When they cry.

Sat, 2nd Oct 2010

A friend called last evening. She was sobbing. She asked how I was. She said she read Tejaswee’s ‘A letter to the future‘ for the first time today… She excused herself to blow her nose and then again asked how I was. I remembered, when she had called the first time, she had said she had been scared of calling me and how much better she felt after speaking to me and then she had broken down herself. (I blogged about her once long ago.)

She said Tejaswee was just like me. I told her the likeness had bothered me sometimes, specially because recently we often said the same things together, like, “Isn’t it too hot for this time of the year…” or, “I think we should change these curtains…” and then she used to laugh and accuse me of ‘stealing/reading her thoughts‘. It was almost too much and it troubled me – maybe it made me superstitious in some way. It wasn’t just an odd time – but many times during a day. It had become very  frequent lately…

Oct 3, 5 12 am

Last evening we walked  down to a neighbourhood mall to buy a hard drive and to have dinner. Son, who finds evenings the most difficult time of the day, started asking his angry, tearful  questions.

“What would have happened if I had not seen her in the ICU that day…?

Why did someone like her have to die …?

“I don’t think it is good enough that I had 18 great years with her… why are people even born if they have to die so young…?

Having no other answers, my sister in law and I told him the story of Ganga drowning her seven children (from Mahabharata).  We also told him stories from ‘Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist – Janis Amatuzio. I found this book very comforting – thanks for recommending it Shree. I had read, long ago about similar experiences in Reader’s Digest… wonder how many of us – if any, have had such experiences.

At home Gabbar Singh (Proton) senses immediately if I cry, he pushes himself close to me – and he too cries (softly moans)… How much does he understand?

We had these games, where I ask him to “Find Tejaswee! Where’s Tejaswee gone?“, where she hid behind a door or in another part of the house and he used to sniff the floor and the air, to excitedly look for her and locate her. There was much excitement and celebration, wagging and rolling on his back to celebrate the moment of ‘finding‘ her.

The dogs also rushed to the balcony every morning to enthusiastically ‘Say bye-bye to Tejaswee‘ when she left for college.

Here she was playing peek a boo with him this winter…

What is the best way to preserve digital images? I am thinking of storing all her pictures and videos in a single, new hard drive, I have heard that digital images are damaged with time, and CDs and DVDs are a better way to store them. Is that true?

Oct 4, Mon. 6: 05 am

Life now seems to be divided between easy and difficult days. On easy days I can hope, read, eat, think, sleep, talk and maybe even smile politely.

On difficult days everything seems meaningless. Now I look for ways to avoid triggers that cause difficult days… any changes are difficult. Being alone is very difficult. Coming unexpectedly across a scrap of paper with something written in a familiar handwriting in intensely painful on difficult days. Some parts of my brain seem to forget that no such new scraps will ever be created or else why does it hurt so much to find them? The brain might require to find countless such moments and memories to register this…

The thought that the kind of day I am going to have is not really in my control was frightening. I sensed this morning was going to be difficult – and decided to focus on making it easy. So I plan to write emails and posts and read up some more about how to stay positive. Recommendations for books and movies are also welcome. One of the recommendations is Saransh – I hope to watch it soon.

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55 thoughts on “When they cry.

  1. Hugs, IHM. You can probably make copies on CDs/DVDs and back them up on a hard drive. What you can also do is e-mail them to yourself/ create an e-mail account for such stuff, and keep it in your inbox. If you can’t access the files on the CD/HDD for some reason, you can access it through this.

  2. That picture of your two cuddly babies is just sooooooooo precious. Hope you find the best way to preserve them.

    I was also wondering how your pets must be feeling…missing her.

    I remember also how friends had said they were scared of calling me, and when they had heard from other friends that I was angry they didn’t seem to care, they did call or come, and cried with me. I guess it’s difficult to deal with another’s grief, but it’s always better to try. They all said “I didn’t know what to say.” or “I didn’t want to make you cry.” And I told them, “don’t say anything, just be there for me.” and “Do you think I’m not crying anyway? why wouldn’t you want to share my tears?” That’s what friends are for.

    A big, big hug to your son, at least he is expressing his anguish. It’s good to see you are trying to make the tough days easier in some way.

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  4. Take care, IHM. Hugs.

    I think the best thing to do maybe to start everyday with a book…if not start, at least get on to one when you’re morning chores are done. Focus on reading.

    Try yoga. If you’re already adept at it, do it for longer periods.

    I may sound childish, but I’d also recommend watching comedy flicks. Hopeless LOL flicks. Please do not feel guilty for laughing your heart out if you feel like doing it. Dont care what “others might think”; that’s anyways not under your control. Laughter, if ROFL or even illogical, senseless laughter, can help you a lot.

    Music can be slightly upsetting sometimes. While it helps sometimes, nothing brings back emotional turmoil like music.

  5. *hugs* IHM.
    i had made a photoblog with photos and writings of my grandfather and shared the link with family so they could comment and add photos as well. i’m also digitizing tapes with his voice on it (wishing we had taped more of them). i found that sharing the happy moments i had with him with others that loved him brought me some peace. hope this helps.

  6. We store pictures on DVDs in a case that unfolds like a book. As a backup, you can store pictures on a website (like Flickr, Picasa, PhotoBucket, Snapfish) which means that even if the discs are damaged you don’t lose your pictures. Also, if you start a blog set to private you could store them there and family members could log on with a password. In the future, you could look into having one of those photo books printed but that project will be too hard right now. Wait until the idea makes you happy instead of sad.

    I agree with Scorpria’s idea to watch comedies. I’ve had a few times in my life that only movies could get me through.

    I have been thinking about you and your family a lot.

  7. There are so many online storage options like Picasa web albums..
    or Google storage..
    you can even store it on your computer in a Dropbox account which is automatically synced to the online account. ( this is my favourite. https://www.dropbox.com/)
    I use the hotmail Skydrive to store documents.. (free )
    hope this helps.

  8. Store them online on Flickr or Photobucket. And keep a back up on a cd. IHM healing takes its own time – and the sad part is that one can’t hurry it up. On a personal note, I used to just thank God for granting me so many years with the loved one …. even though at times I felt like raving and ranting at him for taking my people away from me. I kept doing that until finally, after a long long time I started believing it.

  9. Lovvvely pictures there, IHM!!

    It’s better to cry it out, IHM. I am glad you and your son have understanding people and pets around you. This, by itself, is a biggest blessing!!

    Yes, Storing on a hard disc is not all that safe. I’d suggest a DVD over CD.

    To avoid the silence around me, I kept the TV on, all the time, whether I watch it or not. That helped to distract my thoughts. Or watched movies like crazy. The movies I watched in the past 2 years outnumber the total number of movies I’ve watched in my lifetime. And read books. And kept myself busy with work…

  10. By the way, IHM, you can convert the images .eps format to save space on the CD/DVD. .eps format reduces the storage space and adobe photoshop supports it. That way, you can save many images in a single .pdf as well….Please let me know if you need any help in doing this……

  11. Both magnetic (hard drive) and optical(cd/dvd) storage devices can damage with time. With magnetic devices you could loose data quality with (long) time due to the presence of other strong fields. DVD/bluray dont have this problem, but with time, any small scratch or physical damage will make it unreadable and there is no way you can backup from a damaged dvd. So its better to have multiple backups.

    But before you backup, some info. Choose device with high life span and write using the latest writer. If you are writing on optical disc, do it in one session. And to avoid compatibility issues remember to migrate your data when you make big changes to your computer like OS upgrade/change, drive change etc.

    It is advisable to have an online version as well. Since you might have huge amount of data storing in mail account or free version of photo sharing accounts might not be easy. I would suggest uploaders like, windows live SkyDrive (free 25 GB ), the Dropbox (free 2GB), google storage (free 1GB), or premium account of picasa/flicker.

    Hope this helps

    • Agree with BlueHornbill’s comment , please consider multiple backups IHM along with online storage ..that way you will have them in many places..take care…

  12. IHM,
    I really wish I could do something to comfort you. I live all the the way in Bangalore. Please let me know if there is anything I could do.

    ((((((((Hugs))))))))

  13. personally i wouldnt recomend cd/ dvds. U may loose them. I often see the silver foil peeling off. Harddisk is equally risky as a rolling magnet can scramble the data. THe best way, in my view is the most naive form: have prints.

  14. Hugs IHM, I personally think you are one of the bravest persons I have known…the way you have handled everything is amazing…crying out or removing the feelings from yourself when they try to overwhelm you is the best way to get it out…

  15. I agree with scorpia about watching hopeless meaningless comedy . i have personal experience. It definitely helps , though i felt a bit guilty about laughing initially but it certainly helps…

    I know there are people who call up n cry uncontrollably over the phone , believe me i used to end up calming down such people as there is nothing more that can be done it seems..

    hugs…

  16. Take care IHM.

    The best way to store pics would be to get a pro account in Picasa or Flickr and upload all the files. You can mark the files as private. Storing in CD\DVD and hard drive is a risk for the precious pictures.

  17. This makes me want to cry on behalf of your doggy. And for you. Instead, shall go over to my library of books read and work on getting some recos, talk to husband with his phenomenal memory for movies and see what we can write up for you and your family.

    Hugs.

  18. The pics are so cute IHM! I hope that most of your days are easy ones. I prefer to upload pics online but the hard disc is not a bad idea either. I dont know if watching Saransh will help IHM. I prefer watching comedies on sad gloomy days.

  19. Thats a lovely pic of Tejasvee and the beautiful Gabbar Singh…hugs to that boy…he’ll be missing her too, terribly.

    I too think storing the pics in an external hard drive is a must and a good way to retain the digital pics forever. So, I am also hard drive hunting.

    I just pray that all your days be easy days for u to cope up and live through. Hugs.

  20. Its an emotional phase, bt i have learned that talking and writing makes u feel better as long as u dont hide away from ur true emotions… sometimes u r inspiring me to look at life in a better way.. take care IHM.

  21. with your responsibilities is it possible for you to commit to regular work with any ngo/trust? helping out in any way is a balm to the soul. And the stress of commuting, deadlines, frustrating colleagues are also blessings in a way…do try and go out and meet new people, that may also help

  22. Hi IHM… I read you regularly, though don’t comment often. But past few days, reading about your gorgeous daughter and your life has inspired me in many ways.

    Have you watched the movie Dhoop? It stars Om Puri, Revathi & Gul Panag. Do watch it in case you haven’t already.

    Storing images on ext hard disk is certainly better than having them on your laptop/computer. Why don’t you also store them online? Picassa, Flickr etc. Try a website called itasveer.com. You can create photobooks and scarpbooks and get printed copies.

    Hugs & Prayers…

  23. IHM, lovely pictures! I understand your son’s anger. Hopefully with time it’ll reduce. How old is he? Btw, I read someone’s comment here about Yoga and I thought of the Wii Fit. Do you own a Nintendo wii/wii fit? It’s a good way for the family to indulge in some fun games and fitness stuff. The fitness games are fun and relaxing so maybe you could give it a shot. Your son would enjoy it too.

  24. Loads of hugs and love to you IHM. I’m praying for you. I read a calvin strip today and it reminded me of Tejaswee.

    I once read a book called “Sole survivor”(Dean Koontz). It is a work of fiction, but it helped me immensely when i went through a difficult time.

  25. Hello IHM

    I am sorry for your loss. I am much younger than you, but I have been in a similar place. It hurts, it will hurt and no, it won’t stop. But it will hurt less. With time, you will feel happy that your daughter loved you and you loved her back. That you had that time together… And you will smile that your daughter was like you; I love the fact that I am a carbon copy of my mother. I know how your son feels… coz I feel exactly the same at times, even six years after my mother left us.

    You can upload the pictures on Flickr/Picasa/DropBox. You can print them and store them. There are options to convert hard copies of photographs into digital versions.

    If you can, find time to volunteer, to be busy. It helps.

    I hope you feel better.

  26. i am celebrating my daughter’s fouth birthday today.
    i read your post and i am sad….i just cannot imagine losing a child. the loss you have experienced is unfathomable and i only hope that time lessens the pain for you and your family.

  27. Love is what drips from the pictures… :) :)

    {{{hugs}}}}

    bout the photo’s sigh even I dont konw what would be a better way to store them… currently we have it in two laptops… just presuming that both laptops wont crash together… !

  28. Saaraansh is too painful, IHM! Try to stay away from serious movies for now. Athithi devo Bhava was fun to watch. Very simple movie, no fights, no turning points, nothing, but we can enjoy.

    I can relate to your pain for some reason. Only time will help to lessen the pain a bit, IHM.

    Apart from CDs I would prefer to store them as photographs in an album, not the plastic one by the old type album with butter paper like sheets. It stays for a long time, I feel. And we need not switch on the computer every time we want to see the pictures.

  29. Dear IHM,

    Time has frozen for you, while the world around you continues to move on….But I believe that our loved ones never really leave us….The bond between a mother and a child is
    the highest spiritual bond…..She will always be a part of you ,no matter what…
    I suggest you to read spiritual books, which will give you a new insight on karma, soul etc….
    Movies I would suggest are , The Greatest, Anjali,My Sisters Keeper….

  30. Hugs IHM…

    with time the difficult days will be more infrequent and you will learn to grin and bear when the pain hits.

    In the meantime dont be afraid to cry and vent your anger and frustration. It helps. bottling it up and being unneccessarily brave is no good.

  31. ::hugs:: IHM`

    adorable snaps..

    as for storage – though cds n dvds r a good option… it really is better to have them online in picasa/flickr/blog wherever… cos both repeated usage or not using much will wear it out… i hav learnt it by xprence… so an online back up is needed…
    so mny ppl have already chipped in – leme add 1 thing – hope u know abt the picasa downloader – 3.6 or whatever – its very handy to upload in bulk… simply download the picasa 3 on to ur system n then upload d pics to ur picasa ac.. you can directly login in the dwnloader.. select the pics n upload.. collages/vidoes n so much more sundry options r available too… once u click on upload u can go about doing other chores..

    yeah – its better to avoid movies with deep subjects/emotions.. n i dono if comedy flicks will work out to ur favour – may b u can try it out… cos as loved ones we might (hopefully u dont) feel guilty even if we laugh a little… but dono why we do that.. spirituality/philosophy might be of help i guess… bear hugs IHM – tc!!!

  32. You are doing very fine, of course there will be few days very difficult ones, she was your extension, for 19 years, you relived your childhood through hers, and you were re-living your youth through her, and this sudden discontinuity is not easy to accept.
    Those days which are difficult ones, may be a try to remember the smiley things might help.
    But I just want to say you again that you are doing very fine, we all are with you IHM.

  33. I would recommend Sparsh.. Shabana Azmi. I have loved that film at various levels.

    BIG hugs to you IHM… i cant do anything else.. just cant… but i can pray for you, and you can pray for me… i will pray a lot.. one more time..

  34. I admire all your blogs. I have a small suggestion to make and you can ignore me if you like.
    Perhaps, it is time, you write about your curtains really or your gardens or your photographies or some really socially awakening stuff like JKG.

    There are so many recommendations for movies, books and write ups and you yourself posted a lot of links. But I feel, the best way to cope up is to do something else and think about so many other things happening in life. I know there is always a counter argument to my suggestion. But well this is given to you with my best intentions and I hope and pray for your peace.

  35. No, CDs and DVDs have a life span of max 3-4 years. HDDs are longer, but they too are suseptible to the same after a length of time, and other issues too. simpler you should create a picasa account and upload data there, or on multiple sources, and mail yourself the links with passwords for each. If just photos of not much size, just mail them to yourself. BUt Picasa is a great option.

  36. Hugs, IHM…you will be whole again, Tejaswee will help you get there…and I think the idea of a hard drive is a pretty good one..I’m sure you will be accessing it pretty often, so I think it will remain good. However, they say it is always good to have a backup..store the same thing in two different forms…that will ensure there is a backup in case of emergencies. For eg, try Dropbox, it allows a great deal of online storage space which you can access offline too! if you need any help with this, drop me a line…

  37. We cry along with u…. wish there was some way to make u feel better. I pray for the difficult days to reduce… and with time, the searing pain reduces to a dull ache.
    Till then, do things that make u feel better. Never mind the world… we say things hoping that it will work for u. Dont mind any words which may seem insenstive, the intention is to make u feel a tiny bit better. But pls dont watch Saaransh or any other serious movies.

  38. Can i feel your pain..yes but y??simply because i too am a mother.All say time is a great healer..i guess its better to go through your grief and miss your sweet angel…have read her blog too..she was a amazing girl..i too believe god wants all good people by his side…may her soul rest in peace..

  39. Pingback: “Grieving parents behave in a different manner. ” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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