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.