Friday, October 7, 2011

Can I say some truths today?

I recently read a travel write-up penned by a friend. She shared it with me to read and give some feedback on her writing style.

This friend is one of the few friends who phoned me and made attempts to meet with me after my baby died. Although, she herself has never had any idea about what grief means. She is someone whose life has been a perfect water color painting and continues to be so. Perfect parents, perfect childhood, perfect husband, money, social friends ...everything. Whenever she called me after my baby died, her talks surrounded on how to bounce back in life. Her advises included telling me to go to meditation sessions, go to dinners, to toastmaster's club..etc. She never acknowledged the death of my baby ever in conversations, because I assume, she has no idea about my loss. She thinks it's just a small mishap and can be overcome; and because she has such a wonderful life herself, I don't want to judge her.

Her write up was about a road trip she took with her friends on December 2nd last year. No one has to remind me where I were on this day. It was the 4th day after my baby had died. And if there was to be a hell on earth, I was in such a hell. She had explained in great depths about how fabulous her trip was. On the day my baby died, November 29th, she with her husband and few other friends had visited my husband in Dubai to offer condolences. Three days later, she had gone on this terrific trip.

Of course, I don't expect her to stay at home and 'mourn' my baby's death. On the other hand, this made me sit back and think how I reacted when I heard something tragic happened with my friends. A few years ago, before I were married, one Saturday I was getting ready to go to office. It wasn't a regular working day, we had some celebrations in the office. I was supposed to be a part of a fashion show and a group dance. I remembered my best friend who lived in a different city that morning, wanted to check on her, so gave her a call. She answered the call, and gave me the news that 3 days ago, her 20 year old brother died in a drowning accident. I was totally shocked. I wept on the phone. Called my father to share this terrible mews. I couldn't take my mind off my friend 's tragedy for the rest of the day. In fact, it's been 6 years since that boy died and I still, often think about him. I think about how my friend and her parents are living their lives without him, and I cannot tell you how sorry I feel. How unfair I find the whole thing.

But on that day, the day when I got the news of that boy's untimely death, I went to work. I took part in that fashion show, in that dance...I told all the people around me about my friend's tragedy but that hadn't stopped me from being a part of their celebrations. I didn't feel like withdrawing because it wasn't my brother who had died by drowning, it was my friend's brother.

Times changed, the clock turned the full cycle, and am at the other end of the cycle now. At the receiving end.


  1. It's so hard because this grief is all our own. Because no one will know it unless they've experienced this kind of grief in their lives.

    It's hard to imagine anyone living a "normal" life while you were going through the worst days of your life, huh? :(

  2. It's hard to realize that even though our lives aren't moving forward as we thought they would that other people's lives are. I remember watching the news a day or so after Drew was born and it was shocking to realize that even though my world stopped, the rest of the world didn't.

    I don't watch the news as much now--and I feel like I'm always the last to know about things. It's easier for me to focus on my own world moving forward without Drew than to focus on the fact that somedays it seems like the whole wide world is moving forward without him, and some days with out me.

    Just remember that there are some of us that know the grief you know, that have the same days you're having--and the same really really terrible ones you had early on. So, you're not alone, even if it sometimes feels like it.

  3. You are not alone in feeling that way. It is very hard to see others so happy and to see life move forward. We understand it has to be that way, that this is our grief and our life not theirs but that doesnt make it any easier. Thinking of Vitu

  4. I understand this so completely. I often read blog posts of December 5th in the lives of other people. My worst hell was when people were attending Christmas parties and baking with family. I was holding my dead child in a hospital room-- the only place I ever saw or held my son.

    It's so hard. It's hard to be on the receiving end, but you're absolutely right about it coming full circle. Everyday is a "bad" day in the lives of people. I can't fathom people being born on 12-5 who are living. On that very date?

    So tough.

  5. I definitely have looked back at a lot of moments in m life when people I have known have had tragedies happen. I wonder how I acted then. Did I seem at all sympathetic or did I just carry on with my life because the tragedy wasn't directly related to me. I definitely see things differently now.

  6. The night Elizabeth died was the night the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. At the time I wasn't the least bit surprised, since of course the WHOLE PLANET should have spontaneously self-destructed at that moment. But it didn't. I know how you feel :(