I got a call from mom this morning.
My grandfather’s younger brother passed away today in Rajasthan. He smoked, but wasn’t suffering from any ongoing diseases. The initial cause seems to be a heart attack that turned into a heart failure.
However, I’m not as sad as people expect me to be. He was in decent health, could walk around, meet friends, eat what he liked, took train trips across the country and was living the perfect retired life a marwari elder would wish. His kids were successful and settled in their lives. For the last year and a half he was living in his native village, in Rajasthan, and enjoying the local climate and native food. No diseases, no hospital stays, no sadness. I think this was a good way to go.
I’ve got a huge family. A joint family in the real sense of the word. Everyone meets everyone else multiple times a week when they are in the same town. Even otherwise, there are dozens of trips during the course of a year when we’ve met everyone else and gotten to know the new significant others better and become friends with the newborns. We don’t take extended family vacations because they end up excluding more people rather than including. The easiest family get-togethers are weddings, baby naming ceremonies and grah pravesh (house warming). Everyone tries to make it. The few times I missed such events were when I had a final exam. Then, any one couple (either an uncle and aunt or my own parents) stayed back and took care of all the kids who needed to go to school. So we were all really close. Even second and third cousins.
It looks like all these years of a family “increasing” is starting to catch up. There are now too many really old people in the family tree.