautiful way and in a way where they are all have a level of spiritual maturity which helped them to understand and accept the situation and also help us. Papa Ji would be so proud of how they’ve dealt with his loss – the way he would have taught them through Gurbani. 

6) Arjun’s daddy … No words to describe how supportive Preetam has been and how blessed we are to have him as Arjun’s daddy. I stayed at my mums to be close to her and my Biji while Preetam kept Arjun over night and would bring him over during the day. His support and understanding made it so much easier to deal with the grief and to be there for my mum and Biji. I’m lucky to have a husband that dotes on his son so much. Arjun and Preetam’s bond is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen – they’re so lucky to have each other. 


7) Let by gones be by gones … Life’s too short. 

8) Quality not quantity … The words “I’m there for you if you need anything” are used so often but there’s very few people that are able to honour it – cherish those that do. 

9) Family first … I’m blessed to have such a huge family. We may have our ups and downs, highs and lows but we’re solid when it matters most. My Masis and Mami Ji are an inspiration to the twins and I where it comes to pulling together. All six of them have such different personalities, but together it works – they draw off each other’s strength. Every one of them is hilarious in their own way too – definitely a trait they inherited from their father! 
10) Grateful for technology as it means we can hear my Papa Ji’s voice over and over on the video recordings we have of him. 

Papa Ji may no longer be here in his physical form but his memory lives on through each and every one of us. 
Rest in peace Papa Ji, we love you x 



Add yours
  1. 1
    Modern Dad Pages

    What a beautiful post Harps! I love the part where your Papa Ji would pick you up from school, I could so picture that 🙂 You have so many beautiful memories of him, hold them close to you and when you think of him smile. I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. 5
    Emma's Mamma

    Oh this is beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandparents in my teens so what an amazing gift that he got to meet Arjun. He sounds like a remarkable man – love the image of him in a leather jacket picking you up from school! xx #BabyBrainMonday

  3. 6
    Kat @ Eat.Love.Live

    Oh Harps. I’m so sorry about the loss of your Papa Ji. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. Your post was beautiful and got me really choked up. What you said is so true and a great reminder. Some times it takes the hard time to realise much of what you’ve spoken about in your post. Big big hugs xxx

  4. 7
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    What a beautiful post, Harps. You give some wonderful advice about not waiting for tomorrow, tell your loved ones today & make the most of the time we have together. It’s really special that you have photos of Arjun with Papa Ji! Also, so touching that you made him pajamas. He certainly has left an amazing legacy behind. My deepest sympathies for you & your family. #babybrainmonday xx

  5. 9

    Really beautiful post and some really good advice too. It reminds me of how much I miss my Granddad who we lost a year ago and how sparing 5 minutes of my time on the phone to my Nanna would mean the world to her. I should call her whenever I get the chance.
    Papa Ji sounds like a great man. Sorry for your loss x

  6. 11

    What a lovely post. Very well written despite, or maybe because of, your grief. I lost my maternal grandparents very young and it makes me so sad that they didn’t meet my children, and in my Granny’s case, my husband. I still miss them greatly, now 16 years on, but the pain does lessen, I always feel a deep longing when I think of them but the day to day agony has faded. Having such strong faith must be a real comfort, is reincarnation a sikh belief? (Sorry to sound ignorant, it’s been a long time since I did RE lessons at school!) #BabyBrainMonday

  7. 12
    Baby Isabella

    What a beautiful tribute to your Grandfather. So loving and respectful. You are blessed to have such wonderful family x chin up sweet x we totally agree with ‘Don’t wait until tomorrow’ xx #BabyBrainMonday x

  8. 14

    I know you thought you might not be able to write this the way you want but it’s such a beautiful post and a beautiful way to remember what seems to me to be a wonderful human being, your Papa Ji. I am sorry for your loss but I also thank you for sharing this with all of us. So many of the lessons you wrote about, particularly the one about cherishing those that honor being there for you, is so important. Thanks so much for sharing. Visiting from #babybrainmondays

  9. 16
    Absolutely Prabulous

    Beautiful post and one that cannot have been easy to write as you say. I fought back tears from start to finish. I’m so sorry Harps. I don’t how it feels as I only knew one grandparent and wasn’t at all close to her but I can feel your pain with every word you’ve written. #Babybrainmonday

  10. 17
    Silly Mummy

    So beautiful and moving. Lovely stories of your Papa Ji and family, and wise words about what is important in life. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Papa Ji was clearly much loved and left a great legacy.

  11. 21

    Thank you lovely. Definitely a realisation for me – there’s a handful of people in my life that I can whole heartedly rely on and I’m grateful for those. x

  12. 23

    Thank you so much Louise. I’m so grateful that my grandparents got to meet Arjun. I’m sure your grandparents are looking down on your little family and gloating 🙂 it definitely is a huge comfort – I don’t know how I’d cope with life in general without! Yep we do believe in reincarnation x lol that’s ok Hun, always happy to answer questions xx

  13. 33

    That must actually be a big comfort. How does is work? I know in Buddism you sort of ‘level up’ if you’ve lived a good life until you achieve perfection, is it similar? Sounds like your Papa would be almost there if so, he sounds like he was a really wonderful man. I’m sure my grandparents watch over us, I often feel as if they are near, as strange as that sounds!xx

  14. 34

    Such a lovely post, beautifully written. So sorry for your loss Harps, we said goodbye to my nan nearly 10 months ago and I wouldn’t even know how to start writing how I feel. Just take comfort in knowing he’s looking down on you all now x

  15. 38

    This is such s beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your loss, your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man. I’m so pleased you have those lovely memories and the comfort of your faith to get you through. Losing grandparents is so upsetting, both for the loss of them but also, like you say, for the realisation that we will likely lose our own parents one day too. This is so frightening. But your realisations, especially about appreciating the small things and grabbing every moment, are the gifts our loved ones leave us. Thank you for sharing such lovely words and sentiment.

  16. 39

    Thank you lovely. It’s so true. I’ve definitely reevaluated my priorities since! It’s a shame it takes the loss of a loved one to realise certain things 🙁 X

  17. 40

    Sorry for your loss! Lovely post. It is always very hard loosing loved ones. I lost my dad 5 years ago and that has been the hardest thing to deal with especially when I had my son and not having my dad to share it with. The pain doesn’t go away but you learn to deal with it with the support of each other. Arjun is lucky to have met your grandad. I lost my grandad last year to. Your grandad will always look over you all. I believe our loved ones are always around us and protecting us. Take care xxx

  18. 41

    Nav I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I can’t even begin to imagine my life without my dad so my heart really goes out to you. I’m sure he’s watching over closely xx

  19. 42

    Thanks harps it has been the toughest 5 years after losing him as he was my rock. It is very true what you said make the most with your parents because you never get that time back. I carry on with all the memories of my dad but what I would give to have a few more hugs. I always believe he is around us I think that’s what gets you through the pain that you are left with. Just be there for your mum as no mater what age you loose a parent they are still your parent. Xxx

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