The observable examined

Fiftieth blog:Mother’s day

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This is my fiftieth blog post! Today is Mother’s day. Happy Mother’s day Lechi. I had not planned it like this. It just happened to be.

I also want to take a moment to thank my mom (Manni, thank you so much) and my mother-in-law(Mami, many thanks) for their tireless support.

The raison de etre for this blog is my wife’s passing from this world. As I have noted in the about page, its main intent was to serve as an outlet for my grief, and of others who knew her. Others have not been as forthcoming, for whatever reason. No matter. For me writing this blog has been cathartic. Immensely therapeutic. Through it, I have also discovered the joy, of writing, of conveying feelings, and more importantly, of dwelling on our shared life, of discovering how little had been said between us and how much more could have been, of what motherhood means (through the lens of my daughter).

We are rapidly coming up on the first anniversary (how time flies!) and the intervening months have been an intense roller coaster ride. At the best of times, it has been in the enjoyment of happy memories of us as a family. At the worst of times, it is reliving the nightmare of intense pain and suffering that Lechi had to endure before it finally consumed her. For Mahati, my daughter, likewise it has been remembering the good times with mom and the incredible void of missing her comfortable bosom in times of vulnerability. Both of us have learned to cope, in our own way, with these intense emotional undulations (and over time the amplitude is also slowly diminishing). [My daughter leans on me for emotional support, but deep within me, I know I am not able to provide in full measure what she is looking for. I am still working on it]. Nevertheless, there are environmental triggers that still sets us off emotionally. Just this morning, I was at a dance rehearsal, photographing/video taping it. It must have been the emotional tone of the songs, I was fighting back tears as I held the camera up to my face. I know it is on Mahati’s mind too. Recently, she told me, don’t remind me of the dates July 31, Aug 1 and Aug 2. These are very sad days…..

Sometimes, the road ahead seems very long and lonely. But then I know it is a journey that has to be made, a la Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, because I am responsible for our beautiful joint legacy:Mahati.

In my more rational moments, I have wondered, what is the nature of the grief that we experience when we lose someone very near and dear. I think it is a brain system involving the prefrontal cortex (part of the brain heavily implicated in simulating scenarios and predicting outcomes), mirror neurons, empathy(insula,amygdala), and a broken feedback control loop (an open loop system essentially). For the surviving partner, depending on the intensity and duration of the partner’s trauma, there is potential for the equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder(much like what the soldiers experience) to manifest itself. This is work in progress. I hope to write about this in more detail in a future blog.

What I have realized, and shared with my grief counseling group is this, we get used to the loss of the loved one but never really get over it. Their absence is always present.


Written by asterix98

May 9, 2011 at 7:18 am

One Response

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  1. Today I saw a comment of yours in The Speaking Tree and out of curiosity came to your blog. Luckily my curiosity remained as I descended to this post and felt terribly sorry that you’ve lost your wife to cancer. From what I see, you are fighting a brave battle to come to terms with the loss and I am sure you’ll succeed. I wish you and your dear daughter all the best and I being a devotee of a Guru (Shirdi Sai Baba) pray to him to strengthen you in all your trials in the future and that you pass thro’ the world without much suffering.

    Deepak Bellur

    July 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

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