My Readers


I posted a blog that I truly enjoyed writing. It was about a book I read called The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. If you want you can read it here. After 2 hours only 4 people had read the blog. I was understandably disheartened but only for a while. I went to check notifications on my Facebook page to see if anyone had read my recent blog – liked it, left a comment. I saw a notification from my youngest cousin back in India. She left a comment on one of my earlier blogs. Her comment simply dissipated the fog of despair that my writing is not good enough. No one reads it. She wrote that she reads my blogs because it is so relatable. The blog she read was about finding happiness in everyday life and it spoke to her. I felt oddly gratified. Yes, the statistics in my blog post is truly abysmal but at least one person, a dear one at that, found the blog relatable. She perhaps did not realize the boost she gave me, but I stopped looking at blog hits and started thinking of what to write next. Write something that someone out there can relate.

I found this blog sitting in my draft folder. I wrote it in April of 2021, a month before both my parents died. Life is so unpredictable, isn’t it? I had no inkling when I penned this draft that my life will change irreversibly within a month. I will change as a person. And this blog will change too. I poured my grief onto this blog site and that is how I coped with my loss. The blog became my grief journal. I was too afraid to seek the help of a therapist, writing became my therapy. Gone was my desire to look at stats for the blog. I did not care if anyone read what I wrote. I had this yearning to pour my feelings in words.

As I read the draft today, I realized people have reached out to me saying they related with what I wrote. Some felt my grief journal helped them carry their own grief and some wrote that my blogs prepared them for their inevitable loss that they know is coming.

Words are powerful. Words can hurt, sure, but if used right, they can heal. Cliché perhaps, but so true.

The “goods” in the week of October 4th.


Today, as I write this, ma has been dead for 5 months. Today is also Panchami, the beginning of the biggest festival of Bengalis – Durga Puja. Every year, around this time, I get terribly homesick. I used to call up home to listen to the sound of dhaak (drum) as the neighbors welcomed the idol of the goddess in the pandal. Baba took initiative to light up the entire apartment building. And he sent me a photo of it. One year I even made it back home for the Pujas. This year, the first year (of many to come) without them is especially hard. So why am I writing this in my list of “goods”?

I walked in the woods with Sean this morning in companionable silence. As I walked I thought about how peaceful ma’s exit from this world was. Even though she had very high count of the virus, she never felt ill. Her oxygen level was depleted and she was extremely tired so she went to sleep and in her sleep, her soul left the vessel.

Her alter ego, the obstinate ma plant, has bloomed beautiful flowers.

Sahana’s papers to go to India arrived this week, 10 weeks after the application was submitted. She is now all set till she is 50. I do not know if either of my children will ever go back to India now that the reasons for going back are no more, but I want to make sure they have the hassle free option. It makes me happy. Ryan’s papers came earlier this year. I had filed for his papers before his grandparents died. When his papers came, they were dead.

I have had lunch by the pavers dedicated to ma and baba at work whenever the weather allowed. I have walked out and stood by the stones every day.

My delight this week was finishing Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier again. I read it as a 15 year old – almost in another life.

There were many tears this week. They are cathartic and cleansing so I put them in my list of “goods”.

Ryan had two days of great swimming. He got his best tines in all his events. His excited voice is definitely in my list of “goods”.

It has been so comforting to have Sahana home at this time. One day this week was especially hard. She picked me up that night from work and we went to a frozen yogurt place after 9 pm. We both sat outside and had big bowls of frozen yogurt with all kinds of unhealthy topings. It was the best.

Last evening the four of us went out for dinner. These dinners are rare now and hence, special. We talked of all the places we want to visit.

Hope your list of “goods” is long. Have a great week.

Reemergence


This fight against Covid was closest I have come to being in a war. There were no loud guns or tanks around me. There were, however, death, mayhem, suffering, desperation, helplessness. My entire being was engaged in figuring out how to avert crisis, how to procure help in a war like situation in Kolkata, how to communicate, how to arrange, how to keep my ma and baba breathing. I stopped eating and sleeping for many days. I was functioning and sharp when it came to making decisions about their health care but everything else around me fell by the wayside. My partner took over the running of my family in this part of the world while all my ammunitions were engaged to save my parents in the other side of the earth.

Despite all that, I failed. After their death, I was numb with pain and my brain, which had worked over time during this horrific ordeal, was tired and non functional. I had trouble making simplest of decisions for a while. I still have trouble focusing and I simply look at the books on my bookshelf but never pick one up. But Sean took good care of everything around here so I could focus on what was important at the time. Of late, I have slowly started engaging with the world again. It truly seemed like I was drowning. And just recently, I feel I am slowly emerging from a quagmire of sorrow and despair.

However, today at work I realized my brain has not completely shed all of the cob web from my recent bereavement. I am generally good at problem solving and figuring out solutions. Today, though, I got a phone call from a customer whose account was somewhat messed up and needed some detective work. While analyzing the problem, I thought I should be able to straighten it out yet my brain completely shut down while trying to find a solution. I called our customer service supervisor to solve the issue, which she did in a minute. Much to my surprise, I did not call myself an idiot. I acknowledged, instead, that I need time to be where I was before my “normal” was rudely disrupted and I will give myself that time. I am determined to nurse myself back to health. Self love is an important step in rebuilding and re-emergence. I will never be the same but I will learn to live with the void. It will take time and I will give myself that time.