“The pain will never go, but you will smile again.”

Since I want to remember my daughter’s life and not her death, I try not to think about the time she was in the ICU. I try and remind myself that the last nineteen and half years were the best years of our lives and such precious memories should make us smile not cry. I also fear that if remembering her causes pain, one day we may not want to remember her.

And then a relationship so beautiful should give us the strength to face what we can’t change.

Last Tuesday, a dear, elderly relative was in the ICU and I felt I would atleast be able to go to the hospital, if not visit him inside the ICU. Just then I got a call from a blogging friend – (for the first time ever) Sangeeta Khanna. She said she knew the moment she heard my voice that I was feeling positive. She sounded so glad, her relief and the fact that she cared  was overwhelming and strengthening.  She said, “I am so happy you are going now, it’s better to confront our fears. You will be fine. Go to the ICU too. You will be fine. I know.”

Reminded me of another friends who had said ‘Just pick it up IHM!”

I did not go inside the ICU but I know I can. I have been avoiding all triggers and reading positive books and it does help… but I am also learning that I can confront some triggers.

I told her, “This week has been easy. I slept well, and one day I  woke up without this terrible weight in my chest…  I blogged. I read. I plan to learn to knit. On easy days, I make plans for what I’d do and think when the pain is intense and everything seems hopelessbecause there is no way to know how difficult tomorrow might turn out to be...

Tomorrow!? …we can’t even tell how we’d feel in an hour.” Sangeeta understood. She knew.

The not knowing is frightening.

All these days I have been wishing I could see a sign, some indication that my daughter is still there somewhere. On the 24th morning I made a cup of tea and spilled some and I picked a duster, and was wiping it. It was a pleasant October morning, and pleasant mornings had been saddening, because everything good seemed to rub in how the world goes on… but this morning I noticed the lovely morning without pain.

And then I noticed, suddenly, that I was humming. I was humming the first song from sm’s video. And I wondered if a stronger sign was needed. I remembered a beautiful email from a mother who had lost her daughter, just after losing her husband to cancer. She had said, “One day you will hear yourself laugh, you will be startled. But know that even if this moment disappeared like it never happened, there will be many more of such moments. The pain will never go, but you will smile again.” And I am sure I will find myself humming on many more such mornings.

I will also smile and remember her like I did on Saturday evening, when I told a friend about how much Tejaswee could talk even as a baby.

Note: Cross Posted at TheLife and Times of an Indian Home maker


2 thoughts on ““The pain will never go, but you will smile again.”

  1. For a long time, I was grieving a death of a relationship. That broke me. Brought me down to my knees. I remember the nights I used to suddenly wake up and realise what had happened. The love of my life didnt want me anymore. He found and married someone else, better than me. That killed me every minute, made me miserable. I used to go to my mother’s room and wake her up and cry. She made me sleep next to her, telling me, all will be okay. And I would find a someone better. I slept next to her holding her hand. I have mourned and mourned. I had stopped eating, going out, talking. My mother brought me out of the heartbreak.

    Today my mother is no more. She died of Cancer this year, it still sounds so strange when I say it. I miss her. Its so difficult to live with out her. Get up every morning knowing I wont see her. Sleeping knowing that she wont be there ever. But I do dream of her, where she asks me why am I crying?

    Her illness has been a long one, where she fought to be alive. She was sick for 3 yrs. In the end of her illness, she came out of ICU after 17 days of being unconscious, after the doctors, told us, they could do no more, the cancer was spread in her brain and they wouldnt know if she could wake up from ICU. And one day, she woke up. She was in the ICU for 7 days more. And came home on the 8th day. And died in her home on the 12th day.

    She used to tell me again and again, ‘I want to live’….
    And I could not save her.

    • You had a beautiful and strong relationship with your mother. I am sure the strength and guidance she gave you will always help you find the courage and some answers to most of your problems.

      Anybody who says they wanted to live longer have lived a life worth living. My daughter wanted to live forever too, but now I look at this way – would I rather she had not wanted to live forever? Those who feel loved and cherished, and needed, and valued would like to live long. I always told my daughter if I was able to watch how they lived after my death (I always thought I would die first) – then I would be at peace if I saw them making sensible choices and accepting what they can’t change, and living full, peaceful, happy lives. I have no doubt your mother would want the same for you. Hugs -IHM

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