Tag Archives: Funeral

What’s Your Mark?

I tell people, being in photography is fun because you’re always meeting people on one of the happiest days of their life. Whether it’s a wedding, or a birthday party, a batmizvah, or even a retirement party. You have laughter, you have smiles, you have happy people. Recently, I attended the funeral of my uncle, and took some pictures to remember the day. Through watery eyes, I thought to myself, I really don’t want pictures to remember this day. But at the same time, there’s a hope that this isn’t the end. It’s a celebration of the life ended here, and an eternal one starting above. Many thanks to Shiner who helped take pictures when I was just not feeling it.



As I sat at the side of my Paipa’s(uncle’s) bed, I tried to recall what I remembered about him most. What could I tell him before it was too late? Here’s what I was thinking…

“I always loved how you would call me and my brothers ‘boys’. Whenever we arrived to the Hillside house, or anywhere, I heard the phrase ‘the boys are here’. I would be tempted to look around to see who you were talking about, but I knew you were talking about us. At a really young age, those words put confidence in me. You would say it as if you were waiting for us. You would say it as if we were there to fix the situation. You said it as if we were people to be reckoned with. You said it as if we were going to make everything alright. No matter if it was to help you move things, help you throw out things, or just arriving to a bbq at the hillside house. You’d always give an introduction to our arrival. The older I got, it remained ‘boys’. Not ‘men’, but still ‘boys’. I loved it! Still saying it as if we were important.

Why do I remember that? Maybe it’s because you emphasized my brothers and me as a unit. Growing up, I was always taught about how me and my brothers should stick together. Through thick and thin, we are supposed to be one. Where did my parents draw examples of strength from? From you and the other Paipa’s(uncles) and my dad. One of the first things instilled in me was the strength of having brothers. I would always hear stories of how you four stood together and were known as the “Four Brothers” in the Indian community when you all first arrived in Chicago. You were all icons which to follow…Of course there were mistakes made that divided you all, and those my parents explained as lessons in which me and my brothers should never make. To forgive and forget what each other may have done.”

His mark has been made and his influence already at work. I knew people pass away, but never an uncle. They are all invincible in my eyes. This is what I remembered, but I didn’t tell him. As I rehearsed it over and over in my head about what I was going to tell him, I couldn’t form the words…

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