Why should one do a series on loss and grief? For one, these experiences are central to our lives. There’s not a single person who hasn’t experienced loss (via death of a loved one) or wouldn’t do so in his/her lifetime.
Who we lose and how … the situations differ and yet, it is rare to come across someone who has never grieved. Sometimes the loss is unexpected, or traumatic or takes place in circumstances that change us forever. It takes time for us to acknowledge and process the impact of that loss, and how it has shaped us.
There are no tailor-made solutions or one singular way to cope with loss. Sometimes writing it down helps, sometimes sharing helps, and at other times, all that we need is for someone to listen without judgement and with empathy.
Swati and I wanted to do this series for years now, but how do you ask people to share some of their most intimate, vulnerable experiences? We have both been moved to tears while reading some of the experiences that people have shared with us, and one in particular.
As it so happens, much before The Good Story Project came to be, one of us had reached out to this person two years ago and asked if she was willing to be interviewed or write a piece on her loss. That piece finally came to us this year, and once it was in, we realized it had been such a big ask from her. Writing about such a life-altering loss is always difficult and more so when you are going to share it with someone else and open it up for so many other people to read.
I should know this. It took me several years to write about losing my father and how it affected me, and even though I could write about many things under the sun, every time I tried to put in words my father’s last moments and the last hour leading to his death, I would end up staring endlessly at a blank screen. Though my father was calm and dignified when it was his time to go, his death and the aftermath affected me deeply and writing about it has also been one way to honour his memory as well as acknowledge my grief.
So we would like to thank each and every one of you who has shared or is in the process of sharing your deeply personal experiences with us.
And we cannot take without giving. Therefore, I am sharing links for a piece that I had written in 2019 and also for one that I wrote in 2020. These pieces are deeply personal and deal with my own sense of grief; having written them for my personal blog.
In the first part of our series on ‘Stories of Loss and Healing’, read Mumbai-based sports journalist Nitin Naik’s story here. Naik lost his wife to cancer in 2015.
In the second part, read Lakshmi Kaul’s story here. Kaul lost her only daughter to a freak allergy incident in 2017.
In the third part, read Darshana Shukul’s story. Shukul lost her mother when she was a child.
The last story in our series is on loss and what it feels like – 19 years from when it first happened and what one can do help someone who is grieving.