This day that year – Coping with the loss of My Mother while pregnant

Some beautiful moments with my mother from my marriage!

It’s been two years since she is not with us anymore. Who is she? She is my mother. Today is her second death anniversary and all the memories related to that dreadful day that is still fresh in my mind come gushing in. All this while I had kept myself shut.  I had decided I would share my feelings when it would be a lot less hurting. But only recently I realized that there won’t be any time when I would not feel the void that the loss of my mother has created in my heart, and in my life. Tears roll down as I write this, but this time I have decided there’s no easy way to it and there’s going to be none in the years to come.

The truth that my mother isn’t here anymore took a while to sink in. I was unable to comprehend how she could have gone just like that. I had just talked to her the same morning, though not for long as she wasn’t allowed to use phones due to the surgery. My greatest regret is that I didn’t even get to say my final goodbye.

That fateful day, on hearing her sudden demise people had started pouring in, in great numbers. My mother was the kindest soul there could ever exist. The lives of the people she had touched, the lives of the people she had influenced, directly or indirectly, all of them were visiting to pay her their last tribute, to show their deepest condolences. They especially came up to me to console me as I was in the most vulnerable, the most fragile state anyone could be in. But my heart was beyond any consolation for the pain I felt was unendurable. I knew they meant well. But the loss was beyond repair. My life, my world was in a total wreck – shattered into the smallest of pieces which couldn’t be put back together even if I wanted to. I was growing an innocent life inside me, the most blessed of things any woman could do and it somehow felt as though it was the biggest sin at the moment.

And I didn’t want to listen to all that, “It happens”, “Life is cruel”, “It has happened with me”, “I know how you feel” – meaningless stuff. To all those people who kept telling me not to cry, not to stress, I wanted to shout to their faces, at the top of my voice, that nobody can know how it felt at the time even if they have been there, just nobody. And none of their words were good enough to give me comfort, to give me peace, which could take away the suffering; none of them at all. I was in a state of utter anguish. I wanted to cry, I wanted to mourn the massive loss and here people were asking me not to, as it could harm the baby. Instead, I kept staring at their faces, blank, without any expression, for being so insensitive. I knew they meant well, but I didn’t want their sympathy. I didn’t want anybody to pity me. I wanted to be alone – just me and her memories, and oh, my unborn baby.

I was going to become a mother myself and I cared least for the impeccant life growing inside me! I confess I am guilty of feeling that way when all I could do was praise for the blessing I was bestowed with when one life was taken. I was torn between what was right and what I wanted. It ached from not being able to cry as much as I wanted to for the very fact that it would harm the baby. I wasn’t even allowed to attend her last rites since I was carrying for some stupid custom where pregnant ladies are shunned from it. I cursed myself for it. She was my mother goddamn it. And I will have to live with this regret, forever.

Some lovely moments with my mother from my graduation!

For the countless days that followed, while on one hand each one of us tried to stay strong for each other as we began wearing our strongest facade of a face, trying to hide what an emotional wreck each one was inside. On the other hand, each one kept trying to find nooks, corners, and places to secretly cry their heart out so that the others didn’t know about it, only for the fact that those swollen, puffy tear-ridden eyes gave way to what exactly the other was feeling.

She was the first one we had broken the news that we were expecting. She had already bought stuff for her would-be-grandchild and even knitted booties and mittens as we were going to have a winter baby. I wanted to share so much with her, ask her so much.

“What it was like when my mother was pregnant with me?”

“What it was like to raise me?”

“How was I as a baby?”

“Did I trouble her a lot?”

“Does my child bear an uncanny resemblance to what I was as a kid?”

I am left with so many unanswered questions. I cannot help but wonder. It’s difficult to be living a life without her. Sometimes I feel it’s just a bad dream and when I open my eyes she will be there, only that it’s an ugly reality we have to live with every day. There’s this gutted feeling in the stomach all the time, cringing me constantly. This entire void only lets me believe what mothers mean to their children; what I, as a mother, mean to my baby.

I would have gone into depression if it hadn’t been for Mr. Husband. He has been this unwavering source of strength this whole time. He was there to be the pillar every time I needed to lean on. He was the shoulder each time I used to cry on. He is the witness of the tiniest tear that has ever gleamed in my eyes.

Now two years later, with Shaarav in our lives, it still hurts the same way; only the expression of it has changed. I share stories of my mother, I share stories about her, and I share her stories, to find ways to keep her in our thoughts, to keep her alive in our memories. I find ways to make Shaarav get acquainted with his “Naani” whom he couldn’t meet from the memories I have of her, tell him how she would have said or what she would have done if she was here with us today. And let me tell you, even at this tender age Shaarav knows who his “Naani” was and he has already grown fond of her. Alas, I still can’t help thinking and be wondering how different our lives would be if she was here with us today. Read my earlier post on “Surviving the Loss of Your Mother while Pregnant”, from Mr. Husband’s point of view.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

May her smile continue to make our lives bright and beautiful!

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Surviving the Loss of Your Mother while Pregnant

A Mother is the “Best Gift” of all!

Mr. Husband’s Viewpoint

“A mother is someone who we’ve known longer than we’ve known ourselves.” I lost my mother when I was 20, but got another in the form of my mother-in-law when I married my wife. I could talk to her freely for hours about anything and never get bored of it. She used to tell me stories about how my wife was as a child and how she had grown to be the woman she now is. In the 4th year of our marriage, she had started dropping us hints that she wanted a grandchild and that we should start a family soon. She wanted us to have a baby more than anything in the world.

And then Shaarav happened. Our bonding had grown so strong that I used to call her up to ask her every bit about what my wife could eat and what not. I used to ask her what if my wife wanted to binge on junk food at this stage of her, and my mother-in-law was more than glad to tell. She was very proud of me and she sort of “kept flaunting me” among friends and relatives.

The Untimely Loss

But unfortunately, when we were into the 16th week of our pregnancy, she too left us for the heavenly abode due to a heart condition. She had a major heart surgery and she succumbed to it. My wife was devastated to hear the news and cried and cried and cried inconsolably. She was my wife’s rock. My wife never even got to say goodbye as she wasn’t allowed to travel at the time. I was devastated too, but I had to stay strong for her. I had to stay strong for our unborn baby.

My wife had so wanted to share the news of the pregnancy with her friends once she completed 4 months, but now she couldn’t without talking about her mother and controlling her sobs. She wanted to grieve, but she was too frightened it would harm the baby. She felt guilty for even having a life growing inside her when her mother’s life was taken, and this guilt was consuming her. Some days were like she couldn’t breathe, she cried so much. She still hoped it to be a dream – a bad dream.

From Being a Motherless Daughter to Being a Motherless Mother

We are well aware of the fact that a woman needs her own mother the most when she becomes a mother herself. But that was not going to happen for us.

She was now a “motherless daughter” who was soon to become a “motherless mother”.

The entire pregnancy she missed her dreadfully, she misses her still and she just wants her back, she just wants her here with her, for her. She wanted to share with her mother all that was happening to her, wanted to ask her about the things she was experiencing and the emotional stuff she was going through and the names she had picked for the baby. But the reality was harsh. She was no more with us and her absence is massive.

Time is a great healer they say. And not a day goes by reminding of her, but now my wife has made peace with the situation and takes comfort from the fact that though her mother isn’t here with her now, she has taught her everything about being a good mother just by her example.

I try to convince my wife that at least she knew about him, knew he existed, but it’s never going to be the same. Yet, we like to think that she is looking down on him, on us, and we try to look after ourselves as best we can, bringing this brand new life into the world. We believe “she is our son’s guardian angel”.

After Shaarav was born there have been some very sad days where my wife would just wish that she could talk to her and get some advice or even just a hug. And whenever I think of her I couldn’t help myself thinking how, despite my wife’s every word of caution, I still couldn’t resist myself spilling the beans and she was the first person whom I told about. And I very vividly remember how excited she was about the baby.

Finding Ways to Pay Tribute to Her

And now about a year and a half later, my wife finds ways to pay tribute to her. My wife tells Shaarav how much his “Naani” loved him even though he wasn’t born and shows him pictures of her. My wife uses this as an opportunity to bring her to life again through her stories, morals and all the wonderful things my wife grew up learning, and to pass on to him the same heritage. Best of all, she tells him about the ways in which she can see her mother’s characteristics and qualities reflected in him. The sadness never goes away, but this way it seems to get easier to cope with. But deep within, she has this gutted feeling that Shaarav would never really know his “Naani” and would have to settle for her memories.

In the whole turn up of events I have had to stay strong for my wife, for the baby, and more than anything for us, knowing that I am the next shoulder she would lean on. I had to become her next rock and I will always be.

Coping with the loss

Going through the loss of your mother while you are going to be a mother yourself can be the most dreadful thing to happen to anybody. Coping with such a great loss can be the toughest thing to do. But, it becomes a lot easier if there’s someone to provide with the right kind of support.

I lost my mother when I was 4 months pregnant. She was the most cherished soul and still is. Mr. Husband was very fond of her too. But till date I kept shut about it, never sharing a word of how I felt with anyone, not even Mr. Husband. Feelings kept building but I didn’t find a way to express it until today when I started writing my own blog.

Thoughts and feelings are many, yet, I find myself writing about her so consuming that I feel choked with emotions. It’s easier for me to express from Mr. Husband’s point of view than writing from my own without crying again. Mr. Husband is the kindest soul I’ve ever known. He has been an unfaltering source of my strength this entire time. I feel privileged and proud for having him stand by me, supporting me in every endeavour of mine, giving wind to my wings. Nonetheless, someday I wish to be able to share my feelings from my own point of view when it’s a lot less hurting to express.

Love,

Mrs. Sunshine

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