October 2, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay Series: Living With Grief-The Aftermath and Dealing With Triggers by Roopa Swaminathan (Part 6)

2 min read

In her essay, Roopa Swaminathan shares the way she dealt with the death of her parents and the aftermath it created.

Just as grief and the process of grieving are not linear…so is the recovery after loss. Who I was and how I felt in the immediate aftermath of losing my parents is a LOT different from who I am and how I feel – some 18 months after the tragedy.

The pain is still as intense for me now as it was. OK. So maybe there is a mild difference. It’s now down to 98 when it was 100 eighteen months back. Some of the aftereffect changes with time. Others stay the same. But I have a sense of clarity now that I did not have before. The brain fog has lifted. I still feel deeply and intensely but things are a lot more lucid.

And that made me mull over the things that affect me now. What are my triggers? What are some of the life truths that I have learned? The following is a list of the things I grapple with daily now. I hope these help as you try and navigate the devastating loss in your life.

Losing Connection With the Extended Family

Unless you have your one-on-one connection with members of the extended family – old or young – when your parents die, that connection inevitably falls by the wayside. Especially when both your parents leave you in quick succession as mine did. My friends tell me that losing one parent allowed them the space to grieve but it also helped them build relationships with the extended family of the parent who was still alive. I did/do not have that luxury. 

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