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,
- Make a scrapbook of photos and other mementos of the life you shared with your loved one
- Keep some things that belonged to him or her
- Imagine talking with your loved one from time to time
- Recall good times you had with him or her
- Share memories with friends and family
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.”
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.
I am not aware of any support groups around Delhi/NCR, but I know this would help immensely.
- A hospital or hospice program
- A children’s organization
- An organization that works to prevent a disease or educate people about it
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.
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.
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.