“Grieving parents behave in a different manner. ”

A dear friend who has known child loss asked what I thought of Shobha De saying – repeating what she had said earlier, that she believes the Talwars could have killed their only daughter because, ‘Grieving parents behave in a different manner. They are broken in spirit and rendered almost incoherent with grief at the loss of a loved one.’

I have heard opinions less accusing or judgmental, but equally convinced about how parents whose children have died must, should or do behave. I too had always thought that manifestations of grief and trauma were obvious and easy to understand. But sometime on 11th Aug 2010, I remember someone saying, “She is handling it very well…” when they saw me arranging the cushions in the living room and generally putting the place in order, hours (?) after Tejaswee had died. What was I thinking? I remember one thought – that I had not been home for many days and there were going to be visitors. Does it make sense that a mother feeling that she was watching herself in her worst nightmare, and who had just started sensing that there was no hope of ever waking up from this endlessly painful nightmare, would be capable of putting clothes for wash, or tea cups in the kitchen sink? What was happening? I have no idea what made me do that. Was I being ‘cold blooded’? No, because I was in unimaginable pain.

Later I had asked not to meet anybody and didn’t. We had also made it clear that we would not be talking about Tejaswee’s death or her time in the ICU. I know of other parents who – each of them, did not want to talk or think about their children’s death. We didn’t want to forget (that felt like betrayal, because  our children suffered the pain and we didn’t even want to remember it?), but we did want to be able to lock away painful memories and never think of them again. I still sometimes talk about her death but it happens when it happens, there is no one judging or questioning and dissecting every word, tear or smile.

And I can say without fearing judgment that I have no idea why I reacted in certain ways. How would I have reacted if there was constant judgement and accusations? Would I be defensive?

Did it mean I was unaffected? No. All the time I was in intense pain, always wishing it was possible to just close my eyes and never open them again – so much that when I look back, my heart goes out to the person I was in the early days and the early months (or anybody else going through the same pain). The hopelessness was impossible to argue out of – it did seem like an end of everything good ever possible. And all the time there was also a sort of a denial and difficulty in understanding –  an impossible thought, a hope maybe that “Tejaswee couldn’t possibly have really died”. A desperate wish to wake up from this nightmare. It was all extremely unreal – like watching it happening to someone else. Like not really being there and yet feeling so much pain that the idea of death brought comfort.

I can’t imagine this today – but I was startled that the sun rose the next morning. For many months afterwards, it did seem impossible that the nature and the world was going about their lives as usual. It had shocked and angered me. There was a feeling of having been betrayed, by the Creator or Fate or God or all the positivity in the world. Did I actually expect the world to stop? And this is again something many of the other parents have felt too.

Along with all this, there was a horrible feeling of having failed, as a parent. And every parent I have met has felt this way – a strong sense of having let down the child you were supposed to keep safe from harm. Months afterwards when I found these lines, I read them every day to remind myself that maybe parents were programmed to feel this way and it helped that we weren’t the only ones – that even the grief was just a programming – it helped to see it as something beyond our control (so it was okay to let go), as something that had a pattern and that could be predicted (to a degree).

Here are the lines I say to every grieving parent I meet/interact with,


Sunday, August 29, 2010 @ 09:08 PM Author: Grieving Dads

… The poem was written for bereaved parents by Vicki Tushingham.  Feel free to share with others.

Just For Today For Bereaved Parents 

Just for today I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt, for deep in my heart I know if there was anything in this world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.

I have spoken to 100′s of grieving dads and the one thing we all have in common is guilt.  We find so many ways to blame ourselves for what happened to our children.  We go back and rethink things over and over.  ”If I would have done this different” or “I should have been there for them”.  There are so many ways we find to blame ourselves.  However, like this section of poem says, “deep in my heart I know if there was anything in this world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.”   If only for today you can find away to forgive whatever it is your thinking about, please try to do it.  I believe guilt is a great destroyer.

* * *

I have no memory of learning (and I never want that memory) that Tejaswee had died, but I do remember saying “It’s okay” to the doctor who walked out of the ICU and lifted his hands up when he saw me – indicating that it was not possible to attempt a dialysis because she had a cardiac arrest and they were trying to revive her. I remember they had succeeded in doing that but everything after that is a blank. I didn’t know it then, but (learnt later via GGTS) this kind of blocking of traumatic memories is not uncommon. I also don’t remember many phone calls from the early days, or the emails (some of which I have responded to).

We had decided very early not to talk about her suffering to each other, though I did talk endlessly with those who seemed to understand – and these were almost always other parents who had experienced child loss. But on Aug 11th 2010, I didn’t want to go inside the ICU and see her – or attend the funeral (but did both). Because I was terrified (and I had never imagined having such fears, we don’t know how we would react when facing the unimaginable).  – it seemed obvious that a mother would want to see her child who has just died. But I was terrified of seeing any signs of suffering on her face. Or of sadness on her face because she was left alone in the ICU and there was  no one to hold her hand as she felt herself dying…  or worse,  disappointment, horrible disappointment because I couldn’t keep my promise to her, of walking out of the hospital with her. And along with all this was the feeling that nothing else mattered anymore. The funeral was organised on the same day and I didn’t want to be there – once she was not there, nothing else mattered. Why am I blogging about this? To share how it felt and how it feels for many parents. It’s painful to write more about this, but no matter what happened on the night Aarushi Talwar died, reading about the Talwars’ grief – I didn’t find anything odd in the way they are grieving.

My husband’s first words were to donate her eyes and I was shocked, because he said this when the doctor said, “Now only a miracle can save her.” I had no doubt that she would have wanted her eyes to be donated, but I didn’t want the doctors to think we were prepared to let her die – to me it felt that if we were ready to give up hope, so would she and so would the Universe. Even the two parents didn’t react the same way to the pain there are no words to describe, and we both loved her more than our lives.

One thing I clearly remember was a strong, difficult to understand even now, but very clear instinct to somehow not break down and cry. It felt like being on the brink of something indescribable. I also surfed the net and read about grief – and it helped somehow. Why did it help? (Looking back, I think it helped to see the terrifyingly overwhelming and all-powerful pain dissected and discussed in points – it made it seem less daunting) Maybe it distracted from the cause of the pain? Maybe it helped because it gave hope that the pain would become bearable with time?  (And yes it has diminished and I have almost made peace with whatever life has dealt us, though it seemed unbelievable then. It is now possible to control one’s thoughts and lock those that hurt firmly in one special corner that stores both pain and memories that bring pain).

Today I see that lack of display of obvIous grief as an indication of being in shock… something much worse than just shock. And by this logic, I think, it indicates that whatever happened, Aarushi’s parents did not plan it in cold blood. If the crime was planned by them, and if they had given it the thought that they have been accused of having given, they would have included tears (and more) in their ‘cold blooded’ plans to satisfy those who were judging them.

I did not see the TV show the friend mentioned, so let me attempt to respond to the similar thoughts Shobha De shared on her blog – ‘Believe it or not!!! Aarushi ki sad kahani

Shobha De: “… the response of Aarushi’s parents has beenpuzzling and bizarre , to say the least. Grieving parents behave in a different manner.”

IHM: There is no one way in which all grieving parents behave or should behave. Shock and unimaginable trauma can influence how people react. It is generally difficult for someone who has not dealt with it to even imagine what it is like. Judgment is an indication of lack of understanding.

Shobha De: They are broken in spirit and rendered almost incoherent with grief at the loss of a loved one.

IHM: Not true for all parents. Many parents fight for justice (it becomes a reason to live); some go online, desperately trying to understand how they are feeling; many join support groups that they did not know even existed until they needed them; and many refuse to talk or cry. Many are clear that they must not break down. Many are unable to understand their own reactions, their own strengths and weaknesses. For most it feels like the unbearable pain would never go, infact this is one of the reasons most grieving parents interact for –  to keep asking each other, “When does it start getting better?”  

Shobha De: An only child at that. Not these two, though. Sorry if this sounds like pop psychology gone wrong… but the conduct displayed by Mr. and Mrs. Talwar appears a bit too calculated, even cold blooded to viewers.

IHM: They calculated to appear indifferent and cold? If they had calculated, would they not calculate to appear appropriately ‘broken in spirit’?

Shobha De: For a mother of a dead girl to project such steely determination during what must have been the most harrowing time of her life, seems a bit unnatural.

IHM: Ms Neelam Katara appeared on the TV with the same steely determination, she fought, successfully, to get justice for her son Nitish Katara who was murdered brutally. I remember because when I saw her, I was sure if my child had died I would have died or gone mad. But I didn’t.

Shobha De: I have spent enough time consoling mothers who have lost their kids to say this is perhaps the first time I have observed a mom whose sole objective seems to be to put up a feisty defence for herself and her husband.

IHM: Were the other mothers accused of killing their children? Would it have helped their case if the Talwars were hysterical?

Shobha De: Both the Talwars have a script that reads like a law manual.

Their faces are stony, their eyes, strangely devoid of any emotion. When they mention Aarushi, they could as well be discussing their neighbour’s kid.

IHM: ‘Their faces are stony, their eyes, strangely devoid of any emotion.’ Could well be indications of shock, trauma or ‘broken in spirit’.

And why would cold blooded murderers plan to display their lack of emotions? So that random people can point fingers and declare them murderers? I think the very fact that they are not taking special care to behave in ways that protects them from judgment by those who have no clue about grief is an indication that they are in shock.

Related Posts:

She will live forever in our hearts.

We can’t change what we would give anything to change, but we can control how we deal with it.

“The pain will never go, but you will smile again.”

Words do heal.

On 19th Jan 2013.

On 19th Jan 2011.

When it is okay to count your blessings.

Please pray for my daughter’s life.

Last year, these days.

When they cry.

The right way to grieve.

I will see you again.

Media is getting irresponsible – Garima


59 thoughts on ““Grieving parents behave in a different manner. ”

  1. Hugs. I found this very hard to read, but having seen my aunt go through the loss of her only child a few years ago, I can so relate. No one should have the audacity (or hard-heartedness) to prescribe how anyone should react to loss of this magnitude. When my aunt got down with the ambulance with her son’s body, everyone expected her to collapse, but she didn’t. Instead, she looked calm and even through the funeral, she was consoling other, older members of our family. But, the look of utter despair on her face, when they took his body away, and just this one sentence that she said, “Why am I still living?”, remains with me 5 years on. My aunt has continued with her life despite what I know to be a deep loss that can never be forgotten, only lived with.


    • Anon, My aunt lost both her sons to previously undiagnosed genetic conditions. One would think she would’ve lost her mind and been wandering the streets. Can you imagine a mother’s grief when she knows that her child potentially died because of something he inherited from her? I have the heard the very same “Why am I living?” from her.

      But she is alive, her life feels empty to her but she lives on. For the sake of her grandchild. For the sake of everyone else in her life. She doesn’t hide her grief. She has photos of both her sons prominently hung up around the house because she wants to remember them and wants everyone else to remember them.

      IHM, Are there people in this world that are actually cruel enough to judge a parent having gone through the most unimaginable grief in their life? Something as simple as a fever brings different reactions from different people..the loss of a child?! Is there supposed to be a right and wrong way?! I am in tears, IHM…for your loss and for having lost my dear cousins…


      • IHM, I don’t know why I came here and poured out about my aunt the other day…maybe it was gut feeling or whatever. My aunt passed away around the same time that I was commenting here from the genetic heart condition that took her sons away. I still cannot comprehend the blow we have been dealt.


      • “Are there people in this world that are actually cruel enough to judge a parent having gone through the most unimaginable grief in their life?” Yes, apparently there are. I lost all respect for Ms De after reading her cold, judgemental and atrocious blog post. She may justify it bys saying it is just her opinion. But I think this one was really crossing the line given how the entire incident has unfolded.


  2. Each person is different and deals with loss in a different manner. My mother broke down and actually looked at us accusingly if we tried to talk about anything apart from my brother who had died. My father busied himself with arrangements and ensured that I was busy running errands. I am thankful for that …
    People are unique, their way of handling things are widely different too


  3. Grief is a personal as love and yes the loss of a child can be the most painful experience for any parent. But while we must not forget that Arushi was not taken away by a disease, or an accident but a murder in her own bedroom we also must not forget that the focus of her story should always be HER.
    who reacted how and how he/she should have is no one’s prerogative.


  4. Hugs IHM.

    Everyone has a different manner of dealing with loss, and their breaking point is different as well. It doesn’t do well for us to judge on how people manage.

    I can understand that it must be difficult to deal because as a parent, one has been responsible for their kid for so long, that it becomes so ingrained. (I guess).


  5. I haven’t even gotten halfway through this post, IHM, I just want to pause and give you a big hug. This must have been so hard to write about! Just last night, I cried a little, remembering two 3-week-old kittens that I attempted to revive, attempted to keep warm enough for just a few more hours until I could take them to a vet who would work his magic… but couldn’t succeed. I wonder whether they would have lived longer if I hadn’t brought them home, but then I remember that they were thrown nearby a garbage bin, an area swarming with dogs, and I knew I did the best thing I knew how to do. If I the pain of losing complete strangers, animals at that. can numb me for a few minutes every once in a while and send me into a guilt trip, I can’t imagine what a parent feels at such unacceptable loss. Why the hell would anyone even dare to judge people based on how they react to a loved one’s death?


  6. When my dad passed away, I did not breakdown. Later, in my private moments I shared my grief with my husband. Often i was alone. We all react differently.
    It was difficult to read this post without mist in my eyes.
    I don’t agree with Shobha at all. I also don’t appreciate people offering parenting tips or speculating on this case. We were not there, we don’t know. Let the courts decide. Period.
    I can’t believe that any educated parent can slit the throat of their child in any situation. And I can’t believe that people can actually believe that the father did it. I don’t know what happened but I refuse to buy this.


    • “I can’t believe that any educated parent can slit the throat of their child in any situation.” I find this statement quite offensive. I am pretty sure that a lot of uneducated parents also don’t slit their children’s throats under any circumstance. This is simply bias against poor and uneducated people. They don’t automatically become eligible for murderer status because they lack formal education. Seriously, WTF!


  7. Very brave of you to share your story. I am sure other parents who have been there can relate to it and find solace.

    As for Shobha De, she is highly overrated. Her articles shouldn’t be taken seriously.


  8. Hugs IHM.
    To me Shobha De’s words reek of insensitivity and ignorance of the first order. People who grieve are NOT programmed to behave in any particular way. I have met my share of people who say people who grieve will do this or that. Recently I have given a piece of my mind to two such people.


    • Wonder who the dumbos are who are downgrading your comment, Shail. Possibly people who confuse Shobha De’s insensitivity with being bold/honest.


  9. You are so right IHM, there is no specific definition of grieving. That is such a personal feeling, that while experiencing it one is not conscious how they behave publicly or if they are conscious their behavior is unpredictable. You have analyzed the feelings and Shobha De’s lines very well.


  10. When my friend’s father passed away, she did not break down in front of any of us. She was silent and somber, but composed.

    A year later, our group went to visit Nepal, and was at a temple in the night where we chanced upon a dead body being anointed and kept ready for the funeral pyre. It was on one side of a pond with steps leading down to it. It was quite unnerving to come across a corpse just like that. But we were all okay. There was a puja being held on the other side of the pond, and we stuck around to see the ritual dance and puja being performed.
    This friend of mine did not stay back to see the puja. She couldn’t. She walked away, and started sobbing uncontrollably. Her husband was completely flummoxed…didn’t know what was going on and how to console her as he wasn’t sure what she was even crying about until much later.

    Grief is handled differently by people. You can’t just ASSUME stuff based on what it looks like.


  11. So brave of you to pen down your thoughts IHM. I can totally relate to what you have written. People react very differently to different situations. That said, Shoba De also has her views on this topic. I’m not saying she’s right or wrong. But then again, to categorize that people should behave one such way is so wrong.

    My dad suffered a heart attack at home and by the time my mom took him to the hospital he was kinda brain dead, because his brain lost the crucial few mins of oxygen. But the doctors tried to revive him with 8 “shocks” to the heart. His heart started beating again, but he was brain dead and in coma—-for 5.5 months. We suffered immense physical and mental tension and pain during this time. He was a person who wasn’t bed ridden even with fever or something so small. To see him wired with tubes for food and output was pure torture. He never recovered and expired in his sleep. We were very worried for my mom as she was also a BP patient. We dint want anything to happen to her with all this tension. So for us it was a relief that he passed on. Yes, we did grieve and cry uncontrollably. But then the mind kept telling us that he is better off in a different place and life has to go on. We were all back to normal in a couple of days, including my mom. But memories remain and sometimes the heart becomes heavy.

    The brain is so unique that way. It never stores physical pain. How much ever you try to remember physical pain you can never re-live that. But emotions and the hurt caused to you by someone’s words or actions can be replayed and re-lived.

    Everybody deals with it differently. Hugs to you and you family IHM. Your experience is surely a guide for people who are in a similar situation.


  12. Regarding your rearranging the cushions or tidying up your home, I think our basic instincts take over in deep grief, especially when it concerns the death of a child. What we have done automatically over the many years in caring for our families is instinctive. Some people try to continue on with the basics until it sinks in that the reality they knew is no longer there; others feel that immediate break and realize things will never be the same. Just because we keep doing what we instinctively know how to do doesn’t necessarily mean we are strong. We are only doing what we know how to and can do at the time. Sometimes it’s only to keep our hands busy and connected to something we know we can do.

    We are all different and react differently to the death of our children. There are no set rules.

    Thank you so much for your posts. I really appreciate them.


  13. Shobha De is famous for insensitiveness…this is not boldness. Does she know this pain? Unless one goes through it, she or anyone cannot comment on other grieving parent. Please IHM, just ignore these fools. Every individual has their own pattern/way of dealing with happiness or grievances. It is too personal.

    Take care.


  14. Couldn’t get through the post without getting teary – eyed.
    I also shared it with my connections on Facebook because I think the message you are sending out is important. No one is entitled to judge others on how they behave, or how they do not behave. Everyone copes with grief in a different way.


  15. Grief is so personal- how can there be any one given formula????
    My brother predeceased our parents- it still feels strange to write this. We were living in a small, remote township at the time, where we had known people in the colony only for a short time. Sharing our grief with them was unimaginable, so as far as possible I remember being very very controlled. I may have seemed callous and unfeeling.( I also remember being very angry with my brother for dying so suddenly).
    Given my parents’ age and health status, I could neither take them to England for his funeral nor leave them behind and go there myself. It was only on my first trip abroad (after decades) a year and a half later that I could meet my sister-in-law and nephews and find some closure in being with them. To date I cannot imagine what my stoic father went through, beyond the few silent tears he shed on hearing the sad news. My mother had lost her only brother a few months ago, so it was a double whammy for her, but she was also broke down very rarely.
    Life is so strange. I do not know whether the Talwars were guilty or not, but having lost their child it seems natural that they would try and protect each other…….Who else do they have?
    Huge hugs to you, IHM, one of the bravest women I know.


  16. I always credited Shobha De with being a very intelligent person. However, this statement of her’s really makes me wonder. It is so painful to think that parents who are already struggling with the loss of their own child are put through so much agony and humiliation, based purely on “circumstantial evidence”. Just imagine – they have lost their child, their profession and their social position has been robbed from them without any hard core evidence. One can only pray that they get justice in a higher court.

    IHM, hats off to you for the extreme courage with which you have faced your loss and written about it. One can only imagine what you must have felt. Hugs to you dear.


  17. You are right IHM, everyone reacts differently to loss, hugs to you. Loss of anyone is hard, a child unimaginable. i wouldn’t wish anyone experience that. Shobha dee especially when widely followed ( if she is) must realise she has a social responsibility. and stop her judgement. but if it’s her opinion that parents who lose a child yell , scream and tear their hair out, then it simply shows her amazing lack of empathy and knowledge . like i always say, age brings experience not wisdom, and with that statement she makes that expression come true 🙂
    I have never ever spoken about my loss, compared to many not great, but we did lose our daughter, still born int he 7th month. but a loss to me nevertheless. She was unplanned and very soon after the birth of my twins, we were debating for a long time on future course of action, not entirely joyous but decide to continue and yet when we lost her , having even never seen her it was devastating, we don’t talk about it, not many know. it’s something between us both, and everytime i see a parent with a daughter i automatically calculate her age were she to be here today , would have been 17 🙂 and i’m sure driven me and her dad batty.
    like you say i never talk about her loud, no one knows but i can say 100% we both will never forget her, we have moved on but …
    so i can say with certainty, you should call out the shobha dee of the world and hopefully they will realise their folly and in future refrain from callous judgement.


    • Thanks for posting this.
      I hadn’t seen it before.
      No, I can’t believe she had a hand in the killing.
      Her honesty is evident to me, or else, she is one hell of an actress.
      But then, who killed her and why ?
      How do you counter all the evidence against the couple that has convinced the investigating agencies, a judge, and also thousands of ordinary people?
      God, this is the deepest mystery ever and I wonder if this will ever be resolved satisfactorily.
      But if I were a judge, I would not convict this couple based only on circumstantial evidence. Better they go free, even if they were really guilty, than take a chance on inflicting one more tragedy on this family.
      Guilty or not they have suffered enough, more than what a jail term can inflict on them.
      Just my personal views of course.


  18. Hugs IHM! Just reading it brought tears to my eyes and the realization that often we are so insensitive and judgmental in assessing people forgetting that they are human beings too.


  19. I so agree with your post, even as I teared up on reading it. People grieve for all losses very differently. Shoba De can be funny and incisive when dealing with celeb gossip – she’s completely lost the plot here. I have family members who’ve lost a child. They all reacted so differently, from public stoicism and private tears to wild grief. Grief doesn’t have a template.
    As for the case itself, I cannot believe the Talwars did it – but beyond that am unwilling to speculate.


  20. I too found Shoba’s De’s comments insensitive.
    She is nobody to decide the right way a person must behave during a bereavement.
    Stoicism in some people cannot be found fault with.

    I feel for you, when you write about Tejaswee.
    But God’s ways are mysterious and we humans cannot explain them away but simply accept His decisions. I liked the consoling thought, that there is nothing we would not have done to prevent the death. It definitely is a soothing thought.

    I know about two tragedies, one to a close relative and another to my office colleague with whom I worked for an entire career.

    In the first, that occurred about 8 years ago, my cousin, her husband and her aunt, were all killed in an instant, when their car collided head on with a truck on a state highway. The family went through a harrowing time. Identifying the bodies, claiming them from the police, arranging three funerals and dealing with the swarm of relatives who flocked over, and the legal succession problems later. It is an experience they would not like any one to go through.

    Last years, my office colleague, after his retirement, went through a double tragedy.
    His married son, his daughter in law and his unmarried daughter (due to be married in a few days) were off on a boating trip in a lake resort here in USA. The daughter entered the water to swim and started drowning. Hearing her cries the son jumped in to save her, while the daughter in law watched in horror. The son too drowned along with the daughter while everyone in the boat watched helplessly.
    My colleague rushed over from India, after getting news of the tragedy.
    Knowing him I am sure he faced the tragedy stoically (even though I wasn’t there)
    I haven’t met him since then, but I don’t know if I will be able to face him at all.
    I have no clue what to say to him when I next meet him in India. But I will be the last person to comment on his behaviour after this tragedy.

    My renewed condolences to you personally. This blog is a great project, in her memory.
    Keep at it.
    Regards and best wishes


  21. Hi IHM
    It must have been hard for you to write this but thank you so much for doing this. It is changing minds and hearts. Mmine for example- heart because I have always been a quick to judge person. Mind because after reading everything that you have written for Talwars, I read everything else I could find on the net, from the simplest of things such as Aarushi’s closest friends support them to the bigger ones such as a man was killed and dragged from a room yet there is no evidence of him being killed in that room, no blood stained clothes, no DNA in the room, nothing, they wiped it all clean. But they did not clean the whiskey bottle and simply left it there because it was so important to drink through the night. I have changed my stand on the case based on what I have read but its just left me miserable to see such injustice.
    I wish you’d comment on the Shobha De’s site so that everyone who reads her views gets to read yours.
    PS: I have not known grief like yours but I have felt very stoic during painful moments and have been surprised by my reactions where the focus suddenly shifts to the most mundane what needs to be done right now to stay sane rather than pondering over the bigger things such as what and why and what next of the situation.


  22. Hugs IHM. This post made me tear up, and want to pull my hair out at the same time.

    I really wish Shobha De would stop spouting rubbish. I’m sure that if a wife loses her husband, and does not do the whole bangle-breaking routine accompanied with loud tears, Ms. De would “know” that the woman killed her husband. Because, you know, she’s the authority on everything from grief to potty habits. These “celebs” will say just about anything to garner attention, really.

    PS: Brat 3 is lucky to have such a brave mother, and TJ too. Whenever I see posts about Brat 3, I imagine TJ grinning happily, seeing her dream of adoption fulfilled by you.


  23. Is there any thing in this world our society will find too sesitive and too personal to pass a judgement on???? I dont think so. A million hugs to you IHM


  24. Hugs to you IHM. When my uncle and aunty died at the same time, my parents went into this mechanical mode where they were arranging for the funeral, getting my uncle aunty’s kids from the airport, looking after the family. They didnt shed a tear. I wondered how that was possible. I, on the other hand, cried openly and shamelessly. It was as bad as losing my parents.

    Everyone has their way of greving. There is no right or wrong to it. No coldness or dramatics attached to it.

    Big big hugs to you. It takes an extremely BRAVE person to write this.


  25. Hugs to you. I know it must be painful to write about something so personal.

    I disagree with Shobha De on her article. Some people freeze, some people cry when things hit them like that. Who are we to judge, how people should react to THEIR personal tragedies?


  26. It must have taken so much courage for you to write this. I have undergone pain in the recent past too, although it is nowhere compared to the pain a mother would feel; I know how difficult it is to come out with it. When one undergoes a pain that breaks them, I think, they find it near impossible to share it even with the dearest ones. Pain almost becomes sacrosanct to them. I always wondered why was it that I found it so easy and effortless to cry around my counsellor than it was with my family or friends. Kudos to u IHM, that you found the strength to write this piece, I started my blog primarily because I thought I could share my pain easily with strangers, something that I wasnt able to do with well-wishers, yet I cannot come to complete some pieces cos they bring back those same painful memories that I am trying to block. Resuming our day to day activities is like bringing back some kind of normalcy, an escape route to what we imagine is our comfort zone – away from all the pain.
    As for Shobha De, I remember this saying – You have to walk in the shoes to know where it pinches. I encounter endless people judging me but maybe its all a part of the tragedy that we have to overcome.
    And for the Talwars, although I find it hard to believe that they killed their daughter, I think court is not very correct in passing a sentence on them when the facts are so unclear while millions go scot free for the lack of evidence.



  27. I really feel for your loss and you are right – grief can be manifested in many ways or not at all. No one except the person feeling it can measure grief. I hope you have found some comfort in the past years in your son and your other daughter.


  28. Sometimes I ask my mother, after reading something or hearing something, what it would be like to cope with the loss of a child. The way she stops doing whatever she’s doing and the look she gives me tell me everything I need to know.

    I don’t know who killed Aarushi, or what happened with her case. But the truth of the matter is that everyone copes with everything difference. Loss, disappointment, death. One person’s reaction will never be another person’s reaction. So, to tell someone how they should be feeling in order for it to appear “authentic” to the rest of us is so very callous. But then again, Shobha De seems to be the Indian version of Joan Rivers, so I guess there really isn’t much to say.


  29. IHM, do read this article (link below the quote):

    “Then, in the weeks after she died, something strange happened. I did not plunge. Life did not stop. Instead, I felt something so unspeakably strange, so blasphemous, that I wondered if I could talk or write about it, at all. I felt okay.

    Even stranger, I discovered, is that I wasn’t strange, at all. Despite the warnings that grief would drag me through the prescribed five stages and discard me in a darker place, bereavement researchers have recently learned that we’ve been wrong about loss for centuries. For some, grief is a dull and unrelenting ache that fades—or doesn’t. But for many of us, grief is something else. Grief is resilience.”



  30. IHM
    Read the post as soon it was published but did not comment today doing it without reading the comments of others

    Primarily no two people are same , so no two opinions , no two situations and no two reactions can be compared whether of joy or grief

    Your case is very different from Nupurs case . In your case the primary concern was never to “hide” the going of a beloved child . Yes we can understand the numbness you underwent

    But in case of Nupur regardless of what shobha de says or writes the situation looks like to save the family honor rather than to save the honor of their own beloved child

    How could a parent keep quiet when the all around them are trying to say that arushi – hemraj were in a compromising position
    Ok one point of argument can be how can they disapprove it well
    In your case the childs going was a normal death here it was abnormal
    So they should have stopped all the process of cremation till all the reports were in ORDER . What they did hurriedly went ahead with the cremation

    Even the most illiterate know that by not cremating the body you can move the wheels of the system and also that the scene of crime need not be touched

    People who lose children because of rape of child fight with the system to bring justice to the child and those who cant the social organizations take up their cause { one case was in calcutta where the child was raped by the security guard and when the mother saw the body of the girl the mother lost her voice , the parents left the place , did not fight but the state fought the case and rapist was hanged }.

    A doctor couple is ignorant of the fact that scene of crime should not be altered , that the cremation should take place once they have all the proper postmortem done

    Cmon IHM
    We cant let them go scot free just because they lost a child , their ignorance if you want to put it that way polluted the minds of so many young girls which includes my niece , who asked her father Papa can a parent kill their child ?

    I know if Talwars are not guilty of murder they are wrongly prosecuted for lack of evidence , but this is what i want to know how can they be so naive to be instrumental in destroying all the evidence from body and crime scene

    And u are a brave woman , i have always said so will continue to do so but I can never put Nupur and You at the same place Sorry I feel they dont deserve compasion because they were neither able to protect their child in her life time and not even after death

    Call it destiny if you want


    • Grief perhaps, shock perhaps and plain stupidity perhaps…
      I’m saying any of the above could cause the talwars to act like they did.
      Just becaome someone feels the parents didnt act grieved cannot make them guilty.
      they could very well have murdered their daughter but to convict them the courts need PROOF, EVIDENCE, not what someone feels, acts, behaves etc.,
      They raised an alarm when they saw the body, that’s it, done. after that the police/judicial machinery needs to swing in place. they need ot decide to get the postmortem done, decide when to releas ethe body decide what is needed to solve the case.. just becaus ethe cops were idiots doesnt make the talwars guilty. and becaus ethe cops were idiots even if they were guilty they have to be let off scot free due to lack of evidence.
      ” Its better to have 100 criminals run free than convict one innocent”..


  31. IHM – what a brutally honest post. Thank you for sharing. I have tears in my eyes. I faced a loss a few years back – not at the same magnitude as yours, but I still can recall the despair, emptiness and bleakness I felt then and yes, I too feel sorry for the person I was back then.

    No one can tell another person how to grieve. And each person grieves in their own way. People who lecture others about how to grieve have probably never faced any kind of life-altering loss themselves.

    Hugs to you IHM. You are a strong woman and whereever she is, Tejaswee must be so proud of you.


  32. Hugs IHM. This is a brave post. The pain just doesn’t go away; it comes back regularly, and one can’t predict how one will react to loss. I remember being very calm and composed in the days and months afterward, in public. But always, it was a very thin veneer, of composure, very close to a breakdown. And sometimes I feel I’m still like that, below all the smiles and happiness, even 14 years later…deep inside is that mother who is still looking for her child…like in the RDB song Lukka Chuppi. I detest it when people tell someone else how to feel and behave about loss. If you’re controlled, they feel you must be uncaring. If you’re falling apart, they sagely advise you to stop being so weak. Utter insensitivity.

    Hugs to you, it can’t have been easy to write about Tejaswee’s death.


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