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September 17, 2014

My mother, Shanti Sehgal, lost the fight against cancer on 29th August, 2014. She was a God-fearing woman, serving all, loving and giving and very, very brave. She was determined to live and valiantly fought the disease but in the end, her body gave up, though her spirit was undefeated even when she was heavily sedated. She prayed upto the last and was satisfied to see her entire family with her.

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Hindu rites of Transition (death) are elaborate and last for upto 1 year and involve not only the family but the community as well. This makes the passing of the departed soul into the next life and the family members to cope with the deep grief, easier.

It is still very difficult for me to talk about my mother and I find it easier to pretend that she is living in another city. She is annoyed with me and will call me up when she will miss me.

Theoretically, the sacred rituals are meant to bring solace but the reality is that the baser nature of humanity is exposed. A family reeling under the impact of prolonged illness of the departed, weariness of the caregivers, astronomical bills of the hospitals have to deal with further expense of the rites, alms and donations and hospitality of the mourners for 13 days.

Greed,envy, idle curiosity and so on of the relatives make lives even more miserable.

I am sorry, I find it difficult to continue. More later………


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  1. I’m so sorry for your loss.May her beautiful soul rest in peace. May God give your family patience and strength to bear through this loss.

  2. I am sorry. It’s a loss difficult to bear.

    • I am still in shock and finding it difficult to accept that I will not hear her voice or see her smile or love in her eyes or that she will not hug me or scold me ever again.

  3. I am very sorry for your loss.

  4. Sorry for your loss…and the aftermath of what you must endure…

    • Thank you.The depth of my loss has yet to sink in. She was so much a part of me that it is difficult to accept that her physical being is no more. Also, it has made us all more protective of our father who is also not too well. Another loss would be too much to bear.

  5. I’m very sorry for your loss. I lost my mother last spring. What can you do …

    • ‘Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return’
      When you lose someone close to you, you can be grateful for the richness the person brought into your life. My mother gave me life, she was my first teacher, she nurtured me, nursed me when I was ill, held me when I was unhappy,loved me unconditionally. I can only try to pass on all good I learnt from her and the warmth of her love will remain with me always.

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