There is no other way to say this but no one has it good. In the day and age of social media over load, it may seem that all people do is be happy and make merry. What we don’t share is our daily lives, with its struggles and uncertainties. What doesn’t come through those filters are our insecurities and our fears.
A month ago, my Facebook feed was flooded with R.I.P messages for a young man I met around 9 years ago. He was almost a decade younger than me in college and very shy. I met him and his sister during their spring break. Two typical brown kids in the United States. It was easy for them to see that I understood their very brown parents better than they themselves did and we bonded right away. That level of understanding-misunderstanding made us laugh, talk into the night, and share a closeness I would never encounter again. I never even met the two kids again apart from the occasional interactions via Facebook. And so when I learned of his death I reached out to the sister and parents. The devastation caused by the loss of this young brilliant warm affection human being has touched me as well. One can only imagine what people close to him feel. There is an outpouring of messages on Facebook for this young man even today, a month after his passing.
Last Saturday I was woken up by a frenzy of text messages from my co-worker. His 72 year old ex-military healthy father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on his first visit to the ER in 30 years. How does one even come to grapple with news like that. There is no cure, there is no hope. What do you tell your family when they look to your for some rationalizing of the impossible. For advise. I can only imagine what my co-worker is going through. He is the youngest of 7 siblings. Being the only physician in the family he is going to have to suck away the last rays of hope this family has at helping their father.
I can go on and on. One may feel that god gives different share of happiness to everyone, but let me assure you, there is equal amount of crap in every ones life that they need to deal with. We didn’t get pregnant with the last IVF cycle. Rather than feeling sorry for ourselves, we are compelled to counting our blessings when we see all the misery around us. I am not even going to get into the misery that is our government, the wars, the famine, the treatable infectious diseases that plague our society. We are even losing our basic sense of decency and respect. I am shattered today for more than one reason. My hope for me, my family and the rest of the world is that despite all the craziness in the world, we can all find some peace!
Filed under Abstract, Always one step behind, Attitude, Bonding, Camaraderie, Challenges, Communication, Condolences, Conversations, Death, Disappointments, Emotions, Experiences, Friendship, Hope, Life, Living my life, Pain, People, Personal, Pregnancy, Relationships, Society, Thoughts, Wishes
It is bloody hard!
Fall has been one of my favorite seasons for the longest time. As the winds get a bit cooler, the leaves change color, and pumpkins spring up everywhere I have always felt the promise of friends, fun, celebrations, food, wine and cake. So many birthdays in fall, would make me so happy.
This year has been different.
As the winds get a bit cooler, the leaves change color, and pumpkins spring up every where I am reminded of the loss I have experienced in my favorite time of the year. It is bloody hard to get excited about life.
Perhaps life wanted to sober me up. Even though I have the ability to get fully excited about fall, I am reminded that many people around me are dealing with terrible life experiences. As you know life happens to everyone.
So while I stand in solidarity with everyone who is also experiencing my struggle, I have decided I stand up tall and enjoy Fall!
Filed under Abstract, Attitude, Bonding, Camaraderie, Celebration, Challenges, Communication, Condolences, Decisions, Determination, Emotions, Experiences, Goal, Hope, Life, Loss, Motivation, Pain, Personal, Priorities, Relationships, Thoughts, Wishes
Five things that don’t help when you have just lost a 6 month fetus!
1. Well wishers tip toeing around you. They want to say something “right”. But they have absolutely no clue what to say. There is no right or wrong. We lost a child. Or the potential of being a real person. We lost our dreams and hopes and aspirations. We lost our own potential. It’s like doing everything you could to get a job, you go through 6 rounds of interviews. In your gut you think you got it this time. Why would you get to the 6th round of it wasn’t meant to be. And yet the job goes to another candidate. Nothing against the other candidate. But why not me? So yeah. There is no “right” thing to say. But say something. It’s a freaking huge loss. Don’t hide behind political correctness.
2. People telling you, it wasn’t meant to be. Something better is in store for you. This I feel is the worst. This is probably the most true, but it’s also the worst thing to tell a would be mother. It seems like getting pregnant isn’t what it used to be. You know two people have awkward sex at the back of the car and wham! Positive test. It takes months and years of trying, doctors visits, medical treatments, artificial insemination/fertilizations yada-yaad-ya. And even then there are no guarantees. Then the ensuing pregnancy related issues of nausea, taste changes, gi upsets, mood swings, etc etc. Accompanied by doctors visits, injections, tests and more tests. When finally things settle and you start to feel the slightest hint of life inside -those sweet kicks. Then to lose a child. You got to be freaking kidding me. Something better??? Why wasn’t this it? I was so ready to put it all behind me.
3. Everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant and having healthy babies. How does that happen??? Why didn’t I get my success story? Some of my friends are having their second child. When they want that child- like on demand. And here it took me 16 months to get pregnant that too with help. I want to know what they are doing differently.
4. Your mom comes to your rescue. I’m sure women like their mums to be around. The whole mother-daughter relationship, understanding, bonds of love, etc. I don’t particularly relate to that. I have a pretty kickass mom. She was on a 15 hour flight to the US within 4 hours of being told, that I was taken to the hospital. She felt rightly so that we would need her. And we do. Just to have another human being, the most well meaning, caring, fabulous cook of an awesome person that she is. However, she insists on daily massages, an agarbatti to the gods, three meals, cheerful conversations and ice cream after every meal. I feel like I need to indulge in her before she loses her shit. She is barely holding it together being brave and strong for her daughter. But I see the pain she feels for her little girl in her eyes.
5. Having the best husband/ partner in life. If the man you lost a baby with was a bit of a scumbag, then you could throw a tantrum, stay in a bad mood, eat what you wanted to and shut him out of your life. Just to make sense of what life threw at you. But when you see relief intermixed with fear in the eyes of your man as you get wheeled out of the OR, feeling empty and defeated rather than pain and disappointment, you can’t push your rock away. You want to hold them and grieve your loss together. Sometimes you just don’t know how. We make promises of staying strong together. We tell each other we love each other. We promise we won’t give up. We hope to learn and grow from this experience. We will. Yet I know we both are struggling with the pain we each feel our ourselves and for each other.
Filed under Advice, Attitude, Camaraderie, Challenges, Communication, Condolences, Conversations, Culture, Death, Disappointments, Dreams, Emotions, Environment, Expectations, Experiences, Faith, Fears, Healing, Life, Loss, Love, Love hurts, Marriage, Pain, partner, People, Personal, Rants, Relationships, Society, Thoughts, Update, Wishes
I’m heartbroken. But the tears won’t fall. The heart won’t cry. The feelings don’t sting. The words fail me. I’m numb and it’s beginning to worry me. I don’t know when I’m going to break. I know I will. I’ve watched this movie play before my eyes in the past. I know I will be shattered. It’s just a matter of time.
So I hang onto my sanity. Make the right decisions. Assure people around me. I know they are walking on egg shells. They are right to do so. Just like me they are waiting for the ceiling of normalcy to break. Neither of us aware of the aftermath.
I tell myself, I’m going to get past this. I don’t want to give myself a choice. I want to look beyond my loss, the impending grief, the feeling of complete failure. I know all the words that were said before. If I gave people the opportunity they will say them again. I don’t want to. Empty is all I feel.
I remind myself that the two people who care for me the most and truly love me are right here besides me. I’ve got to get it together for them. As it is I who holds them up and keeps them standing strong. I’m not sure I want this burden, but I will bear it anyway.
I want to tell you exactly what I mean. I want to tell you what happened. I want a shoulder to cry on. But the words fail me. The tears won’t fall. The heart won’t cry. The feelings don’t sting. Empty is all I feel.
Filed under Challenges, Condolences, Death, Disappointments, Emotions, Expectations, Experiences, Loss, Personal, Pre-term Labor, Pregnancy, Society, Thoughts
After having been told that I could not bear children getting pregnant in itself felt like a miracle. Miracles and joy don’t really set in when you don’t allow yourself to be happy. I remained worried, that the miracle would be taken away from me at any time. And it was.
I told myself, I shouldn’t get too attached. Who was I kidding. My very body, mind and soul were attached. I fought the connection, because I kept reminding myself that I am a person of science. I don’t believe in things that cannot be proven, seen, or reproduced. So how could I be in love. I was in love more than I realized at the time.
Then when I lost my 5 month fetus/baby I was devastated emotionally. I could not pin point why I felt so sad, since I didn’t really know my unborn child. My husband and I don’t talk a lot about him any more, but we both miss what we could have had. A little boy for us to love, for us to grow old with.
We often meet new parents, tired eyes and body, but excited and giddy. The joy and challenges of bringing up a child that lay before them is unmissable. Sometimes I wonder what kind parents my husband and I would make? Will we love our children enough to make them strong, confident, ambitious, hardworking, and polite. Will we teach them well enough so they would be respectful, kind, generous and humble? I often wonder what my child would have looked like, sounded like?
After all this time, I still breakdown when I think of my unborn child. I feel sad that I couldn’t do more to keep my baby safe. I am sad, that the baby didn’t fight harder for us. I feel sad for all the unfulfilled dreams we had for him.
Filed under Communication, Condolences, Conversations, Death, Disappointments, Dreams, Emotions, Experiences, Hope, Issues, Life, Loss, Marriage, Pain, partner, Pregnancy, Rants, Relationships, Thoughts
Fall in the United States happens to be my favorite time of the year… I know there is a dreaded snow laden winter coming our way, but fall reminds me of happy moments in my life.
My first trip to the US with my father that I can remember. I was 11 and took a bus ride from Philadelphia to Baltimore on my own. It was one stop and my father put me on the bus. I think my family still talks about how crazy my father was to do that and how brave I was to make it on that 2 hour journey. It was something my dad and I laughed about.
Apples and apple cider and pies and leaves changing colors. Warm warm cozy sweaters and lot of tea. Some of my favorite things to have, do, wear.
Diwali and Dussehra and the month long festivities back at home. I miss them tremendously but thanks to technology I get glimpses of what people are doing back home.
My birthday followed by my husbands. This time of the year is generally celebratory….
And then you… I was almost 20 months.. waiting to feel you kick inside me, starting to tell people about you.. and then finally holding you in my arms.. not knowing if I had failed you or you had decided, you weren’t going to bother with us. No matter what the truth was, you will always be my happiest of memories.
Filed under Anniversary, Condolences, Conversations, Death, Disappointments, Dreams, Emotions, Expectations, Healing, Life, Marriage, Pain, Sad, Thoughts
For the most selfish reasons I had always hoped that my mother would outlive my father. My father was a man of very few words, fewer friends and and even fewer desires in life. The one thing he loved and that kept him happy and going was mum. I knew if he would lose my mum, he would have died a thousand deaths every day that he would live without her. I always thought it would be him who would be unable to cope with the emptiness her loss would have left behind.
I have seen how well my mother has done without her husband. She has kept herself busy, and occupied her days with work, nights with TV. She exercises and travels and does all the things she like to do. But most importantly she socializes. Her family includes in her all family dinners, she has always been invited to weddings. My father’s family has started traveling together once a year. Somehow the family has become even closer than they already were. I often think even in death my father is taking care of my mother.
What has recently hit me though, that people would not have done the same for my father. The invitations would have dwindled.His presence at weddings and baby showers and birthday parties would be considered odd. People would empathize with my father but at some point pity would have set in. He would have felt the difference. The little semblance of normalcy that would take a mountain of effort would slowly not be worth it. He would have become lonely and distant. And then he would just be that poor old widow barely making it without his wife because you know men are so much weaker than women.
I’d beg to differ. As much as we complain about society being harsh to women, we completely forget that society is a bloody bitch to men as well.
“Dear Uncle, I am very sorry to hear about the death of Auntie. I am sure you will have people tell you that time is a healer. Let me tell you, time does nothing. You will however learn to live with the void and your pain. It is yours alone as no one will ever know what you go through on a daily basis just to get through the day. I am even more sorry because I know you have not only lost your wife, your social compass, your lover and confidant, your reason to smile and earn your bread, you will now lose family and friends. My only wish for you is that you take care of your health and continue to live this life with the wonderful memories you made with your wife of 40+ years. My deepest condolences and please believe me when I say, You will make it through.”