And so I have inherited my grandmother's bed. It is the bed where she spent her last night alive. It is the bed she used for the last 20 years of her life. And I have been sleeping on it for the past 20 nights.
What is it like to sleep on a dead person's bed?
Apart from feeling oddly cool about sleeping on a dead person's bed and being secretly (and eternally) grateful that no one in the house has objected to me deciding to use her bed, the experience is deeply emotional.
I will always remember my first night on her bed. It was the first night I that slept peacefully after her death. Although I have no way of confirming it, I really want to believe she was with me that night.
Some nights are filled with a lonliness and pain. These are the nights that I remember how in winters, I used to come to spread her shawl over her while she lay in this bed and tuck a pillow underneath her feet before she slept. This was in the last few years of her life, when she became too weak to do these things for herself. I also remember all the times when I used to make haldi milk at nights and come and sit beside her on this bed while she drank her glass and I drank mine. This was last winter.
Other nights I just lie quietly and think about her and wonder where she is and what she is up to and I ask her silently if she would come and visit me in my dreams. She has obliged me once.
And there are still some other nights where nothing really happens, I just set my alarm for the morning and fall asleep.
And then, of course, there was the night of ecstacy, when I found a couple of strands of her hair hedged between the mattress and the bedstead.