She would have been 21 today and I miss her.

I have no words, just thanks to all who remembered Tejaswee today. This year is easier than the last one, so I am sure it does get better. My mother is with me and her constant attempts to cheer me (joking, talking about everything but what’s in her mind and mine) upset me and then I sat her down and read out from some of my earlier posts about there being no right or wrong way to grieve. I told her it was okay for me to not laugh or be able to focus on anything sometimes. I also assured her that I was much better but she really needed to accept that I was not and could not be the same daughter she had before her grand daughter died, but that did not mean I was always crying. I told her I actually laughed aloud when I read Tejaswee’s letter to J K Rowling, and how I will never forget the wonderful life we had, and the amazing memories we have now. I told her I didn’t need to forget Tejaswee.
She says she understands but everything she does conveys she wants everything to be ‘normal’. I tried to make her see that it didn’t harm me to acknowledge that I was thinking of  my daughter on the most special day of my life and hers (and every single other day).

My deepest gratitude to the blogosphere and the internet for keeping me sane during the toughest time in my life.

This portrait by Midhun Kumar made me feel I was not the only one remembering her today.

From this photograph by Divesh,

Thank You.

101 thoughts on “She would have been 21 today and I miss her.

  1. Tejaswee will be happy wherever she is. It’s impossible to forget our departed loved ones, acknowledging the fact that they’ve moved on gives so much more peace. She will be remembered and will remain alive in your memories. Hugs, IHM!

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  2. Happy Birthday Tejaswee, I am sure wherever you are u r spreading smiles & sunshine!!!
    I love this photograph of hers!!!
    & IHM, for you I have loads & loads of *hugs*

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    • Mampi’s comment made me realise I also share my sunsign with TJ🙂
      Wanna adopt me??? See I come with zero future investment (am alreasdy mrrd, education done, working fulltime, have a baby & hubby etc) and loads of love & laughter in the form of my l’lle brat😉

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  3. Yes, we all remember her. Don’t get upset with ur mom’s ways. She is trying her level best to cope with it herself and ‘pestering’ u may be the way she found out to distract from her grief. Yes life will never be normal but I am sure u have the strength to find meanings to this ‘abnormal’ life.

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  4. I am just remembering the last sentence on my own post….
    about remembering to celebrate the person’s life rather to mourn his/her death🙂

    How ironic….that the days we remember the two ppl closest to us….has to be just a day apart.🙂

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  5. Happy Birthday Tejaswee🙂 Her letter to JK Rowling made me lol🙂 ….she will always live on through the memories that you share with us and her writing. amazing portrait..Hugs. (Read your blog regularly but don’t comment often…)

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  6. Happy Birthday Tejaswee.

    IHM, hugs to you. wherever she is, she must be one of the most loved and cherished persons there. And she will continue to live in all our hearts. Hugs IHM.

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  7. A sputtering candlewick
    Though burning dimly
    is brighter by far
    than cimmerian blackness
    For life, on whatever terms-outranks oblivion.
    Yes! – the ‘if onlys ‘ do persist forever
    As hovering,wraithlike,used-up wishes
    their afterburners spent:
    ‘If only’ this or that
    on such and such a day
    Had varied by an hour or an inch;
    or something neglected had been done
    something done had been neglected!
    Then ‘perhaps’ the other might have been,
    And other others…to infinity
    For ‘perhaps’ and ‘if only’ are first cousins
    addicted to survival in our minds.
    Accept Them
    And All Else.

    I remember this poem (I mean parts of it, but got the full one now from the internet) in a novel “Overload” by Arthur Hailey since my school days. For some reasons it stuck with me and I feel
    as humans we delve so much into “If only”..

    ..and I often run in my mind and say “If only..” this was different .. like now “If only” it was different for you! If only TJ was alive for you… If only you could have an appointment with her in flesh & blood.. If only you could go back in time & space where life took a drastic turn..

    All I have come to understand is that life unfolds in the most perfect way and the more we learn to surrender to let it flow the way it is suppose to flow the easier it becomes! And like most of the readers are saying. Rockstar “IHM” has been living life the most perfect way! Kudos !

    You are allowed to do all things human! And it is perfectly OK to be not your usual self or be sunk in gloom. Or remember the gr8 times you had with her . In the end it will all come out good.. take care IHM!

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  8. Am thinking of you today, am thinking of Tejaswee and wishing her a happy birthday. The portrait is amazing and it captures her wonderful smile.

    Lots of hugs🙂

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  9. I must have created close to 7 blogs, posted twice or thrice and then created another coz I forgot the password to the old one. Today, on TJ’s 21st birthday, I created another one, which I intend to keep going for a long time because her blog inspired and continues to inspire me to write.
    Happy birthday!🙂 Love and hugs.

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  10. Happy birthday Tejaswee!

    She was so beautiful! You can’t forget loved one’s because love is impossible to forget.
    May God bless you and your family.

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  11. Dear IHM,
    Your daughter is precious to you, and to all of us here. I can understand your feelings on her Birthday… I wish you and your family the very best and a Very Happy Birthday to a most wonderful daughter…. May God be with her and she be loved always like this.
    The mystical power of magnetism binds us all together…
    God Bless

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  12. Many Hugs IHM and Tajaswee will remain in all our hearts, through ur posts forever!! I am sure she, whereever she is, she will just be content and happy and why not? with so many of ur wishes n support being with u and ur family forever!!

    May more hugs to u n yes u r truly a “Rockstar” IHM.. The pic and the portrait is just stunning..

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  13. We never get used to our child being dead, but we learn to live with it and in time, the pain becomes sweet memory, a dull ache, a warm remembrance. One bereaved mother to another, IHM, my love and caring to you.

    (My son would have been 41 in February.)

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  14. Love the photo of Tejaswee IHM. Her smile is so infectious…I’m sure she’s still smiling wherever she is. Happy birthday to her…I noticed that I share the same star sign as her. As you said, there is no right or wrong way to grieve and it’s perfectly okay to think even more about her on special days such as this. Take care….

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  15. Happy Birthday Tejaswee!

    That is a lovely portrait. I am sure she ‘ll love it. Wherever she is, she is surrounded with love and precious memories of her loved ones.

    May God give your strength IHM and your family, esp you Mum to sail happily through life, just as Tejaswee wants you to be….

    Hugs

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  16. Thinking of you. Thinking of Tejaswee.
    I do understand your grief, IHM, though I (or others who have not lost a child yet) may not be able to fathom the exact depths of it. Take care, my friend. ((((HUGS!))))

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  17. Your entire approach to this is fascinating, IHM. Really does reveal how strong you are mentally. Are her dad and little brother coping with this the same way as well?

    Me – Nish, we have had a lot of support, and generally no judgement, no compulsions to follow anything we found painful or uncomfortable, we all feel grateful for that.

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  18. Hugs IHM. She still lives in our hearts. I loved your post, ‘what are little girls made of’. I was really amused when I read that she had put moisturizers on teddy bears when she was a little girl. So many great memories for a mom🙂

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  19. Hugs IHM. I have been a silent reader for sometime. Just wanted to reach out today to let you know that TJ has been in my thoughts all of this morning.

    Big hugs again

    Nitya

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  20. IHM – if there was anything that has saddened me profoundly in the recent past was the day I read about Tejaswee on your blog. I was not myself for days together despite not knowing her and you personally. That is the connection we make with fellow bloggers.

    This picture of Tejaswee is my all time favorite! A very happy birthday and lots of hugs to you. God bless.

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  21. She’s with you all the time, specially today. And, she’ll always be with you sharing moments of joy and sadness. If you focus clearly you’ll feel messages do come constantly.

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  22. Happy Birthday Tejaswee. IHM, I remember you and T a lot. I find your way of trying to understand grief can be very heeling for many others. I totally understand that you now and you before will not be same. My aunt is in same situation sans she does not think that logically on the process of grieving and she is surrounded by many people who wants her to be ‘normal’ specially because she has another child to look after. This upsets my Aunt and she feels guilty for not being there fully for her second child. How is your son? Do you talk with each other about Tejaswee? How does he cope with the vacuum in his life? Lots of best wishes and hugs IHM to you and your family.

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    • Added later: I should write a post on this, this is so heart breaking. I am emailing you too.
      Dear Chandrima, We talk about Tejaswee and how we are dealing with our loss, in the initial months he showed me You Tube videos on the existence of soul and trailers of movies about death of a sibling (Cloud St Peter, The Lovely Bones, others), we read books about grief, we maintained journals of what we were feeling. Children also grieve. I realise we are not the way we were, parents change towards surviving children, we have become less hassled by things which might bother other parents, the feeling now being that we really don’t know what happens tomorrow. He is encouraged to do what he enjoys doing… We have phases of being fully there, and then being overwhelmed by grief. With time, we are being there for him more and more… but it definitely took time. I don’t think grieving can be hastened, think of it like a horrible illness, because the pain is severe and disabling. So, instead of asking the parents to ‘focus on the positive’ or to ‘focus on the surviving children’, the biggest support relatives can give is help them care for their surviving children (the way they would have if both the parents had been physically ill). This is what helped us through. I remember telling my sister in law that our son lost his parents along with his sister. He has changed unbelievably, he used to be the baby of the house, generally clowning and irritating her, so much that she made videos of him rapping to annoy her, while she is trying to study… My brother in law took over his studies almost entirely, my sister in law told our cook that even if she made khichdi for us (we couldn’t eat anything, so we drank a khichdi kind of gruel in tea cups, for many months) she must make complete meals for him. We had moved close to where they live, and she sent over anything special cooked at their place, in case we’d like to have some too. No pressure or blame, but accepting that we were in too much pain to see anything else. The parents do realise they are not able to be the kind of parents they would like to be their other children, it’s better to realise that in time they would be able to care for them, but not like they did in the past, it would be a different normal. In our case, it’s a more easy going parenting now, more flexibility, more acceptance… The parents would benefit from reassurance that until they feel upto it, they have support from relatives/friends (same as in case of severe physical illness). It’s cruel to ask them to focus on their surviving children when they are in so much pain that they can’t. Like, would we ask an accident victim screaming in pain to think about the good things in his/her life? Child loss is much worse. You can’t think beyond your loss, and those who are going through it want the pain to stop. Memory might be affected, physical health problems and faster aging might happen.
      We couldn’t attend weddings or functions in the family, but always, one of his cousins picked and dropped our son; my sister in law suggested we shop for him and came along to help us do that (this was many months later). The 13th day after Tejaswee’s death, was raksha bandhan, his feelings were nowhere in my mind, only the horror of Tejaswee’s death was, but Tejaswee’s friend tied him rakhee, and a cousin took him out.

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      • All love and best wishes to him. Losing a sibling is a different kind of pain, a huge loss that is hard to describe. I lost my brother much later in my life, and I can only imagine what losing a sibling would be like at that tender age.
        My younger son shares Tejaswee’s birthday, so I can never forget it.
        All my love to you and your family.

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      • IHM, I am glad you had the support of your extended family; a family that knew how to help. Your description of the grieving process is very touching. The analogy of a grieving parent with a sick parent helped me understand the need for support better.

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  23. for some reason, some of us might believe that tj’s life, because it was so short, left some things unfinished.. but the more i look at this girl, at the fire in her eyes, and the words on her blog. the more i realise.. that maybe, she was sent for a brief time.. to be life personified, for everyone around her.. no one who has known her can live half a life, methinks.. just reading her blog again and again makes me want to live.. as completely as one can!! happy birthday tj… we miss u, but like an angel, are we glad that u touched our lives!!

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  24. Well this is my first visit to your blog and i could n’t contain to express my deepest regret about your loss. And it must be both a joyful and as well a sullen occasion to remember your daughter Tejaswee, on her this very special day. I wish her a Happy Birthday and also that her soul may rest in peace.

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  25. I found an older post about TJ, and without realizing how things have turned out, left a question on it. Please forgive my ignorance and any pain it may have caused you. May you all find all that you were meant to.

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  26. Tejaswee must be giggling and smiling somewhere saying ‘My mommy bestest!’🙂 Lots and lots of love to your entire family! I can imagine that it must be unbelievably difficult… do take care and remember that there are lots of people looking out for you.

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  27. Dear IHM,

    I learn from every post you write. Today I learnt something about love…that people we love change and we should try to accept them as they are now rather than trying to change them back to what they were before. I will remember that all my life. Thanks.

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  28. Pingback: How to help a family coping with child loss. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  29. Fond memories of TJ ,will linger on like your favorite fragrance IHM making you aware of her presence with each whiff of air inhaled .Best wishes for this special day and always.

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  30. Happy B’day to Tejaswee!!!!

    Here’s to a strong mother who inspires us everyday…makes us want to be stronger, better everyday!

    Lots of love and hugs…Nilu

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