Its been one year since you left us all for heaven. I still remember that moment, when I was rehearsing for a show with Shankar Mahadevan at Berklee, when I was told that you were at the ventilator, and my heart sank. I had to leave immediately and come to you. But by the time, I had reached, you were already gone. My mind was blank, I was heartbroken. I felt I had lost the biggest strength. I was extremely close to you, and that affected me so much. I couldn't digest the fact that you got cancer when you had no history, but more than that, I couldn't digest the fact that I didn't even get to see you before you left.
After a month holiday, I went back to Boston, Sharang went back to Canada and Dad went to Singapore. I am so grateful to have so many friends in Boston, who were like family. I used to get so many calls and messages from them when I was at home. Even though, I was grateful to be among them, I was experiencing severe anxiety.
I first started distancing away from my friends, as I felt that they didn't understand my situation. There wasn't a day where I haven't thought anything negative. I used to worry whenever I had a minor health issue. But I still did my Spring semester, due to so much support from my friends, family and teachers. Then I slowly started getting into meditation. An app called "Calm" helped me so much with their guided meditations, so I could slowly calm myself. I also went for counseling.
Then came Summer, the most difficult time of the semester. I was doing the summer semester, and around that time was when I felt physically as well as mentally ill. Most of my friends weren't in town, so I felt a bit lonely. I first had h. Pylori, and I was extremely worried and stressed about it, as I was afraid of dying and I was afraid of unexpected things to happen. I was cured of h.Pylori, but then I had to go through an endoscopy due to my eosonophils levels being high, and even that came out normal. Then I had iron deficiency anemia, but that eventually got cured as well. I had numerous doctor visits over that time. One day, I broke down to my dad as I was so anxious. I told him how I wouldn't be this anxious if I had seen her before she died. I was still feeling guilty about not seeing you before you left, as I felt everything was incomplete. I was slowly losing my belief on God due to that. After that, I had to face an unreasonable teacher, who discouraged me, by telling me to consider dropping, as my mental health isn't doing fine, how I am not grieving much, and how if I continue, it will make things worse for me. I dunno how, but that's when I got my strength back. I remember how much you fought for me during school days when my teachers were not understanding me, and this time I did the same. I asked her how I did so well during Spring when I faced the same difficulties then. I told her that was because I had so much support then, and that support I could only get in Boston.
I had my counseling session the next day. I was again sick. I broke down in front of him. I told him how life has ups and downs, but how my life only had downs lately. He told me that all the health issues were because of the stress and trauma of losing my mom. Sometimes, our mental health can affect us so physically. With this realization, I came back to my senses. I was almost half-dead during the start of the year, but now I feel so much alive. I realized that how grieving is all about honoring our loved ones, by doing all the things he or she would have wanted me to do. I love singing, and I am interested in Music Therapy as I want to help people with disabilities through music. This is a dream we both share. I have learnt from you to be strong, positive and determined, and I will continue to do that. You lost your battle to cancer due to cancer being a pain, I shouldn't give up on life.
I have been exercising, eating healthy, meditating also having some time for myself. More than that, I have kept in mind on what I want to do and why I am at Berklee. This semester has been my favourite semesters at Berklee. This time, my Practicum focuses on Psychiatry, and I have taken courses that are all about healing and spirituality, and got healed every time I went for class. All my teachers are understanding, have provided reasonable accommodations. I have my loving Indian Ensemble family behind my back as always, and I have also made friends from my own major this time, which I really needed. Though at times, I still get anxiety whenever I get a cold, or an acid-reflux, I start panicking. Even when I don't get proper food, exercise or sleep, I start to panic, as I am afraid of something unexpected to happen. Even when I have finals, or a performance, I get anxious as I want to do well, and not cause trouble, or go through something unexpected. But what I realize is that I am more aware now. It will take a while for this tragedy to heal, and anxiety is something that I get easily triggered by, but I will keep taking care of myself, give love to myself, and think positive. Things will eventually heal.
Today has been one year since you passed away. A lot has changed. I have become even more stronger, calmer due to all this. Although the guilt of not seeing you before you left will always be there, I have finally made peace that you are at a much better place, far from us. I know that you are always there for us, I know you love and care for us, and will always help us through difficulties. I just want to let you know that I am fine and that I still miss you Ma. Some memories can never be forgotten. I still cry because I miss you, but I am also content now that you are at peace. You will always be a huge part of my life! Love you always!
From your loving daughter,