Alive in my heart.. 

25th September is my late wife’s birthday. It’s been over three years since we lost her. She was only 37 with a full life ahead of her. We never got to grow old together like I had always dreamed of.

I don’t write here often as I did in those darkest days of my life. But I continue to write mainly to keep her memory alive. Our son was only six when he lost his beloved mother but I hope when he grows up he will know through these writings of mine about how incredible his mother was and how dearly she loved him. 

She loved to celebrate her birthday and would remind us from weeks in advance. When I think of her I always remember this extraordinary person full of life, always smiling and always giving. She could never say no to people and would go out of her way to help. 

One meeting with her is all it took to form an association that was life long. She had that effect on people. I hardly remember a time when she was down. Her love for life was extraordinary. 

She loved to travel and see new places and it’s because of her that we traveled to some incredible places. We had a tradition of getting a fridge magnet as a souvenir whenever we visited a new place. Today my refrigerator is almost all covered with memories. 

I have continued this tradition after her passing to honor her memory. I often feel she came into my life as a ray of sunshine. I just didn’t know I would lose her so soon. I could have never imagined a life without her. 

But I have gone on despite losing her. She fought with extraordinary courage against a deadly disease to be with us and this is the least I can do for  her. 

Today I’m fortunate to have a family again and my son seems to be happy and thriving. I often remember her words when she was battling cancer in the hospital. She would ask me to go and be with our son – “I’ll be fine, he needs one of us”. And true to her wishes I have stayed behind. 

I wish I could tell everyone that it gets easier with time but I would be lying. It actually gets tougher but we learn to live with the constant pain. It becomes a part of who you are. 

I take solace in the memories of the beautiful years we spent together. That is something even death couldn’t take away from me. I was just very very fortunate to have her in my life. 

There are so many little things that I remember fondly, her love for food and peppy music. She was perpetually busy as if deep down she knew that she had limited time here and needed to experience all that she could. 

She never gave much thought to material things. The thing that made her the happiest was just being together, the three of us sitting together and playing games or going on holidays together. 

I guess my introvertness exasperated her at times but as with every thing else she took it in her stride. We were a team and I’m so proud of everything we accomplished together. 

Today there are no celebrations on her birthday. There is no music,cake and dancing that she enjoyed so much. There are also no gifts and cards I can give her. I just go about my day as best as I can trying to keep it together at work. 

I walk and my steps are heavy, my eyes tear often but then I stop,  have a piece of her favourite chocolate cake in her honour and through the lump in my throat I wish her happy birthday.

“Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad.”

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion

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Lost to the world 

It’s been a long time since I last wrote here. Life has been good and after everything we’ve been through I certainly know what small things in life can mean. I’ve been thinking about the changing nature of grief,of how it keeps unfolding in new ways as the years roll by. In my own case,I’m onto year four and the pain shrouds itself in myriad ways.

I read somewhere that when someone you love dearly dies,they die in a million places.They are gone not only from the present but from all the life that is yet to come. Mother and Father’s Day are behind us this year and on both these occasions I’ve felt the icy grip of deep sadness. I grieve all the moments we were supposed to have together but couldn’t.

The other thing that really hurts as time passes is that your loved one is not talked about,at least not to me. I would love to hear about my late wife from friends or family once in a while but I find that enveloped in a cold silence the world moves on. To the person who is left behind nothing can be more comforting than talking about their loved one,hearing their name again.

I guess many times people don’t want to bring it up as they find it upsetting or they think they are reminding the griever. But the truths is that we never forgot so there’s no reminding. Sometimes I talk to my son about his mother and try to keep her memory alive. Recently I was pleasantly surprised to find him watching a Harry Potter movie. I told him how much his mother loved the series. She would have been thrilled had she been around.

It’s small inconsequential moments like these when her absence really hurts.She should have been around watching her child grow up, teaching him new things,attending his school functions,fretting over lunches and homework but she got to experience none of it. I remember how much she was looking forward to him being in grade one so that the longer school hours would give her some much needed time to herself.

But life turned out differently.By the time grade one came along,she was gone and I had taken on the role of being both Mom and dad. The year she was diagnosed with cancer,she had at least four trips planned none of which happened. In her honour I made two of those alone as a single parent with my son.

The city and the community I live has already changed so much. There are new shops and facilities that open up but she isn’t around to experience any of it. It’s almost like she’s been left behind frozen in time while the world has moved on. I guess now I understand what it means to die in a million places.

Four years ago around this time I was living my last months of normal pre cancer life with her. I didn’t know it then but I was just months away from my world coming crashing down upon me. But at that time I could see nothing coming ,a long life stretched out in front. But it turned out so differently.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I’ve come a long way since then. Today I’ve a loving family again and quite honestly I never thought I could experience happiness of any sort again but I do. I’ve regained many things that I thought were lost forever. But I’m no longer the same person that I was. I’ve learned to live with a perpetual void.

I like taking solitary walks. Some days during mornings or at dusk, I just stop to hear the chirping of birds in the distance,I look at the amazing colours in the sky and I pause. In that moment I experience a deep sense of loss and peace at the same time.

Another year of absence 

Yesterday another year went by in my journey of afterloss.The date holds some very painful memories which I have written about in the hope that in time I will be relieved of them. 

Today is holi – a festival of colors in India. It was also my late wife’s favorite festival. I guess it had a fair sprinkling of all the things that she greatly cherished – colors, music, food, dancing,  the company of friends and celebration. 

She is deeply missed by all and the void she left behind in the lives of everyone that she touched is irreparable. Sometimes I wonder what she would want me to do with my life but then again I can only guess. 

Grief and loss is extremely unique and extremely personal. I find that I am always alone in my memories. The person with whom I created these is long gone. I can’t turn around and say “do you remember the time..”. 

From time to time as the mood strikes me, I try to come here and write about her in the hope that this way I can honor her life and the extraordinary person that she was. 

In all honesty, even after three years sometimes it’s difficult to believe everything that happened. It’s true that with time the nature of grief changes. The pain I feel today is very different from what I felt in the initial days and months. 

It has settled in my bones and become a part of who I am today. In my long journey, I do come to places of peace and rest from time to time. Today I’m married again and have a wonderful family. I find that I look for peace and contentment in seeing them happy and moving forward. 

Yet there are days when the happy memories of my past make me melancholy. Some days they do make me smile but I always remember “how strange, how sad, the days that are no more”. 

In the past year, we settled down as a new family in a new home. We went on holidays and life has been good despite the challenges. I’m proud of the things that we  have accomplished together. A few years ago all this did not look possible. It’s only in retrospect that we realize how far we have come. 

My journey continues on this plane.I remember the last few months when we fought cancer. She was the bravest soul I have met and shrouded in her strength I had also clinged on to hope that life could go back to what it was. All through her treatment she never ever complained but soldiered on with a steely determination so typical of her. 

I remember that the last program that she watched on TV was master chef. I guess it just typified the incredible attitude that she possessed of living life to the full regardless of the circumstances. I don’t possess that but I always derive strength and courage to go on from her example. 

Always loved

Today is a sacred and special day for me as its my late wife’s birthday. She would have turned 40 today. She would often talk about all the plans she had – of having a big party with all her loved ones, of going on a solo holiday with her friends and many others which remained unfulfilled. 

She loved celebrating her birthday. It pains me no ends that today there’s nothing I can do for her. Why fate had to be so cruel to us I would never know. She would always call people personally to wish them on their birthdays. Even when she was sick and in the hospital, she would call and try not to miss an important occasion. I guess she had a  way of making people feel special. It was one of her many endearing traits. 

There are so many birthdays that we celebrated together. Often it was just us, a quiet dinner or lunch interspersed with phone calls from family and friends. The last one we celebrated together, she had just been back from another grueling round of chemo but she never let it show. We spent a quite evening at home. I treasure that memory a lot, the last one together. 

When I look back everything feels like a dream. We had many years of uninterrupted happiness. At the time it didn’t feel like we were making memories. Of course no one expects their lives to be cut short so mercilessly. 

In a way I’m glad that her last birthday was spent at home and not in the hospital. It was fitting, a last hurrah. Of course at that time despite the harsh reality it felt that we had just hit a road block,that life would go back to what it was eventually. However as I’ve found out, your wishes and dreams have no bearing on reality. 

One of the main reasons I write this blog is to keep her memory alive. It’s a precious record for my little boy to know his mother when he grows up. There’s little else that remains other than memories and I do not want these also to die with me. 

This is the third birthday since her passing. The first one was extremely difficult. It’s not that today it’s gotten any easier. It’s just that you learn to carry the burden better. 

I will be always infinitely proud that I got to spend so much time with such an extraordinary person. If there is any consolation, it’s that she spent her life laughing and chasing her dreams. Even a deadly disease like leukemia couldn’t touch her indomitable spirit. 

Till her last days she fought with extraordinary courage to reclaim the life that had been taken away from her without any rhyme or reason. In the end she left me a much better person than I was when we first got together. 

So today when I can’t do any of the things that you normally do for your loved ones on their birthdays, I quietly pray to her to protect us from harm and keep showing me the way forward. 

Always loved and never forgotten. 

2 years today

Today marks the second anniversary of death, I’m still unsure of how to attach ‘death’ with someone who was so alive. The heart still refuses to believe what the mind has known all along. I’m not sure if it will ever feel real, if it will ever sink in. There’s nothing good about this day as it permanently marked the end of life as I had known it. In one single instance, the innocense and spontaniety about life evaporated.

My late wife lived her life with remarkable enthusiasm down to her last days.Despite the gravity of the situation, there wasn’t a day where we felt that all was lost. Infact just the day before, she had shown visible signs of improvement. I had thought that the worst was over, that we would survive this eventually.

Early in the morning on Mar 12th, I received a call from the ICU. The doctor on call said I shoud rush immediately, I didn’t know how to react. My logical faculties were on the verge of shutting down. It had been almost 10 days since she had been in the ICU fighting with extraordinary courage for life and for the people she had dearly loved.

Before cancer invaded our lives, there was not a single day either of us had spent in the hospital. She was extremely fit, full of energy and filled with a life force that was infectious. Perhaps it’s a testimony to her physical and mental strength that she was able to withstand months of such gruesome treatments.

The day before she was moved to the ICU, she was in unbearable pain.Even getting off from the bed was a nightmare. Yet, she walked to the restroom refusing support, teeth clenched and eyes fierce with determination. I guess  that was her way to defy the odds. The two channels that she had watched most during the long and innumerable hospital stays were comdey central and the food channel. Laughter and food – her two great loves.

In the wee hours of the morning when I got that call, unknown to me the last day of her life in this physical realm had begun. I was handed an xray and told that fluid had filled up in her lungs. I remember asking “surely there would be a way to drain this”, we had come so far in our battle against cancer. How could this be a road block? No one told me what next, I was just told it was serious and they would try a procedure to alter her position so that the fluid could be drained but there were no gaurantees it would work.

By afternoon, I was informed that she might need dialysis as the kidneys were failing. It was only much later that I read that this was the first sign of multi organ failure which means that the end is near. But on that day, I couldnt even remotely fathom it. I was allowed in the ICU in the evening and I sat near her – just the nurse and me surrounded by flickering screens and medical stats that defined life and death.

My eyes were fixated on the screens, I was watching the numbers go up and down. I have no recollection of what I was thinking because I wasnt – I was in a deep mental void, the kind when your brain has decided to shut down in the face of extreme stress. I dont know how long I sat like that, time stopped and freezed on me. I remember being told to take a break and go out but I didnt hear anything. Words no longer registered.

I saw the nurse hustle around and pump in more and more meds to stabilise the falling blood pressure -“pressers” as known in the medical jargon. I looked at my wife and she seemed to be in a deep sleep. The breathig was labored but it was hard to tell as she was on life support.

Then just past 910 pm, the dreaded straight line appeared on the screen. As for me, I still registered nothing. I got up and adamantly asked the nurse and she was too shocked to say anything. Then she murmurred “the doctor will soon come”. I had no idea what she was talking about. The doctor came in and as a matter of fact said “She’s no more”. Still nothing registered. I asked him how can that be as she was still breathing. Of course in my almost comatic state, I had not realized that the life support machine was still on.

I held her hands for the last time – limp and cold. She hardly looked like the person I had known all these years together. Something seemed to have left the body. The absence of the life force was unmistakable.I didnt cry or wail, tears streamed but I was numbed beyond belief. I left the hospital a few hours later, all alone in this world filled with people but without that one person who made my world go around.

I had switched off from this world. I saw everything that was happening around me but they seemed to be coming from a far away place. A few days later, the last rites over,I found myself carrying an urn of ashes.Twelve years of laughter,happiness, countless memories and unfullfilled dreams rested in that urn.In accordance with religious customs I submerged them at the confluence of three rivers.

On the way back, we stopped at a cafe on the same highway that we had gone on numerous holidays together. I recalled the last time we had stopped here, enroute on yet another vacation.I felt a brutal coldness in that moment. It was a feeling cold, unforgiving and of being scaringly alone in a world full of people.I still shudder when I think of that moment.

It was only after everything was over that the pain erupted with its mind numbing intensity. There was no getting away from it. I woke up with it and till I fell into a troubled sleep, there was no respite. My insides screamed with pain but no words would come out.It was almost like I was drowning and no one heard me.

It was then that I realized that getting out your thoughts was a healthy way of grieving. I started this blog and since then have shared my journey here. These two years have been the toughest years that I have had to face and no matter what comes next, I know I would be ok as I came through these – bruised and weary but alive and even thriving on days.

I have not given up on life as that is what I learned from her. Her courage and determination in the toughest moments have inspired me to get back to life and try to live it in the best manner possible. I’m not successful on many days as the weight of memories is sometimes difficult to carry but I try to move forward a little each day.

Today the pain has eased and on most days its a dull ache untill something just brings everything crashing down but hopefully those days are far and few. I have been fortunate to find new love and a new family. Its not been easy for either of us but together we have pushed ahead towards a new life for us and our children. My new life partner is a strong but compassionate person who has not let losses in her life diminish her spirit.I owe much of my recovery to her support and encouragement.

I know that my late wife is with me on this journey and though I have abandoned God just as He abandoned me, I find peace in the fact that I have someone to whom I can pray to. In difficult moments I ask her to show the way forward and it almost always helps in ways that are difficult to explain rationally.

In this journey of two years I have found that grief isolates people. There were some who avoided me like plague. And yet I’m thankful to family and friends who stayed and offered support – through messages, reading these blogs and checking on me when I was down and out.

I have found that no matter what, you will be judged and that’s ok with me. I have never conformed to rules that people impose on others. It seems strange to me that there are some who think that one should be resigned to a miserable life after a loss. Moving forward is considered being selfish and self aborbed.

Though she lived for only 37 years, she lived a life that was full. She got to travel, make numerous friends and lived each day with energy and passion so characterestic of her.She became an incredible life partner, and the most endearing mother to her little boy. People who knew her best often remember her fondly and always talk about the warmth and happiness that she exuded. I know that because it came from within.

On days like this, though I battle raw grief again,I also take pride in the fact that she shared her life with me. We created memories of a lifetime. But losing her has also been the hardest thing that I have had to endure. I believe she would be happy to see me go forward and not give up on life.

I’m now the keeper of precious memories and her enduring legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Our Special Day

Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we’re gone.
― Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You

Thirteen years ago today I was getting married and about to begin the happiest phase of my life and today I find myself alone writing this blog. I don’t know what else to do being without my heart and soul – my wife.

The days leading up to today have been extremely difficult and I know the days that will follow will be no less. In the midst of loss and grief,this day what used to be ours has also been taken from us.

I miss her every minute of every day and its not that once today is done, I will feel any big relief. In that regard, today is as hard as any other day has been without her.

However, today I don’t want to write only about how much I miss her but I also want to write about us – the love we shared, the timeless memories we made and above all the extraordinary life she lived.

We were married in traditional Hindu rituals which typically go on till the wee hours of the morning. Ever the non conformist I hated religious ceremonies of any sort. I could never make sense of what the priest was asking me to do.

It would be fair to say that I sleep walked through the entire ceremony. I must have committed many guffaws mostly because I wasn’t paying attention and by the end of it I was dog tired.

But I still remember that incredible feeling after it was all done. I felt this warm feeling wash all over me – I wasn’t alone anymore,I had someone really special in my life. And even back then it seemed I had always known her.

From the time we met for the first time it never felt that there was a time in my life that I had not known her. It seemed that she had always been a part of my life. We were soulmates in every sense of the word.

We were two opposites – she the beautiful, gregarious, warm, affectionate, life of a party and me the gawky, boring introvert. But together we were a force, a team worthy of fighting anything life threw at us and for the most part we prevailed.

I was the happiest with her around. My world started and ended with her. I had few friends and she was making new friends all the time. Our home was always buzzing with her high energy and infections enthusiasm for life.

Her love for travelling the world and seeing new places took us on many unforgettable journeys. I’m glad I could indulge her passion. Her love for food always makes me smile. She was an incorrigible foodie and in her company I also started relishing new cuisines.

Whenever we ate out, she would always order for me. I couldn’t be bothered except checking out the drinks menu. She could go on and on about food while I could hardly remember my last meal. Whenever I went out for business lunches at some fancy place, I always brought her something from the coffee shop.

Anniversaries were always special. She would always tell our little boy that “this was the day mom and dad got married” and in his childish innocence he would always be cross that we left him out of all the fun.

She hated Valentines day and would always say why there has to be a specific day for anything. However I was always the one with gifts and cards. After she got tired of getting the same perfumes, chocolates and watches, we formed a pact of buying something for the house instead – an air conditioner,a new TV, home appliances or whatever we wanted to get. My hopes of getting that lazy boy recliner were dashed several times.

Our relationship wasn’t perfect and I’m glad it wasn’t for there’s no such thing. We had our fair share of fights and arguments, I must have been the one to blame in most of these. However what I remember most is that many times it ended with both of us bursting out in laughter at how absurd it was. Marriage is such a beautiful thing.

She was and is my pride, I loved to introduce her to people as my wife. Her amazing self confidence, high intelligence and most of all her pure inner self always made me feel I was so blessed to have her in my life.

She was and is my strength, my go to person in a crisis. If there was anyone whose praise mattered to me, it was her and I could never get enough of it. She was the one to always keep me on my toes, always the one to push me to do better. She was the one who believed in me though I was good at nothing.

And then one fine day just like that it all ended – no notice, no alarm bells, nothing. Even when she was diagnosed with Leukemia, we never gave up. She was so strong, invincible. I was so sure we would beat the crap out of it.

I never thought such a day would come in my life. I would be left alone again to carry on. I’m mad at God. The moment I see that word anywhere I stop reading.

It should have been our thirteenth year together. We should have been living our dream. I have lost faith in life and yet I carry on. I can’t take care of her anymore and it breaks my heart but I have our son. He and I will carry her legacy forward in this life.

I often wonder what can I do for her now that she’s physically not with us. And yet I have this insatiable urge to do something, to make this life worthwhile for her. I want to write about our life together, about the incredible person she was. I want to write a memoir for our son and for the people who loved her. She was always encouraging me to write, to follow my passion. It’s the least I can do for her.

I believe that life just doesn’t end like that. We have a higher purpose in this physical realm. Love transcends physical boundaries. So what if she’s not here, she’s always with us. To doubt her continued presence in our life would be to doubt the love we had for each other. I’m still here and as long as I’m here, she continues to live on.

Happy anniversary sweetheart. Love you so much yesterday, today and forever.

Good Will Hunting

I read and follow blogs from many others like me who are walking this solitary path. I have learned much from you all. I don’t know you in person but I truly feel the pain of living without our soulmates.

I’m sharing this quote from the movie “Good Will Hunting” because it encapsulates beautifully the love we feel for those we have lost at least in a physical sense.

For people who don’t get the depths of how we feel, I  wish I could tell them these words.

Wish you all peace and strength in the days to come.

“You’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes. Feelin’ like God put an angel on Earth just for you, who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleepin’ sittin’ up in a hospital room… for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes… that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.”

Light and darkness

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The holiday season here in India is upon us starting with the festival of lights. It used to be my favorite time of the year, a time to be spent at home with family and friends. It was what made all the hard work through the year worth it.

Today it’s the last thing on my mind. I want it over and done with minimum of fuss. The contrast between the outer world and my inner turmoil couldn’t be starker. Coming on the back of a slew of firsts, my courage is now failing and my spirits are in a free fall again.

I just can’t help missing her – the lights,the decorations, the slight chill in the morning air, everything reminds me of her. In the initial days and weeks, the pain was so intense that just the mere memory of it makes me wince.

Today the pain is still there, it’s just morphed into something different. It pulls me into the past, into our early years, the long phone calls and a million other things that hurt like needles. The pain comes and goes at its own will.

When it goes, I look forward to life again, I tell myself I’m living as she would have liked me to, I’m making new memories without her but for her. But when it comes back, I give in meekly,I find there’s nothing I can do to make myself feel better. I just have to ride it over till the waves recede again.

And so goes my life back and forth. I don’t know for how long and how far. I wish there was a start and an end but there’s nothing of that sort. I do want to live and find pleasure in the few things that I still love doing but I go back into the shadows often and then it becomes hard to return.

The cheer all around, the happy faces, they just magnify the grief I feel. It’s like everyone else is living our life. But then this is the reality of the catastrophic loss which is all mine. I can try to get away from it, keep myself busy with and pretend that I’m getting along but grief is never too far.

The last few months of the year are going to be as difficult as the first few were and then life will roll into a full year without her and that’s the way it will stay for all the years to come by. Then one day the distance between the past and the present will be such that the past will begin to feel like a dream – a life that never was. In fact it has already started feeling like that.

I know I’m painting a very grim picture but I’m writing what I feel otherwise what use is it. Today the shadows seem to lengthen and that’s just the way it is. Some days there are really no positives to be had on this journey.

They say there’s a season for everything . Maybe there is, but when you miss that one person, every season reminds you of loss. So this festive season, I would like to put on my noise canceling headphones and listen to some good music and let the world carry on. If someone has a better idea of surviving the next few months, please fill me in.

“Just like the sun goes down at night
Just like the moon and stars come out
To light up the sky

Just like every spring has gloomy days
Full of thunderous rain
Before new flowers bloom

Just like the river travels long rough
Miles through cities and towns just to
Flow into the sea for eternity

There Will Be A Time For Us”

Hazy days and lonely nights

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I have been keeping busy with a full schedule at work and taking care of my son. At some level it helps to keep up with the world but it also aggravates the pain specially when you start worrying about work, career and the normal things again only to realize that nothing is the same anymore.

I still experience shock and panic attacks though they seem to have lessened. The sadness is always there lingering like a dark cloud above waiting to pour. Sticking to a routine helps me get through most days and I have no other expectations. Some days are just very hard and I don’t know how but I get through them.

When weekends and holidays come around, it’s doesn’t get any easier. The empty evenings hurt the most, being with people doesn’t help much with the loneliness. I try to watch TV or some movie and find that nothing gives me any pleasure. Taking long walks helps calm my mind and I do that most days.

I love the time I spend with my son – taking him out, story telling or watching movies but outside of that I don’t know what to do with my time. When she was around, I had lots of interests and I had no problems spending time alone. Those things just don’t feel the same anymore.

I know in time I have to find my own path and no one can help me with that. I also know how I live has a direct impact on the emotional well being of my son. I haven’t given up on life but I don’t know what I want from it now. I feel like a weary traveler on an unknown journey, a journey whose destination is unknown.

In some sense we are all travelers journeying between life and death. There’s much to learn and experience in between, in whatever time we have been given. Maybe my loneliness will help me discover my true self and help me forge a path ahead . In time I may start liking my own company and that might help.

“…it’s not just the person who fills a house, it’s their I’ll be back later!s, their toothbrushes and unused hats and coats, their belongingnesses.”
― David Mitchell, Black Swan Green

The sacredness of tears – above all for Nilu & people she loved

It’s been an extremely emotional weekend. For several weeks it’s as if something had to give. I had been riding an emotional roller-coaster. I was extremely sad on some days and surprisingly mechanical on others but all this while an emotional surge was just waiting to happen.

This weekend it was like the storm came to pass. I don’t know what triggered it, the day out yesterday or something else. Suddenly, the tears just won’t stop as the growing realization that she’s not there. All this time spent at home had given hope to illusions that she was still around. But yesterday I came to grips with the fact. By Saturday night, I was drowning in emotions.

Most of the day today, I just let the tears flow. I couldn’t hold back any longer. Nor do I have any reservation in mentioning this on a public blog. The whole intention of starting this blog was to be true to my feelings. If tears don’t flow for losing the love of your life then I don’t know what it will for.

They came in torrents till I was exhausted and feeling bereft of anymore emotional outpouring. Through the tears many years of togetherness were relived. I miss her so much, I just don’t have better words to express what she meant to me. Everything worthwhile about me is because of her. I don’t know what would have become of me had I not met her.

Despite my grave misfortune, I can’t believe my luck that she came into my life. The years with her just flew by,like the years in her eventful life. This pain of losing the person you have loved most is strange. It is on one hand unbearable and on the other hand it’s like a continuing assurance of still being together. I don’t know how else to explain it.

The intensity of emotions I have felt today have left me shocked. But despite the shock, I’m relieved because it’s also my love for her, at some level we are still together. The weeks of drudgery and work had made me scared if I had anything left inside me. There is a growing sadness as each day begins and ends without her.

The realization that I will not see her again in this life is enough encouragement for my tears. How does one come to grips with this fact alone? When I write it just like that, I belie the gravity of what it means. For those fortunate to be with their loved ones, just take this thought and dwell on it. Unfortunately, I don’t even have the luxury to dwell on it for I’m living this nightmare everyday.

Real loss and Grief, this is what it comes to. My only advice to all those who have given me much well intentioned advice to get on with it – never judge a person till you are in their shoes. I’m sorry to be rude, and I know if there was something that she couldn’t tolerate it was rudeness. I have to say that no one can understand the shit I go through every day.

After a few months, people go back to their lives and expect you to do the same. People move on at work and assume you would have to. The only problem is your life has been so totally ripped off that moving on is delusional at best. What should I move on to? I know I have to spend the rest of my life alone. I have no urgency to move onto that.

I find myself thinking many times a day – what is she doing now, I hope she’s been eating well, the list goes on. I know how scary that sounds, I haven’t yet lost my mind but sometimes I’m precariously close. I know grief does different things to people but this is what it’s done to me. Not to mention how mad I feel thinking just a year back at this time, she was still around and the world still made sense.

Today has been one of the saddest days in my life, there have been few more I can’t even summon the courage to write about. If there was a watershed moment in this journey, today was it. My fears were laid bare, I won’t be seeing her anymore, she’s no longer there. It has taken me months to reach this stage and when I have, the flood gates have opened. I have truly lost her.

What does it mean to live alone? I face this question everyday and there are new meanings to be found everyday. She cared so much for me, if I had so much of a scratch, she would fuss over it. Recently on the way back from the hospital, the driver dropped me at work and she sent me a message to check if I had crossed the road properly. The message brought tears back then for she was going through so much herself and still worrying about me. That’s how she was, always putting others first.

I think she knew well, I have loved her like no other in my life from the time I met her for the first time. It was hard not to have loved her, the person she was. The most engaging smile, the ever infections laughter, the beauty outside and more importantly within. Where will I find her again? If I could and I will probably for Nishu, write reams about the love we shared.

I know that in the years you share together, sometimes you don’t express your love that often. The enthusiasm of the early years sometimes dissolves into the monotony of daily life and it did happen with us too. But despite that, we knew how much we cared for each other, it was evident in the messages I sent, in my happiness to get home to be with her every day,in my sulking over worthless things and her teasing me no ends. It was evident in our disagreements and our fights and makeups.

More so, it was evident in our fight against the gross injustice of nature. Except the first day, we never broke down in front of each other. Maybe we should have, but then it was a manifestation of our love, the illusion that we were keeping strong. I know she was but let me confess today, I wasn’t. I can’t keep count of the times I have broken down in my own company and on rare occasions in company of close friends.

When it came to her, my heart quivered. I can’t describe the feeling when on the rare occasion, we met after a gap of a few days. I know it drove her crazy but that’s how precious she was to me. Call it my selfishness but I just couldn’t take the parting. I would like to think it was and is my crazy love for her. My most cherished moment is when we hugged in the elevator all three of us at the Omaha airport, we had been away for little less than  two weeks. These are memories that give me the strength to go on today all alone.

I know this is long winded but today my emotions have reached a crescendo and I’m making no exceptions, it’s taken a while to reach this point. I don’t know if this is what acceptance feels like. I won’t call it accepting defeat, she gave her life in this battle. We have fought together many of us. Rajoo, Simran and Rena if you are reading this, I want you to know how grateful I’m to each one of you. You all mean the world to me after Nilu. I will also like to mention Vinni, thank you for checking on us and calling me. You have no idea what it felt to someone lonely and heart broken like me. For that I’m grateful and also for the fact you could meet her in the ICU. You have no idea how much it means to me.

Simran & Harry- How can I thank you enough? You checked on Nilu and me every single day, and I want  everyone to know it was literally every single day. I know I don’t deserve friends like you but Nilu did and I’m ever so grateful for everything you have done. I just want you to know you can count on me if ever you need me in this life, I’m there for you all. I can’t describe what it felt like having you both meet Nilu during her last days. When we meet, I have many more things to say to you both. Forgive me, my emotions have taken over today. I sincerely want you to enjoy your vacation and live it up for Nilu. You know how she was about vacations!

Rajoo & Meenakshi – What do I say to both of you? You have done so much for us. The times we spent in that waiting room, it will stay with me for life. Today I was feeling very very low, then I thought about Nilu and you all. I don’t have words to describe what you mean for us. Nishu is fortunate to have family like you. I know I’m little bit socially awkward but I hope you do know that you are the first people in my calling list if I ever get into trouble. I know Nilu would have wanted me to write this and I second her thoughts.

Rena – I know how much Nilu loved you, she told me about you all, all the time. She was closest to you. I know we haven’t spoken much, blame it on Nilu, when did she allow anyone else to speak!
But I want you to know that I’m there for you, as much a friend like Nilu. I know we have much similar tastes in books and music, so that helps!. Nishu is so fortunate to have a massi like you.

Sunita, Sheila & Bua – I know I haven’t got a chance to know you well but I want you to know how much Nilu loved you all. She talked about you all the time and was forever asking me to move to Singapore. I’m grateful for everything you have done, I haven’t been able to put it in meaningful words but let me say this – Nilu connects all of us. Please tell Bua, how happy Nilu was to have spent that time with her. It’s so precious now.

I know this sounds like a thank you list but it’s not. There’s so much more left to do with Nishu. Most importantly, we have to keep Nilu alive, she did so much for us. The least we can do for her is to keep her memory  and her spirit alive. She is an extraordinary person married to a much ordinary person like myself. I’m so fortunate to have her. Do notice I haven’t used the past tense for Nilu. I guess she would have liked that. I know I don’t need to say it but I loved her in this life and I continue to love her beyond.

By the way though it sounds like one, I’m not done yet it’s not the final post. I don’t know who reads or who doesn’t. I will continue to write for someone I have loved with all my heart. Every entry in this blog is for you sweetheart. As I used to say – I love you always.

I have had no sleep tonight, I have let the tears flow today. Today has been the most emotional day in my life after the shock of it all.

I don’t know what has brought me to this day or what has triggered it. I will say at last I’ve accepted it and as expected while it has taken a while it has hurt like hell. I have had to summon all my willpower to write this. I hope it has shown enough glimpses of the emotional fool I am. I have no shame in saying that I have written this with my blood and tears. There is nothing to quote today except her – “You should have some zest in life”