For me, one of the purposes of this blog is to open up others to the world of vulnerability, by expressing my own. In the past year, I have brought up death in person, in the form of pictures, in my writing. In every form of expression. And the reason being, the way I look at my existence on this planet has changed since my near death experience and the death of my parents. Death has transformed me in unbelievably positive ways. While the physical form is gone, their spirits are still here. Talking about them and cherishing memories, makes them come alive for me. It brings out those heartfelt smiles and tears. In my case death has instigated a rebirth of sorts. Or rather, what was residing way deep inside of me has just blossomed, and to me, that mirrors a rebirth.

I have found that people don’t know how to react and respond to death. Everyone deals with death and grief extremely differently. I have observed that people are vary of bringing it up, because of awkwardness, uneasiness, and so forth. But it is an integral undeniable part of life.  The circle of life. I have often told my friends that colleges need to incorporate a class called ‘Grief 101’ into the mix.

The expression of vulnerability increases empathy in others. Sometimes it is hard to empathize when you believe that you can’t relate to a situation at all. So I’m telling my story, hoping that it will awaken that empathy in someone, somewhere. In my world, empathy is crucial. And I can only be the change I wish to see  🙂

February 25, 2016

The eve of my first birthday without mom and dad. I stand by the coffee maker, looking at my phone. I slowly start receiving birthday wishes from India and elsewhere. But the one phone call and message I desperately want will not come.  Tears trickling down. No matter what I told myself on that particular evening, I felt lost. What am I doing here? They are both gone. It feels empty. I want that phone call.

February 26, 2016

When I look back at how I spent a birthday one month after my dad’s demise, now, I am proud of myself. But back then, I didn’t feel that way. All I knew is they would not want me to cry on my birthday and would change anything possible to stop my tears. So I honored what I knew for a fact.

I made my own bar hopping plan with Sam. All dressed up, eating and drinking along the way. I will come clean and say – I really wish someone in Seattle had asked if they could see me. Meet me. Celebrate me. Not an expectation, but definitely a wish. I remember telling Sam, I know I have people who consider me to be family in this city. And I received lovely calls and messages. In retrospective, maybe I should have said – will you come celebrate with me? But if I think further, maybe I was afraid to hear ‘ No, so sorry can’t make it happen today’, because I was not emotionally equipped to deal with that response on that given day. I would have probably started missing mom and dad more, and best friends who are scattered around the world, and started crying. It was because of where I was in that given moment. I was grieving. I was definitely dealing with grief in the best possible way at that moment in time, but grief just ain’t easy baby. All one can do is be one’s best in a given moment. And one’s best changes from day to day.

When I look back now, it all makes sense to me. For the heart to expand, it need to be broken. Heartache is a big part of my transformation.

July 22, 2016

The day after mom’s birthday. The day after I had just edited redesigned and published her beautiful words as an ebook. I was taking off on a trip to Dallas.

I step into the bathroom, ready to take a shower. I touch the sliding glass door of the shower cubicle to close it and the entire glass door shatters into a million pieces with me standing butt naked inside of it. And just one cut. A cut on my right knuckle. That’s it. Nothing else. My reaction had been in nano seconds. Curling up into a position that helped me protect myself, I had escaped a number of possibilities. To me it felt like a miracle. A human being’s instinct to survive is extremely strong. When I broke my back a couple of years ago, I was lucky that I was not paralyzed, but then again, it didn’t hit me with quite the same intensity this did. And maybe it was because I had also been through the experience of my mom’s unexpected demise and dad’s demise. Yes, death surrounded me in different ways so I could be reborn again ! Maybe for mom and dad’s purpose in life to be fully completed, they had to leave me. For me to come to a higher level of self realization and consciousness, they had to leave their physical forms and exist only in spirit.

I made it to Dallas in one piece. And that day changed my life forever. The universe was telling me the same thing in many different ways  –

All you have is this second. Be your best in this moment. Spread your love, peace, harmony and kindness. There is no room for anger, hurt and resentment. If you feel it, observe it and let it go, and let the next second unfold in a way unimaginable to you. The whole world is beautiful, and nobody is perfect.



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