When it is okay to count your blessings.

Last April I got an email from a mother who had lost her daughter on Feb 6th 2011. She would have been 25 today. J, the mother called today and said she realised the day was not as difficult as she had feared. I had told her that was what happened to me and was relieved to hear her sound so positive.

The anticipation is always tougher, I have learnt now, than the actual day. What hurt was not just the day, but the disbelief that the day still comes, and the sun still rises and world still goes on…  For me Tejaswee’s absence on Aug 11th 2011 seemed to affirm and seal and stamp the fact that she was never going to be there. It’s difficult to understand why that should hurt when one knew and lived that fact every moment of one’s life. Death is difficult to understand, I don’t think the human mind ever accepts (or comprehends) a child’s death completely…

J. sounded amazed that she had not been crying all day and said she had resolved to sign out of some grief sites she had joined earlier. I didn’t sign out of the grief sites I had joined, I like to know I can always go back there to give or get support. In some other ways too we reacted differently to having to live our worst nightmares. For months she sounded like a lost child, repeatedly voicing the thoughts that echoed mine but which I wanted locked away (and there is nothing wrong or right with either, just ways one copes with what is impossible to cope). Many times it was difficult listening to her, but today for the first time, after eleven months, she was counting her blessings. She spoke of how touched she was that her neighbors welcomed Ganapati this year, without any drum beats and music; of how she was able to assure her younger daughter she would not join any ashram and remain a normal mother to her (as much as possible); and how glad she was that one of S’s friends was coming to meet them. She did fear the meeting might trigger more pain, but she said, “They are S’s friends, and this is her house, this house is always open to them.” For the first time I found comfort, and unbelievably, joy, from listening to her.

I also got a call from a magazine about writing about my daughter and how I dealt with my loss, and I am going to try to do that though it isn’t going to be easy. And then on the same day I got a call from another mother who has lost a child, and wants to write about dealing with grief. Talking to someone who listens without judging, and connecting with someone who is going through the same struggles worked like a pain killer today. Thank you if you are reading this. And thanks to another friend who finds talking about her grief painful, but who has listened to me for hours sometimes. Hugs.

I can’t help noticing the timing of all this. I am sure this is going to make it easier for me to smile and be grateful on the 19th, for the nineteen and a half years that we had.


42 thoughts on “When it is okay to count your blessings.

  1. Very touchy post … I liked one excerpt from your post
    “Talking to someone who listens without judging, and connecting with someone who is going through the same struggles worked like a pain killer today.” which is very true indeed.
    It’s one of the major fact that human wouldn’t be able to understand. I was reading a philosophical book in which one has mentioned that
    ” the human mind knows that one day he/she gonna die(after looking at other deaths), but still he doesn’t want to accept it “


      • Yeah, you are right. That’s one of the reason why people never want to talk about it and discuss it. And one has to be prepared for it. I know it’s hard but not impossible.
        I remember when I was in 5th or 6th class I ponder over this once(but for my close ones not even for mine: strange?) for the whole night and lost it in this thought for many days but after that I dumped this thought at some corner of my brain.
        But still sometime I do ponder over it and keep myself attached to the reality. I do suggest watch this video http://vimeo.com/34414313

        p.s: don’t quote my story plzz this is the first time it’s coming out. I thought I should discuss this.


  2. *Hugs*
    I don’t mean to belittle or minimize your grief when I say this, but while I cannot even comprehend your pain, I have felt the same way – and still do – about the dog I grew up with. (I’d never thought of him as less than a sibling so believe me, I say this with sincerity and hope it won’t offend you.)

    Every year, as the date rolls around, I brace myself for the impending dread and gloom. It still breaks my heart – and I’m a sobbing mess as I type this – that I only got to spend 10 years with him and a longer time(12 yrs) since, without. But I’m grateful for the time I spent with him. It gets easier, yes. It’s a lot easier now for me to fondly talk about all the little things he did, all his quirks and habits…..with everyone who knew him. In fact with a lot of people (old neighbors, for instance) it’s all I can talk about. It’s all there is to whatever bond I share with him. And I’m grateful that I can do that. That I can relive those memories. That I HAD those times with him to start with. And that everyone (colleagues I just met, for instance) puts up with me as I go on about a dog they’ve never seen and never will.

    I knew all along that I was going to outlive him, but the idea would drive me nuts so I’d push it to the back of my mind.

    I don’t think I’ll ever “get over it”…..I don’t even know what that means. I know there will always be a Putchu-shaped hole in my universe.


  3. I’ve always wanted to suggest you write a book about Tejaswee, and immortalize her memories, but it felt very forward to do so. I’m glad you already are thinking about it! I wish you the very best with the effort, and I can’t wait to read it!

    I don’t know you personally, IHM, but your strength and grace (I can’t find a more appropriate word) in dealing with the worst has inspired me more than I can say, and so has reading the posts on your blog, and the opinions of the people who comment. I’ve had a rough two years, and I won’t be exaggerating if I say that your blog has been instrumental in my holding my resolve, and dealing with things my way.


  4. You’re an absolutely amazing person IHM! Your daughter was very lucky to have you as a mother…May your strenght never fail!

    One lesson I’ve learnt in my very limited experience in life is that we have the capacity to overcome anything life throws at us, we just have to dig deep within ourselves and find the strenght we need.
    God bless you!


  5. I read just now, ‘Quaint Little murmur’. Tejaswee has touched many hearts. She must be happy about spending her 19 and a half years with a good mother like you, too, IHM!

    The picture is very good. Hugs to you, IHM!


  6. Dear IHM,Someone who has never lost a child can never fully comprehend the extent of loss and pain. And yet, as a human who has had my share of challenges, i do somewhat….

    Your resilience and courage is amazing, though i am sure there must be moments of misgivings now and then.

    I send heartfelt wishes to you,that you can continue your life meaningfully along with memories of Tejaswee. Lots of HUGS 🙂



  7. Wish you loads of strength. Talking with someone who has undergone the same loss and can listen is cathartic. I can relate to a lot of people who lost their parent young. My mom has been gone since 11 years, but I do remember her a lot, through good times and bad, and I relive her good memories and those of her illness in my mind. So, yes pain of loss decreases and does not go away. Hugs to you!


  8. it was difficult to finish reading your post as my eyes were moist with tears. it is so difficult to undersatnd what a parent feels at the loss of a child. i lost a young BIL about 18 months ago and still hurts when i think of him and i had known him for only 10 years.

    all i can say is i am proud that you have the strength to be able to express it and help others on the healing path. as for the J, S’s Mother. hats off to her to be able to count her blessings.


  9. If the thought of the whole thing is scary & sometimes depressing for me then I can not imagine how you must be feeling. But I always admire you for the strength that you have shown & passed on to others as well.


    And that is an amazing picture.


  10. IHM I wish and pray that God always gives you the strength to bear this pain. I know I am noone to say anything but sometimes i do think of it all, the posts you wrote, and I do feel a sad and depressed and the thought reminds me what you felt.

    And let me tell you although i have not mentioned to anyone or on blog only a few know I had a loss and i must say reading your thoughts have made me a bit stronger. Reading the posts and being in touch makes me feel i have known you for ages.

    Take care IHM


  11. Last week I spend more than a day in Tejaswee’s blog.. not sure what took me there.. but while reading her, I couldnt accept that she is no longer here in this world.. in her writings, she is full of wisdom which normally comes with much age…

    May the Almighty continue give you strength.


  12. Was thinking of the 19th the other day and wondering how it could be, again. They do say it gets easier with time – thought it was a tough truth to accept close to the grief raking event. It does feel good to hear you say this, IHM. I hope the day goes with a lot of happy tears at the lovely things she said and did through these 19.5 years.



  13. Just a short note to convey my empathy.
    Feel unequal to the task of giving proper expression to my feelings and so I won’t attempt it now.
    But I must compliment you on the courage you have shown and the maturity with which you have handled this tragedy.
    May Tejaswee live for ever in these blog posts of yours.
    Regards and best wishes


  14. Beautiful post, IHM. The anniversary of my mom’s death is coming up (Jan 21), so I have been thinking of these things as well. This will be year 12. I can say that grief eases over time (last year was the first year I did not cry on the 21st), but I don’t know if we can ever grow to understand it. But I think I accept it more now. My life has evolved so much over the last 12 years that I can’t really imagine what it would look like today if she were still here, but I am keenly aware of the life we had before the car accident, and I do still grieve for those days.

    Many hugs to you as always.


  15. Pingback: Grief | eitheory.com

  16. Hugs, IHM. The strength and equanimity you’ve shown in dealing with such a devastating tragedy is truly remarkable. I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire you for dealing with your grief head on and the efforts you make to channelise your grief, to make her memories live on. Hugs.
    Do share the link to your article on Tejaswee when it is published.


  17. Dear IHM, Hugs. I think it’s so important to realize that everyone deals with grief in their own way – and time – and I am so impressed that you are able to be of help to other mothers dealing with such tragedy. Hugs again.


  18. I had tears in my eyes on reading this post. I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain and grief that you and your family are experiencing, and all I can offer are hugs and love. My thoughts are with you and your family.


  19. my younger son left me last year on 5th jan 2012 . I know what you and other mother’s like me have gone thru and are going thru. On the surface everything now is as normal as possible but the moment I pause and think, and tell myself that Sandeep is not there and will never come back I feel like ending my life…….


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

  21. Pingback: In our hearts forever. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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