Just pick it up…

Yesterday, Son asked me to get him some photographs of the new apartment we are moving into. He had no idea the camera brought terrible, frightening, painful memories.  The last pictures I took were of Tejaswee in the hospital room, before she was moved to the ICU,  when she was sick but when she was still making limericks… When I did not know how our lives were going to change so completely. One is not ready to download or see those pictures yet, even the sight or the thought of that camera  was unbearable.

In Gurgaon, while the Movers unloaded, my friend M. and I sat between brown cartons  and as she told me about PLR (Past Life Regression) and how those who die young have finished their purpose in life and nobody, not even god can stop their souls from escaping and being born again.

M and I met everyday when our kids were young. We took them to the same park, the same swimming pool, and to the same Birthdays and Christmas parties, often together. M. had rushed from her 3rd floor apartment to ours on 7th floor (in Bombay) with paracetamol syrup when Tejaswee had fever, one night in 1993.
Our daughters watched their first play (by ‘Little Actors’ Club’) together.  M’s husband had encouraged a frightened 8 year old Tejaswee to jump from the 5 meter board…

M. knew Tejaswee.

Our new neighbours didn’t. They visited to welcome us and asked very simply, “Who all are there in your family?”

We need to get that photograph enlarged and framed at the earliest.

Later M. remembered Son’s request for photographs of this apartment.  I told her how I felt about taking pictures or even looking at the camera. She said very gently, “Just pick it up IHM. Just pick it up and start taking photographs.” It was as simple as that. I picked it up. I knew where it was. I did want to get over the fear and pain the sight  caused. Looking at the pictures taken in the hospital may not be possible yet, but I realise I wanted one less painful-association. M told me of the time she fell off her two wheeler and somebody advised her to sit for two minutes but she told them, “If I sit down for two minutes I will never ride a two wheeler again.”

So slowly I hope to go through her pictures, her laptop, her old English Grammar Notebooks (saved since KG, because I feel school essays are almost like a child’s personal diary)… because whatever I do, I don’t ever want painful associations resulting in her never being talked about.



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59 thoughts on “Just pick it up…

  1. Oh God, IHM. With each bit you share, the daily resolutions you make, you are taking that one step more towards … towards what? I wonder. Remembering with joy, without the tears… but then the tears have their place, and she has deserved them, just by being yours, and being herself.

    It took me a long time, I remember, to come to terms again, with many things. Some things, I still need to get used to. You will pick that camera up again, for sure, and soon. You owe that too, to her, dont you? And to yourself.

    Bless you. You’re the strongest person I know.

    Me – Updated to add Usha, I did pick it up and took some random shots.

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  2. Hugs IHM. I am amazed at the way you are dealing with your loss. I would have been shattered to pieces. I do understand what you say and this is almost how I dealt with my dad’s untimely death. But one thing that consoled me about his death was that he lived a fulfilling life even though he went way too early. I cannot fathom your pain. Or your husband’s and your son’s. Hugs to all of you. May you keep this strength with you always.

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  3. I have restricted myself from commenting on all your grief posts coz I didn’t know what to say. I am sorry but it just doesn’t feel right to say I understand when being you is only possible for a few of us! .. but ya this made me cry. I just hope picking up the camera serves like picking up the threads of life and moving on. The blog world taught me this last whole month as I struggled though life myself.. hope ours being here helps you too to pick up threads n reels 🙂 {{{{hugs}}}}

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  4. Have read about PLR in Brian Weiss’ books. And have to say while my logical mind is skeptical, there has to be something to it…maybe our frames of reference are not wide enough to see what something like PLR seems to turn up. Those books of his are something – have you read them?

    Me – Yes, ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ – on Starry’s advice.

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    • I don’t know about this…I read the book a few years back too, and while I can see why it’s compelling, I also have some minor background in psychology – and experiences “remembered” during hypnosis are very likely to be manufactured. In fact, Freud used to use hypnosis initially until one evening he suddenly realized his patient was making stuff up unconsciously.

      Far be it from me to interfere in anyone’s recovery process, but I feel that it’s exactly at times like this when our minds are most vulnerable – grasping at straws so something – anything can soothe the hurt and fill a void. Something that will help us cope.

      But I feel it’s just escapism. A comforting tale to hide us from the horror of reality. I don’t want to seem insensitive here, but I just think this must be kept in mind – cause I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.

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  5. I dont know what to say , But as your friend said Pick it up and do it .. thats how you will need to work .. its going to be difficult VERY difficult but for the sake of the family and yourself you jsut have to be strong and carry on..

    Always praying for you IHM god bless you and family hope god gives you the stength to take it on …

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  6. Dear IHM,
    I must confess for a long time Ive beenoverwhelmed by the thought of ur loss and found myself at a loss for words too. So havent expressed myself at ur posts but have been praying for you. You n TJ were in my thoughts from the time u mentioned her hospitalisation. This post has brought me out of that tongue-tied state.
    I lost my mum when I was just 18. The time when I needed her the most. And I remember my battle with the truth, those teary eyed lonely nights. Wish I could have read this post then and not shunned away from looking at mum’s pix or avoiding her memories to keep myself sane.
    There is so much positivity, courage, hope, love in each of ur posts.
    I admire you from the core of my heart and ‘Im sure TJ is very happy to read this..
    Hugs.
    and God Bless.

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  7. You really have strong friendships hugging you tight and giving positive vibes when you need them the most. Keep going IHM. Loved your last line; we all will remember Tejaswee and her dreams and in our small way will always strive to fullfil a small bit of them.

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  8. “Just pick it up IHM. Just pick it up and start taking photographs.” This is the best advise possible. Try shooting animals and birds in the neighbourhood, you love them and it shows in your pics.

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  9. I cant even begin to tell you how much I respect you, IHM. A big hug for your son from me. I’m genrally clueless on what to tell on such occasions, so, let me be silent and not say anything more!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your grief. 🙂 I know it can really help you in the long run. A lot of people probably would have given up on life. I know it’s hard to do even the simplest things, but you’ll get through it.

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  11. i think yesterday when i read this post, the photo wasn’t there.. slowly, by taking small brave steps like this you all will preserve the very best and optimistic memories. i have learnt so much from you in this past month, am grateful

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  12. Could’nt agree more with Bhagwad Jal Park here. You are coping very well IHM ,trying to find answers through past life regression won’t help in future,in fact trying to find answers to your ‘why’ through that will set you back in your recovery..
    SORRY if I also sound insensitive…:-(
    Keep up the spirit and move on with family and friends.
    Take care …HUGS

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  13. Issi ka naam hai zindagi, these are baby steps one has to take after a bereavement. IHM don’t overwhelm yourself by doing too much at once. Just a step or two, then take a deep breath, gather courage and take another step or two. It gets easier with time

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  14. I like ur friend’s idea of PLR !! Even we do have something similar in tamil, for the God calling his fav ppl to come and join Him.

    You are just too brave IHM…Thank God for that. 🙂 And I am glad that u did pick up that camera to take pics.

    You dont know how u inspire fellow bloggers, by these posts of yours….its a lesson to learn to get up, even when we fall deep. Thank you for keeping strong.

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  15. I have no words IHM, u fail them all.. ur strength… u are such a great source of inspiration to all of us

    stay strong and postive but at the same time let the emotions inside u out

    hugs loads of them

    we are all with u always

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  16. I feel at loss of words whenever i read your post! Every women should take inspiration from the immense strength you have. I’ll pray to god that this gets easier with time. Have you listened to the song from ABBA: “Super trouper beams are gonna blind me
    But I wont feel blue
    Like I always do
    cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you”
    I am sure your beautiful daughter is watching you from somewhere and just feeling proud of you!!! 🙂

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  17. IHM, I’m sure that when you have more time to think it through you’ll find that every painful association can also have its sweeter side. That camera which you dreaded to pick up has surely captured just as much of Tejaswee as those English grammar notebooks did (and yes, I’ve saved all of those my kids wrote too for the very same reason).
    Your friend M sounds so wise. And terrifically nice. I’m glad you allowed her to persuade you to pick up the camera again.
    And I’m sure that very soon you’ll allow yourself to look at those painful photographs too. One more step towards healing to become the person Tejaswee talked about so proudly in her post again. No, you have not changed from that person, but grief always does this to us … turn us inside out until we don’t recognise ourselves anymore. And you’re healing, my friend, by talking about it, by sharing your days and fears and tears with us. One step at a time, one day at a time.
    And as long as you talk about her so openly, so lovingly, she’ll never become ” not talked about because of painful associations”. (By the way, I do hope that your husband and son are talking about her too. Sometimes it can be so much tougher for the men to open up about what grieves them )

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  18. Dear IHM, I must say I have been reading your blogs but resisted from commenting. I am overwhelmed by your loss, overwhelmed by your courage and willpower. you and your family have been in my thoughts very frequently.

    Thank you for keeping us with you through this.

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  19. When I read of your loss for the first time I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t. You are an incredibly brave person and I know you will find the strength to keep going. One thing I do know- Tejaswee’s spirit will live on through you and your family.

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  20. It’s so true that we have to get up and go at life as soon as we’re ready…this was a lovely post to read.

    PLR works, I’ve gone ‘under’ and so have my hubby, dad and many others who have been healed and comforted or found at least some of the answers. May sound like gobbledygook, but if one is open and receptive, I think there are many many ways of being comforted, supported and energised to carry on despite dreadful setbacks. I don’t think it’s escapism to look for answers off the beaten track…it in fact brings you face to face with reality, and the reality is something that is so big, we can only see parts of the picture at a time.

    Big hugs…and hope you get that photo up soon. I know that maybe I am inspired by you to do some things that have been pending a long time to move on further from our baby boy’s loss. So thank you.

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  21. Across oceans, from another continent, I’m sending you my prayers. That photo, the little baby, her chubby,protective arm around the puppy, is priceless. The fine young woman, beaming out of the other photo, is priceless. Your grief and loss – difficult to imagine. A life without her may be unimaginable now…but you have your son…and your family. What can a stanger like me say or do? Just wanted you to know that I prayed for you, I prayed for your family. May you get the strength and may it start healing a little more everyday…

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  22. I know what it means to lose someone you love. Take all the time to grieve. You never get over the loss of a loved but just through it. Here is poem that I often go to…

    i carry your heart with me

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
    i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling)
    i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
    and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

    Edward Estlin Cummings

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  23. “I don’t ever want painful associations resulting in her never being talked about.” – thats so right… as someone said you owe it to her n to yourself, hey na?… glad that u picked it up IHM…

    reminiscing the past slowly – giving the void enough time to heal… i presume would do good…

    thts one adorable pic of the lil one`… thts how well she embraced her life n that of others… ::hugs::

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  24. I am so sorry for your loss. This entire month I have been mostly away from the blogging world and I had simply no idea of what all happened and what all was going on. I came across your daughters blog a few months back once, but I just came to know about her more through the recent articles. I did hear this news in my college (hindu) in north campus in DU but I never in the world thought, that it would turn to be your daughter. I am somehow speechless and I don’t know the reason why but I have tears in my eyes.
    Your brave, your really brave and may her soul rest in peace and I wont say things will be fine. But yes, time will heal. I am really sorry.

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