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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Coping with loss on Mother’s Day

Aneesha Bedi, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 11, 2014
First Published: 11:56 IST(11/5/2014) | Last Updated: 12:56 IST(11/5/2014)

They say God made mothers because He couldn’t be everywhere. Every child no matter how old knows just where to find unconditional love: in mother’s lap. So while most of us celebrate this bond on Mother’s Day, let us spare a thought for those who silently long for their child or the mother they have lost.  Hindustan Times spoke to a few such mothers for whom this day comes as a reminder of absence and loss and how they deal with it.


Beenu Mann(49) from Chandigarh lost her husband and then her 14-year-old daughter Pukhraj. Mann often spends time with her daughter’s toys and clothes, which she has not parted with till date. Mann is bringing up two more children, but compares the pain of losing Pukhraj to losing an arm.

“One might learn to makedo with a broken arm, but once it’s broken like this, it can never be fixed,” she says with tears welling up.

For Lily Swaran(54) from Mani Majra, the death of her 23-year-old son two years ago, came as a shock that has now sunk in like a cold truth. She feels the numbness everyday, in happiness and in grief. Her son Gobind Shahbaaz was suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer originating from white blood cells. Besides pursuing engineering, he took out an e-magazine and was passionate about music.“It was all so sudden, but he fought the disease bravely,” she recalls. “I can’t forget how he got me flowers on special occasions. I miss his arm around my shoulder,” she says. An optimist that she is, she sees her son in his friends. She believes in celebrating his life, not mourning his death.

For another mother who resides in Ambala and does not wish to be named, life after her child’s death is now about generating awareness about the importance of newborn screening. This was where she lost out and she wishes other mothers do not.

Despite their loss, all mothers understand that life has to go on. In fact, there are some who are struggling to come to terms with the death of their mother and need to put up a brave face for their children’s sake.That’s how a 49-year-old mother residing in Chandigarh’s Sector 35 with two daughters, aged 15 and 11 years, describes her dilemma. “I lost my mother to a heart attack four months ago.Now my daughters are all excited about celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday. My instinct is to make it an occasion to remember my mother, while for my children it’s all about pampering me!”

Fresh after a loss, some find comfort in wearing a piece of their mother’s jewellery, others find happiness in baking a favourite handed-down recipe for the family and still others find peace in a silent prayer.

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