Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What about today?

Sixty four months and another birthday looming…Should one continue to mark the birthday of a dead loved one? Why does the day still hold the power to bring you to your knees?

I remember the first time I met Shekhar…it was a strange happenstance. A lift that would not stop. Trapped by fate in close quarters with no choice but to acknowledge each other. There were no fireworks, just embarrassed laughter. There was no meaning, no significance. It was only after a few meetings that the why became apparent. Life had brought us to a place and awareness where we recognized each other as souls that had travelled together before and were meant to travel together again through another lifetime. A soul mate? That is just a term we use…I am sure there are many in each journey. Families of souls have been said to travel together. Some are bound to us by blood, some by circumstance but it is the ones that we recognize that make the journey worthwhile. Strangers at first, the connection that arcs beyond what can be explained by mere contact is a spiritual experience that defies logic and rationale. It happens with that person with whom the conversation assumes a depth of previous knowing, the one who responds to your unasked questions, touches the core of your very being and understands your unexpressed dreams, needs and fears…

On my birthday that year, Shekhar spent more than half his salary to ensure that we celebrated in a way neither of us would forget. It was a tradition he carried through our time together…birthdays did not mean a day…they meant anticipation, build up, a crescendo and then as he loved to say when the day was done, “It’s still your birthday somewhere in the world.”

The boys have carried the tradition forward for me and expect the same level of celebration for their own. We relive Shekhar’s dictum by making it seem like the day will never end. It is Shekhar’s birthday that poses a problem… expressing religious gratitude for giving him to us is par for the course now. But each passing year makes me wonder at the cosmic joke played on me by a God with an unfathomable sense of humour…what do I do with a day that makes me both jubilant and wrenches my soul? A day, I wish, the calendar would skip…

I have been told that at the level of consciousness there is no beginning or end, the soul’s journey is a continuum of shedding one body and donning another in an effort to evolve. We choose our lessons for each lifetime as we enter the world…then we forget what we have chosen the moment we are born so that life can be explored anew. We leave when we have learnt the lessons we came to this world for…time remains a human construct, the day of our birth into one life just a milestone in our eternal journey…I envy the fact that Shekhar’s lessons were done before mine. His birthday is a grim reminder that at the level of my soul, I chose to be here without him…to learn and grow through grieving for him. Although that begs the question – why, I now understand that this parting is just a separation in this physical plane…I obviously have many more lessons to learn but there is a certain peace in knowing that he still travels with me.

Happy Birthday, my angel!


It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals… and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day.
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace.
Shadows fade into the light.
I am by your side,
Where love will find you.

From the lyrics of “What about now?” by Daughtry



  1. Wonderful write up..:)...Just loved reading this..!!

  2. Love your blog! My thoughts are with you tomorrow 26/13 on another anniversary of the devastating Tsunami that robbed you of Shekhar. I was not impacted by the Tsunami but I do have a distant relation who lost her son in the Tsunami. I have stopped making the mistake of asking how she is coping when I see her every so often. (I lost my first baby so I should know from experience that it's a dumb question to ask.) She'll never recover. That's okay. She doesn't need to and nor do you. The statue of limitations on grief was conceived by theorists who can view death comfortably from a distance. Just do what you have to and be who you are now. After loss we're never the same. We evolve. All the best on another anniversary.