The insistent ring of my cell phone dragged me out of my sleep. As my hands groped about in the dark for my phone, my body still refusing to budge from its stance of sleep, I unconsciously glanced at the time. The fluorescent dial on the clock said 2:43 am. As my fingers finally wrapped around the phone on the bedside table, after what seemed like a lifetime, I was ready to kill the murderer of my sleep.

As ‘mom’ displayed in red across her exuberant photo from ages ago, for a second I missed the way she used to smile; the way her dimples created whirlpools on her cheek, the lines that formed at the corner of her eyes and the way her eyebrows tried to reach out across one another. With a lump in my throat and rising panic, I quickly picked up the call.

“Mom! Is everything…”

Monu, I can’t find it anywhere.” From her barely audible voice, and the strain that lingered, I realised that she was crying, again.

“I woke up all of a sudden, and it wasn’t there anymore.I…I looked everywhere. I stripped the bed, tore open the pillow case. Is it cause that wretched maid washed the sheets again? I told her a million times not to.”

“Mom. What are you…”

“I looked in the wardrobe too. I rummaged through the clothes and felt every wrinkle and straightened each fold. I checked the drawers, again and again. I searched the photos, carefully running my hand through every smile and every moment captured and frozen in time. I searched his specs, his phone, his wallet, his sandals. I can’t find it anywhere,” she started sobbing uncontrollably.

“Mom, listen to me. Calm down. Tell me what’s going on.”

In between sobs, she continued hysterically, “The books that he used to love so much, it’s not in there too. I checked every page of every book in every single cupboard. I can’t find…”


“…it anywhere. I have lost it, monu. I must’ve done something wrong. I must’ve misplaced something. I…”

“MOM!!!”, I couldn’t help raising my voice. “What are you talking about? What the hell did you lose?”

Silence suddenly crept in between us. I could hear the clock ticking and the multitude of insects keenly listening in on our conversation.

Composing herself, with the utmost care so as to not hurt the silence, with such calmness that bordered on being scary, her voice again reached out to me. “The smell. His…smell, monu. I can’t remember how your dad used to smell anymore.”

PS: Sahuui is a Korean word which means after death.

PC: pinterest


56 thoughts on “Sahuui,

      • Faith says:

        Absolutely we miss the smell. We miss the quiet sigh they make when they’re comfortable in a chair. Everything changes, even music. Every song is a dirge.

        My younger brother loved Mickey Mouse but now I can’t stand the sight of the rat. It’s as if the rat betrayed me or something. Ah, and the violin. I used to love it but since he played, my brother, the sound of it rips me apart.

        The story gripped me because it’s written in a way that anyone who has lost someone very special can relate.

        Well done.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Reethu Ravi says:

        I’m honored to know that you could relate to my words. I’m so sorry for your loss, let’s believe that he is happy where ever he is.
        Maybe, you can love the things he used to love, and remember his happiness when he embraced those 🙂


  1. Tony says:

    Thanks for signing up to follow my blog on diet, exercise and living past 100. I am enjoying my visit to your little corner of the blogosphere. Liked what you did here. Very nice. Grief is most difficult to deal with and takes a different form with each of us. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. thereluctantpoet says:

    Such a moving piece! You really captured the panic well. You are right. It is the missing afterward that is what is hard to deal with. My wife related coming downstairs for over a week after her late husband passed and saying “Good Morning”. Kudos!

    Thanks so much for following me! i am following you now too!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. vishal4u says:

    Sad, touchy, emotional and a honest one. Missing our loved ones is terrifying and at the same time hanging on to their memories makes it more painful.
    Their aura, smell and their habits, their choices all sticks with us till we are ready to let it go.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A says:

    Wow, that was poignant and beautiful.Never stop writing dear, for you have a talent, a talent to make people feel things through your words. Eagerly waiting for your next piece😊

    Liked by 1 person

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