Some badly taken pictures of an ordinary evening in Nov 2007…

Tejaswee back from school on 19th Nov 2007…

First a hug for Sher Khan Puppy,


Then turn to the camera.

The cat (and the household paparazzi) still won’t leave her side. Glad I didn’t delete this one.

Not sure this was a glass of milk or tang.

The household paparazzi followed, not just the models, but their shadows too.

Thursday Challenge – Golden, sunlight.

 

Cross posted at The life and times of an Indian Homemaker

I wish I could believe…

I went through a strong phase and thought I had managed to will myself to continue to feel strong. Mornings began without the painful weight in the chest and I walked and ate with care and felt stronger and at times I wondered – despite her photographs all around, if Tejaswee was a dream. Because if she wasn’t a dream how could she just not be there anymore. Death is very difficult to understand. One minute she was the center of our existence, the next minute we felt like our heads were being banged against the sides of a box we were locked in.

And we are still breathing.

After mid-November I was able to visit a relative in a hospital, get a haircut and buy a lipstick, watch ‘Guzarish‘ – so although there was no happiness, it seemed one was getting stronger. It was a glimpse of what future was going to be like. This was much more than I had expected and I was grateful for every morning that began without the painful, unbearable heaviness.

And then on the 27th night, the heaviness began again.  No thoughts, no memories just the same terrible heaviness – without any warning. 28th was my husband’s birthday. We ordered breakfast when some close relatives visited and the morning passed. In the evening my sis in law suggested we visit them in the same complex, some other relatives would be there too, and if it becomes too much, she said, we could always go back home. But I took pictures. A cake was cut and the evening was not as difficult as I had feared.

But that was the end of the strong phase. There is no escaping grief. Writing about strongly felt issues helps. Reading helps. Brisk walking helps. Making plans helps. Not looking at any photographs that have not been seen for a while helped. Reading Beyond Tears: Living After Losing A Child‘ helped. Communicating and connecting helped tremendously too. But these didn’t stop the crushing heaviness from emerging again. I was wrong in thinking this positive phase had something to do with my trying so hard. The brief relief was just a part of the roller coaster ride that grief is. There were days  and even weeks of respite.  I had started hoping and even wondering if  maybe the human mind could only take this much pain and the comfort that numbness brings was inevitable.

They say, ‘The best healers in the world are God and Time.’ Time does seem to be helping. The pain today is not the same as on the 29th Aug, the day the shock started wearing off for me. A mother on ‘Compassionate Friends‘ was right when she said, ‘It does get better.’ I believe that, and would like to say the same to Gina who lost her 21 year old beautiful daughter Sarah on July 12th.

Someone I met for not more than an hour in Sikkim said mothers have great emotional strength and spoke of how Indira Gandhi handled her son’s death. I wanted to hear what he had to say, words help, so I did not argue that Alexander Onassis’s mother was a woman too. He spoke of how in Mahabharata, when Arjuna died and reached heaven, he ran and ran and ran to meet his 18 year old, brave son Abhimanyu. Finally he spotted him, but Abhimanyu did not respond with the same enthusiasm. He said we humans are entangled in this mamta, maya and moh but souls are free of it and so while we were grieving here, our daughter was free and at peace. The soul feels no pain.

 

I wish I could believe this. I wish I could believe that she still exists, and exists somewhere much better. And then I hope she is glad to be there, because  I can’t forget that all her life she said she wanted to live a long, long life.

Cross Posted at The Life and Times of an Indian Home Maker.

Does music make you cry?

I can’t bear music now, but although it made me cry I could watch this song

A friend shared this video, with this message,

I’ll See You Again is the 13th track in Westlife’s latest album (Where We Are 2009) the song is really emotional and very powerful… talks about how a person feels after a death of a loved one… made me cry the first time i heard it 😥

Books I found helpful.

Here are some books I found helpful.

1. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion ***

It’s about how life can change so suddenly. I could totally relate to the author feeling this was happening to someone else and she was just watching it happen. Also her unwillingness to change anything – because the finality takes a long time to sink in. Leaving our GK house troubled me, because I felt (knowing that was not true) that Tejaswee won’t be able to find us if we moved. Also a feeling that we could have saved her if  we had worn white T shirts while waiting outside the ICU, or put pictures in an empty frame or said ‘touchwood‘ whenever we said the same thing together. The book made me see I wasn’t the only one to feel this way.

2. Forever Ours – Dr. Janis Amatuzio *****

This book is about hope, and for me, also about some comforting ‘make believe’. It is very difficult to believe that someone who is such a part of your life (and will be forever) is now ‘not there’. The book seems to say, “We don’t know, we have reason to believe they are gone forever, but we also have reason to believe they are still there somewhere and they are happy.” The book is about what people see and feel when they have near death experiences.

3. The Knitting Circle – Ann Hood *****

The author lost her 5 year daughter to Meningitis and I could relate to what she felt and how she tried to cope. The book is about how she moved through her grief and how for a long, long time, nothing else mattered. I realise, I enjoyed being a part of what was happening in the world around me but have almost no interest in it now…On some days I cannot think, watch, read, talk about anything beyond my grief. Thankfully there is enough to read about what I can read.

But, this book is also about knitting. This book made me smile, hope and made me want to learn to knit. I think that is a miracle in itself… I have crocheted as a teenager, and gifted crocheted stuffed toys to friends. The last time I tried knitting was when Tejaswee was born, my mom finished it for me. Now I would like to try it again.

I can’t thank Sangeeta enough for recommending this book.

4. Five people you meet in heaven.***

This book is for fathers of sons. Mothers too. I strongly recommend anybody who has a son to read this book. It’s entertaining but I did not find it comforting for me in anyway. This book made me wonder who my daughter would have met if she was in this book. My dad. My husband’s parents. A dear friend I lost in 1994. But once you start reading you realise the author doesn’t think you meet only your family. Read to find out who he thinks one could meet.

5. Shantaram – I was reading it on my daughter’s recommendation (read insistence) but maybe I will have to try finishing it a little later.

Here are some other books I have ordered, will blog about them once I have read them.

The Memory Keeper ‘s Daughter – Kim Edwards

A Summer To Die – Lois Lowry, Jenni Oliver

Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl

A Summer To Die – Lois Lowry, Jenni Oliver

Beyond Tears: Living After Losing A Child by Ellen Mitchell (and nine others)

The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck

Note: Cross Posted at The Life and Times of an Indian Home Maker.