Some nights ago I spent a sleepless night trying not to remember what could not be changed. Couldn’t discuss it with my husband who had fever and body ache, or the son… They too are trying not to think about the same thing. There was no energy (or will) to switch on the laptop.
In the morning, R, my sister in law, sat next to me and said she understood that the pain we felt could not be felt or understood by anybody else. She said she realised that there are and will be indescribable lows. She said she wanted to know what were the images that I couldn’t get out of my mind. She didn’t say, “You should not think about it..” (If one could stop, one would not (ever) think about something that is so painful, anyway).
I didn’t think telling her was going to help… How could anything help? But the severe headache was subsiding and I told her what troubled me and she explained why it shouldn’t. She had been with us outside the ICU and inside, holding Tejaswee’s hand and saying “We love you Tejaswee.” She had been with us when we explained what was happening to her and how brave she was, and how proud of her we were and how we were going to walk out of the ICU together. She had read out her friends’ ‘Get Well Soon Cards‘ to her when I couldn’t bear to. Now she explained to me why everything that happened was exactly what one would do if it it had to be done all over again. How regrets were natural…
And yes it helped. Which makes me think of the grieving parents who do not have such support. Words do have the power to heal. Thanks R.
Here are some words we are printing on top of a favorite photograph of Tejaswee and reading everyday to remember, to remember her and not hide her photographs and memories. We do wish to be able to talk about her with a proud, loving smile. (Though we might cry sometimes too).
“You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
-David Harkins – Thanks CAT.