When death stared at me

I was leading a happy and content life and enjoying every moment that came my way. As a mother of two daughters, I had some wonderful responsibilities and was fulfilling them happily. As a wife, I was loved and respected by my husband. I always wanted to achieve something in life, however, I was lazying around doing nothing to make it happen. I wanted to be a famous person so that when I die, I wanted people to remember me for the work that I would have done. Sadly, I did not do anything and was taking life lightly.

Then one unfortunate day, I noticed death staring at me. I trembled. I was diagnosed with cancer. Many people (including me) believe that cancer is a synonym for death. I felt my days were numbered and desperately wanted to know how long I will survive. Nobody can explain the experience of standing in front death better than the person who is going through it. Nothing interested me then. TV, books, gardening didn’t excite me anymore. I felt helpless and powerless, and spiraled into depression. My heart started pounding fast. I could not control it. On one particular night, I could not sleep. For every half an hour, I would get up sweating and I struggled to believe that I am diagnosed with this so-called deadly disease. Obviously, I had so many questions...


Husband

His major strengths are his friends. The most beautiful thing that happened in my life is marrying my husband. This news of my impending death was a major setback. He was treating me like a queen. He has nurtured and fulfilled all my desires as well as demands. Even though he was very optimistic in front of me, I could well imagine his life without me and the struggles he would have to face. I felt sorry that he has to deal with the current situations and still be brave.


Kids


Oh my god! Like every parent, my weakness is my kids. I want my kids to succeed, be happy and have fun without facing any hurdles in life. I thought that if my days are numbered, who is going to guide them in the right direction? Who is going to give them the love of a mother and support them when they need it? If they commit a mistake, who is going to correct them? If they do something good, who is going to appreciate them? Nothing can replace mother’s love. I want to see them succeed in their career and personal life. I wanted to nourish and give valuable advice when they feel tired and face some problems in their life. I do not want to disappear now and deprive them of the care and love they deserve.


When they heard the news, their reaction was heart wrenching. They asked, “Nothing will happen to you right, mamma?”.



To be optimistic


Luckily, the early diagnosis and treatment seem to be working fine. I cannot live my remaining life in sorrow or grief, and cannot always live thinking about death that might grab me sooner or later. Let me think positively about life instead of death. I have learnt to live each and every minute thinking about good things. I do not want to cry in front of my kids. I want them to be brave and understand the reality. I have started writing my feelings and experiences. Writing something is what I am trying to do nowadays instead of focusing only on death.



–by Shobha Basu



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