by Trisha Arora

On the recent six-month death anniversary of broadcast journalist Ravi Kant and father of Brown Girl Trisha Arora, we republish this post from her blog, DareToBeDifferent. We continue to keep her family in our prayers and thoughts. 

As most of you know, the past month or so has been the absolute worst time of my life. I lost my father on August 22, 2014. He went into cardiac arrest in his sleep at his apartment in Kentucky and was later found dead that afternoon.

The reason I want to share my story with you is because this is my way of getting all my emotions out in one place, as well as, to answer any questions family members or friends may have.

We had no idea there was anything wrong. I was casually sitting on the couch in my pajamas, eating ice cream out of the container and watching the movie “Pardes” on Zee TV. My dad and I usually spoke daily around noon time, but that day he did not answer my calls or texts. I figured he was in a meeting, although I was worried because I knew he wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t think too much of it. I did think to myself that he would usually text me even if he was busy, but this time, I figured he had his reasons.

A friend who knew my dad in Kentucky messaged me saying that he found out my dad was really sick, and that is when the doorbell rang.

A police officer was at my door. He asked me if this was Ravi Kant’s house and if I was his daughter then asked to come in, ” What happened? I’ve been trying to call all day! Is he alright? Please say something!”

I’m sorry to inform you that he’s passed away.”

In that one moment, my life shattered into a million pieces. I fell to the floor and screamed for my mom, who was sleeping. It obviously wasn’t the best way for me to break the news to her, but I wasn’t in my senses. I asked the police officer to confirm the news with the police station in Kentucky because I was positive he was lying. I thought to myself, my dad could have been in the hospital in critical condition for some reason, but he couldn’t be gone. He can’t leave me. His life LITERALLY revolved around me, everyone knew that. God couldn’t take him from me. God could never be that cruel. But, unfortunately, the officer was right. My dad was gone. Just like that.

My mom and I had both spoken to him the night before and everything seemed perfectly fine. He spoke to my mom who wasn’t feeling well and said, ” Don’t worry just take your medicine and go to sleep, I’m going to bed too, it’s been a long day.”

He left his store that night and seemed fine, except he was out of breath and his face was red. He told his employees that he was going home to take his heart medication and that he would be back at the store in the morning to get some work done. The next morning when he did not show up and did not respond to anyone’s calls or messages, his employees sent someone to check his apartment. That’s when they called the police and found him in bed and clearly not alive.

I snapped out of panic mode, stopped crying and called our closest relatives and friends right away, who rushed over. Within 2-hours, our entire street was practically blocked off because of everyone who came by. My mother and I are truly blessed to have so many people in our lives who genuinely care about us, and who cared about my dad.

The officer then confirmed my father passed away due to natural causes, more specifically a cardiac arrest. I knew he was seeing the cardiologist a lot, but every time my mother and I asked what was going on, he said it wasn’t anything too serious. He said something came out a little odd in the tests, so they were just double checking everything. We took his word for it, considering the fact that he was an EMT for years and was extremely health conscious.

I’m going to end this here before I start crying. The rest of the story will be in part two, when I am up for writing it. But until then, if you and your families can take anything from my experience, then please tell your loved ones you love them every single day. I don’t regret anything because my dad and I said “I love you” every single time we spoke.

To anyone with health related problems: PLEASE share what’s going on with your family. You never know what can happen and it’s always best to keep your loved ones informed rather than shocking them like my dad did. He had his reasons. He didn’t want to worry us and he didn’t think it was that serious. I really do wish my dad told us what was going on before it was too late. Honestly speaking, I don’t even think my father had the slightest idea that he wouldn’t be waking up the next morning. Life works in strange ways and whether you’re ready for it or not, it constantly changes.

As for my mother and I, we are hanging in there. We are putting our brave faces on and are heading back into the world and back into our normal routines (or at least as normal as things can get now) stronger than ever.

Ravi Kant

Part 2 of “The Day I Lost My Best Friend and Father Ravi Kant”:

These past few months have been an absolute roller coaster. Everyone is telling me they admire how strong I am, but they don’t realize that I don’t have a choice.

They tell me not to cry, yet they are the ones crying.

They tell me I can get through this yet they are referring to my mom and I as a bechari, translated to ‘poor thing’ from Hindi.

They tell me my dad will always be with me, yet they talk about how my dad left me alone.

I am told that I have to take care of my mom and be the “man of the house,” yet they tell me that I am a child and I don’t know anything.

In a world and culture where elders are respected and openly voice their opinions, you can’t really say much back. You realize how hypocritical people are when you are put in a similar position to what I am in.

At the end of the day, your loved ones want the best for you, but you need to think for yourself.

People are telling me to cry, not to cry, be strong, remember my dad, make him proud, take care of my mom and so many other things. Some keep bringing up the fact that my dad is gone. Others act as if he never left. It’s not an easy situation to be in.

What does one do when they’re given advice from opposite ends of the spectrum? I guess, it’s best to just listen through one ear and out the other. What I’ve realized ever since my dad passed away is that all that should matter to me is, what my dad would want and what’s best for my mom and I. Not to say I don’t appreciate everyone’s love and support, but it’s impossible to take every single person’s advice.

I don’t sit at home and cry. Yes, there are times when I miss my dad and end up crying. There are times when I feel like the world around me is crashing down and I have no way to escape. But I always pick myself up. People die and loved ones leave you, but LIFE GOES ON. The world will not stop moving because I lost my father and I for one don’t want to get left behind.

People are telling my mom that she can’t wear red and orange nowbbecause she’s a widow. I tell her to rock those colors in front of those people on purpose. Just because she lost her husband, and I lost my father, doesn’t mean we have lost our right to be happy. I hate how in traditional Indian society, a woman’s life revolves around her husband. My mom is her own person. Yes, she was my father’s wife and the mother of his child, but those are not the only titles she holds. She is a hardworking, strong and fun-loving woman and NO ONE is allowed to tell her otherwise. If they do, they need to come deal with me first. It’s not the end of the world. LIFE GOES ON, whether you like it or not.

After speaking to a girl named Jassi on Twitter, who lost her father last month, as well as a few friends who have lost loved ones throughout the past few months, I realized I am not alone. And to anyone else who recently lost a loved one, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You are stronger than people may think and your loved ones will always be there to talk when you need them.

I will forever be my dad’s sher putt and no one can tell me otherwise.

[RIP Dad. 10.01.1951-08.22.2014]

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