Thank You.

One of my daughter’s friends had lost his brother last year. I remember the shock, and sadness we had felt. I had remembered the bright 11 year old with a mischievous smile teasing my daughter about some book he had, and she had wanted.

When a common friend said the parents wanted to visit us, I knew I wanted to meet them too. We had seen our kids growing up together, we had lived in the same society and, for three years our kids went to the same school.

They visited us yesterday.

The mother said they had asked visitors not to ask about or discuss their child’s illness. I realised that is exactly what we have requested. Re-living the trauma is extremely traumatic. Like us, they also preferred to be surrounded by caring friends and family and like us they too believe their son was theirs to take care of for a short while. They too wish to remember him with a smile. We agreed this wasn’t really being strong, this was the only possible, sane way (for us) to deal with such a loss.

They, like us, had made sure their other child went back to his routine life almost immediately. They too made sure he was not left alone and could express how he felt.

I have also been reading this and I feel a printout of such reading material could be a blessing for anybody who is grieving (if they are not able to read it, those supporting them might want to go through this to know what to say or what not to say).

After my husband (who has not been saying almost anything) had severe stomach pain and fever a few nights ago, I read this out to him. These lines made him cry.  (He is better after medication)

Put any regrets into perspective. You may find yourself thinking “If only I…” or “I should have…” Ask yourself whether it was realistic or possible for you to do those things. Think about the good things you did for your loved one, and accept that you did the best you could. It may help to answer the following questions and write them down on paper: 1) What do you regret, if anything? 2) What were some of the things you did for your loved one that were especially helpful or important?

Nothing helped as much as the lines above.

***

I found these tips helpful too,

Keep Memories Alive

You can:

Think About Continuing A Project Your Loved One Started

For example, consider completing something your loved one was building, continuing his or her volunteer work, even carrying on his or her business if appropriate. This can help put to rest any feelings of things left “unfinished.”

Look To Your Faith

You may find comfort in religious ceremonies, prayer, meditation or activities at your place of worship. Seek guidance from a clergy member if your loss is making you question your faith.

It’s also OK to take a break from worship or other faith activities for a while if that’s what you need. You can always return to them later.

Try To Put Off All Major Decisions

Wait a while before making changes such as moving, remarrying or changing jobs. You need time to adjust before knowing whether these changes will be good for you.

Keeping this in mind we are taking our time with most other decisions – even when we feel sure we want to do something. Only thing we have done yet is spoken to her college about starting of a scholarship in her name – Need based, not Merit based. And we are sure we would like to provide scholarship to other girl children who might need it.

Consider Joining A Support Group When You’re Ready

In a support group, people who are grieving help each other by sharing their experiences…

I am not aware of any support groups around Delhi/NCR, but I know this would help immensely.


Think About Helping Others

You can give your time and money to a cause or charity that would be meaningful to your loved one. This may be:

Write down on paper other ways you might want to help others.

Allow Yourself To Move On

In time, you may find yourself ready for new interests and relationships. (Remember, moving on with your life does not mean you’re forgetting your loved one.) On a piece of paper, write down hobbies, skills, friendships, etc., that you would like to explore.

Try Keeping A Journal

This is a safe way to let out your feelings and thoughts. It can also be a way to say goodbye to your loved one. You might feel sad when you write, but you may also gain insight and a sense of relief.

Anyone can keep a journal. You don’t need special skills, tools or lots of time.

***

Connecting to others will help you heal.

The single most important factor in healing from loss is having the support of other people… Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry. Wherever the support comes from, accept it and do not grieve alone. Connecting to others will help you heal.

So thank you for your comments, posts, messages and emails. I have been reading them, and reading them out to my friends and family. Although one hears otherwise, I have found that words have immense power to provide comfort and strength. I am creating a special page to link all the posts remembering Tejaswee.

About these ads

81 thoughts on “Thank You.

  1. Hugs IHM. We’re always around to share…

    Yeah regretting does not help…we’re always trying the best we can…glad your husband is better. And I agree that remembering the good stuff helps immensely.

  2. Dear IHM,

    thanks for sharing this with us. I admire you for actively looking up to life to ease the grief in your own way. Not many have the emotional strength or rationale to do that.

    I am too far, but if you feel there is anything I can help with a project dear to Tejaswee you choose to carry on, know that I will put in my time and effort sincerely..

    Also, I will try and find a relevant newspaper cutting I had saved.

  3. IHM I am not very good with words but still want to express myself at this point of time. This is an inspirational post that should not only be shared by all but it should be incorporated in real life too.

    When I lost my father I was speechless to see a strong man suffer with pre leukemia and die suffering so much but after his death we did the same thing. We remembered all the happy moments we had spent together, his teachings , his favorite food , the warmth and goodness of heart. we never talked about his illness and death.

    It was traumatic for ma but she generated such positive energy in us that it helped immensely to cope with the loss especially in me as I was very close to dad.

    Tears are healing so I let them flow. Curbing them creates more hurt and physical illness. I was able to deal with my cousins loss in a much better manner after learning that one has to let go of the spirit. The more we cry and think about the person we have lost, longing for him/her the difficult it becomes for the spirit to flow free.

    I do believe that meditation, acceptance of the circle of life and death and giving attention to ourselves and the loved ones around us generates a lot of positivity and helps in moving on.

    Today when I read this all that ma used to tell me came alive infront of me.

    We made sure ma did not fall into that “widow” tag. We insisted that she pursue her love for travel, music and wear what she pleases. Thought in the beginning it was tough on her but then everything fell into routine so I know how important it is for everyone among family and friends to stick together to create that environment and believe in it.

    Thank you IHM for this inspiring post.

    I am sure that somewhere Teju is smiling and is basking with pride to have a mother like you. I am.

    There might be bereavement support groups in Delhi/NCR I am sure . will find out.

    Stay strong and blessed dear one.

  4. Sharing helps immensely to soothe. We all know that you will move on in life carrying the sweet memories of past. And not only that, you will give a new meaning to your life touching many more lives positively on your way…We all admire you.

  5. I know how painful it is , it’s been only about 8 months since we lost our daughter and that link about what to say n what not to say is so badly needed for some people …

    Warm hugs to you ( no salutes or hats off , cuz i know we feel so weak at this point) , for you shared so many things someone can do to stay sane in such a situation . I myself wanted to share such things but i guess i was too weak hearted .

    I wanted not to cry for her especially when people were visiting , and that effort of keeping a brave face cost me with some health troubles , i think the same is being experienced by your husband ….take care of him and do not refrain yourself from talking about her…..good things or bad……the pains will be washed away and the smiling face will be there in your heart for your life .

    hugs.

  6. It is very easy for all of us to comment and pass remarks, but, really it is the person who has lost his kin is the one who has to be brave.No one goes beyond God’s will.

  7. For some time now I have sat here in front of the computer looking at this blank comment box wondering what to type and how to start it.

    The truth is, there really are no condolences for the time when you’ve lost a loved one.

    It’s the family who have been left behind who have to work things out on their own in their own way.

    I can only pray for you guys.

  8. Hello :)

    My granny had passed away just a few days before TJ.
    And I agree with your post completely. I have been feeling quite guilty about having moved to LSR to study (my granny was 90 then) And we shared the same room since when I was born :)

    Both my parents are working, so I was my granny’s closest companion in her later days. I couldn’t forgive myself for not being able to stay in touch with her everyday (as I do with my parents) She couldn’t hear too well over the phone. But recently, a friend of mine asked me to write about all the happy memories I’ve had with Kamala (I’m named after her ! :D YAY ! ) And it DID help ! :)

    I stopped regretting it and now I got back her sarees along with me :)
    In a similar way, I’ve been trying VERY hard to find a pink flip phone with a good camera now :D TJ’s phone was so happy ! And now I want it too :D (subconsciously I’ve been breaking my current phone into pieces and it helps! :D )

    And lastly, these two people have made me reactivate my blog ! (I stopped blogging in sept 2008)

    So overall- Happy memories and nothing to regret :)

    P.S. I’m not even too sure if I made much sense ! :D

    Love

  9. Hi
    I dont know how I stumbled on this blog .but I can almost feel the sadness..
    I lost my husband 3 yrs back in an accident.. and I had a 2 yr old daughter then..
    It takes tremendous internal courage to go thru it.. and even though everybody asks you to keep yourself busy.. Do what best suites you..
    1. Keep yourself busy somehow..and take your time..if it is 1 month or 1 yr.. dont feel bad that you are not moving on..
    2. dont do things that you cant, I couldnt cook for almost 6 months. it took me a long courage to do it..
    3. try doing somehting that you feel will make you cry.. I started going to places that we used to go together..so take a step at a time and slolwy.. dont run at all if you cant..
    4. And reach out to people… so that you see the emotions and have somebody to talk to always.. somebody who u trust totally..

    5.And least of all, give it your time.. and remember to eat and sleep.. dont try to rush yourself to anything (things that you did with her).. but dont keep it as never do it.. “and I still have somethings that I kept there.”

    good Luck!..and tons of luv..

  10. IHM,

    As you’ve said, Keep the memories alive, as that is what I think helps to remember and heal in the process.

    My prayers are with your family always.

    A family friend died of cancer 2 years back, this (http://www.ashokmemorialfoundation.com) is the page which the family has created for the foundation which was formed for cancer research funding in his memory.

  11. Hugs!!!

    only you can jump back with so much positivity. I lost my sister when she was 15…a month away from her sixteenth birthday.

    Between me and Mom, we celebrate her birthday, remember all the naughty things she did and try not to think of the gaping hole she has left in our life. We also reassure ourselves that both dad and she are waiting up there for us while they take care of each other.
    (dad passed away five years before she did).

    Do keep talking about her it helps….just ensure you dont keep coming back to the sad end…talk about happier times.

    our prayers are with you.

    Would love to visit you IHM if you would only allow.

  12. Dear IHM,

    You have seen me sink into the pits of depression after I lost my father earlier this year, and yet when I heard about your tragic and unbelievable loss, I didn’t know what I could say to help reduce the pain.

    Thank you for posting these thoughts on how to cope with grieving on your page. I have had time to grieve and I should be sharing little bits and pieces with you, instead of it being the other way round. You are such a source of strength, wisdom and inspiration to us all.

    Writing a few pieces about my dad has helped me.
    Listening to his favourite music is at times unbearable, but they always help me remember him all the same…in health and not while he was wasting away in the hospital.
    I carry a few photographs of him with me and I’ve even kept a little notebook of his in which he used to jot down interesting quotes, sayings and lines from songs.
    I have a shirt of his in my wardrobe.

    Just thought I’d share these with you.

    If ever you need anything and if ever I can help you in whatever way possible, I want you to know that I am there.

    Loving wishes and prayers to you, your husband and son.

  13. Like Tbg’s comment above, I too have been sitting, typing and re-typing comments in this little box, knowing fully well that words are so minute and insignificant in the face of such a huge loss. Hugs and prayers for you and your husband, IHM. Take care. You are an inspiration, and will always be one.

  14. And in your own time of difficulty, you still find ways to help others by sharing what you have learned abt coping! My friend, God bless you!

  15. You are truly a phoenix. I bow to your indomitable spirit. Life goes on, IHM and one needs to remember the loved one, but not live solely with those memories. The soul that came to be with you for a while has enriched your life. Hold on to that – but life has to be lived to the fullest.

  16. Dear IHM,

    Nothing much to say after what I have just read. You are one brave woman and with the right perspective…I am sure you will be strong for yourself and Tejaswee’s Dad and the other sibling. God Bless You All with strength and peace and closure.

    And yes in being strong for everyonelse it is ok to have your own personal weak moments. Surround yourself with people and anything that gives you peace. Faith/Philosophy and not rituals will answer many of your questions. Tejaswee must be so proud of you.

    All of you are in my prayers. Hugs and love.

  17. Continuously thinking of you and your daughter. I truly believe that one part of hers is and will be always with you and your family. Hugging you warmly….

  18. You and your spirit are truly amazing, IHM!! We are here to help you with whatever you want to do (to continue her projects or in her memory)…Please let us know.

    Take good care….
    Sincere Prayers
    RS

  19. {{Hugs}}
    This is such a thoughtful post and a step towards healing. The scholarship is a huge step forward and your efforts to keep her memories and name alive. You have a wonderful spirit IHM. May you be able to move on and move ahead into a life of which her memories will always be an integral part, as guiding spirit, as love, and sometimes as life itself, filling life into all of you.
    And I hope your husband also feels well soon.

    {{hugs}} again

  20. IHM you are an inspiration. I really admire the way you have turned this tragedy into a learning and healing process. I hope that you will continue to write, more about your lovely daughter and her wise thoughts. She will always be in my thoughts, she was such an amazing young girl. Hugs to you and I hope your husband and son are also coping well.

  21. You have written so well , it is indeed so true keeping the memory alive I remember when my best friend passed away , his wife waould ask me to talk about him, tell stories of our chidlhood, what we did how we did , so that his 2 year old daughter comes to know HER dad as she grows up.

    The setting up of scholarship is a noble idea and I dont want to intrude but if I cna do anything whatsoever please dont hesitate to let me know ..

    God bless you and give you the courage to bear the pain.. I hope your husband is well now .. do take care of him …

    If i was in india i would have said to go out for a change of scene I know this might feel heartless for me to say but it will help, but since i am in uk i can only invite you all over here if you can all come.

    The problem is anyone who comes and meets you will be talking of same things so a change of scene is good sometimes , gives you time and peace of mind from all the wellwishers they do mean well i am sure … Think about it

    God bless If i have said anything wrong then I am really sorry please ignore what i said .

  22. All of us have to face this one day. Sooner or later, we’re going to watch our loved ones die (unless we die first of course). I’ve often thought how I’ll react, and I realize I just don’t know. I can guess, but till I’m placed in such a situation I have no idea how I’ll deal with it.

    Untimely death is the worst of all.

  23. Been there, done that, IHM. And it took ages for me to come to this realisation of do’s and donts and how to heal….which u have to come to so soon.
    You are very strong…pls remain the same. and give urself time to heal. We are all with you…always. Hugs!

  24. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. I look up to your mature and logical reasoning. You are so right – about not regretting about what we should have done, and what difference it could have made. It does not make sense to do that. Hugs again.

  25. Dearest IHM, am too young to say anything cos i know you already know all that…

    have been droppin by here n at teju’s space for almost everyday now… i read all her posts over n over again cos i simply couldnt or rather simply didnt feel like letting it go… i am but a total stranger yet hearing of the lil one’s demise ripped off my heart… that i seriously thought of swapping our fates… so tht the lil darling angel sister could have lived… but yes, there is this part of me which says she is out there with the almighty lord for He wanted one wonderful company in the heaven’s abode…

    (on a rather subdued note i would like to say- cos i donot if am right in bringing this up)

    i was watching ramayan yday in one of the local channels… wherein lav n kush would have gone in search of a golden flower (i dont want to elaborate on the details) without telling mother sita… sita would go to that saint incharge (am seriosuly sorry am not good with epic names) n lament about her missing kids and ask about their safety… he would ask her not to worry much as they are of noble birth n such other stuff… n sita would say, “oh holy one, though i do understand thy holy words – i am still a mother n to me my kids r my world…” n she goes on.. i could only think of u n teju then… u indeed have been very brave n inspiring n what not… but still if u want to vent out the feelings in any way (even if not here) – i hope u r doing it… cos you are still a mother…

    but yes, a mother that teju is one hell proud of… :)

    and also, dont forget u have all of us other daughters too – down south – across the globe in whose hearts you IHM n your gal TR will live forever :)

    loads of love n prayers to you, uncle, teju n her lil bro…

    ::hugs::

  26. Take care, IHM!

    I have stopped criticizing anyone nowadays. My children are grown ups and they know what is best for them. I am there for them to dish out advices, if they want.

    I don’t argue for small small things with my husband too…a small worry is there inside a corner of my heart that I should not regret using words which I might regret later.

    The points you have given will help everyone, one day or the other, IHM. God bless.

  27. IHM I have never wanted to be someone else than myself but at this moment I really wish that one day I would be as courageous as you and be able to celebrate life with all its sweetness and sourness. Can I butt in along with Crafty and give you a sooper tight cuddly hug too?

  28. You’ve always done this IHM. Teach people how to live, how to face the toughest of situations. And in this time, when I am so shocked and find it difficult to even starting to understand your grief, you’ve again taught me lessons that only you could have. You’re the bravest IHM. Take care.

    • I have the same thoughts after reading your post IHM..
      Am sure you have friends & family around to help in taking care of your pets and the home but I too feel like coming and sitting by your side for some time, right this moment..

      ((hugs)) and please take care..
      with loads of love!

  29. wanted to write a mail to you
    but to be honest as i started did not find words what to write.
    got confused and did not write mail
    After that i wrote article on Dengue and posted it.
    yes your all the points are good and helping other helps heal .

    sure Teju is happy where ever she is knowing that she is great daughter of great mother.

  30. I really like how you’re open about your grief. A lot of times, it can be really difficult to express what you’re feeling. Sometimes it helps to ease the pain when you talk about it. But you have a lot of people who understand what you’re going through and support you.

    *hugs*

  31. I admire your fortitude, your tenacity…you are remarkable strong.
    my best friend lost her daughter (7 yr old) to cancer 3 years ago ..the pain is still strong and perhaps will be forever. you are so right about keeping Tej’s memory alive just by sharing your thoughts with family and friends. thats exactly what my friend did, she is much better now, she found peace with meditation too….and she is taking it one day at a time.
    this is extremely hard I know and i hope you and your family find solace.
    hugs…sukanya

  32. IHM, I salute you. You are such a strong person. I am proud to have known you through your blog.

    I sincerely wish that you achieve success in whatever project you take on in memory of Tejaswee. I pray God that you find solace in whatever you decide to do as you cope with the grief.

    -Sandhya

  33. I came here time and again but words failed me. You have immense courage and faith..and I absolutely salute the way you are dealing with this and also helping others to help you. Your daughet’s blog was so colorful and full of life and she will be remembered by all of us here..

  34. Once again, you are an exceptionally strong and positive person; I’m awed by the way you are coping with your loss. We would all be very well off if we could be half as strong and positive as you. I wish you all the best as you go on and, as others have said, would be honoured to contribute to the scholarship you wish to set up in Tejaswee’s name.

  35. Dear IHM, at a later stage, when you feel up to it, do see if you can read Joan Didion’s ‘The year of magical thinking’. It is a book that may help you – written by someone who lost a loved one and documented the first year of loss and grieving. I doubt anyone who has not gone through such loss can truly understand what it is. My thoughts with your husband – grief does have physical manifestations and I pray that he is able to find the strength he needs.

  36. My dear IHM,

    When my mother passed away in an accident on 2 May 1969, at the age of 44, I had just completed 18 years. My youngest brother was seven at that time and in my anxiety to shield him from grief, I suppressed my own grief.

    I could not know how much I had suppressed my own grief at her death till May 2009, ie. 40 years after her death, when I decided to let her go by writing about her on my blog. I am more at peace with myself now, 40 years after she died, since I have written openly and publicly about her.

    Thank you for sharing your grief with us. As an ardent follower of your blog and your life (without a bubbly Tejaswee in it, now), you can trust me to do whatever is in my hands to keep the memory of your daughter alive. Do not hesitate to tell me what I can do for you, your husband and your son, to help you cope with your grief.

    My daughter’s friend also lost her 18 year-old brother to dengue last year, just as suddenly as you lost Tejaswee.

    Peace and love,
    – Joe.

  37. You’re an amazing source of inspiration, IHM. Your strong resolve, your positive approach is something I’ve much to learn from.

    Lots of hugs to you :)

    Take care

  38. Yes, its better if the illness is not discussed. It helps to remember their smiling faces and all the good time spent together.

    Hugs to you. :)

  39. Your positivity and fortitude is awesome. It’s an amazing post, an brilliant thing to share. With your permission, I wish to reproduce it whenever I find the need.

    Hugs. Always there for you!

  40. I have been reading and re-reading this post. I still cant come up with any words of comfort. But I do want to let you know that you`re in my thoughts. Sending you lots of hugs.

  41. A little star is looking at you from a corner of the sky imploring you to hold your head high and smile back at her… and open your heart to receive the love she is sending your way.

  42. IHM,

    In keeping with your wish that people should always remember your daughter with a smile, I suggest that you could bring out a book with her writings (or snippets from her blog). I am sure she would have loved that.

  43. You’re a very brave woman, IHM. I’m sure it would help Tejaswee also to move on if you can deal with your grief so bravely. God bless.

  44. IHM,
    Its extra ordinary to see your ability to deal with such a loss and be able to see a positive perspective to life!

    Take care,
    Hemanth

  45. IHM the tenacity and strength you are displaying in the face of such a major tragedy is commendable.. please take care of yourself… I went back to reading your initial posts especially the ones about your children.. the poems, anecdotes and it brought tears to my eyes… I was wondering if you would ever like to write a book about Tejaswee and dedicate it to her.. I think it would be a befitting tribute to a lovely daughter and thoughtful youngster she was..take care

  46. I just read this IHM. but the only things that are going in my mind since then are to fulfill all her dreams, as half of them are something both of us wanted to do. Your points about keeping the memory alive is so true as that is what I have been doing. :)
    Thank you,
    Hug.

  47. Words fail me…all i can say is “Hats off”

    IHM – u are truely an inspiration….if we feel so choked up hearing of Tejaswee, i can’t even begin to think of what u are going thru..i hope u find someway to ease the pain…God bless!

  48. Dear IHM, your goodness helped you transcend this pain (or at least you are trying to). But you did it not just for your self or your family, u have shown a path of peace, a path of solace to the families of those number of people who die an untimely death. Your efforts are commendable. I have never seen such emotional courage in a parent, in such a case. I wrote about Prof Kachroo, father of late Aman Kachroo, who lost his life due to ragging. I found him a person of courage, who despite his loss, made it a personal mission of his life to eradicate ragging from Indian Institutions. I have tremendous respect for him. I see you as another such example.

    Dengue is surely increasing in South Delhi. I suggest, u cud write something about this too. Let ppl be aware.

    In case u want to see the article http://myworldmyperception.blogspot.com/2010/07/hats-off-to-prof-rajendar-kachroo.html

    Regards

    RESTLESS

  49. Just came back from leave and the first thing I did was check ur website…
    Have no words to express but let me thank the Almighty for you.. for the courage that you are showing.. for thinking more about the rest than yourself and your grief…
    no.. i dont know what to write.. but all my prayers are with you and your fanily…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s