A YIndian, Yorkshire by birth and Indian by marriage. Originally from the UK, I've now lived in Mysore, South India for over ten years with my beautiful wife Manjula. MeandMycycle is about the ups, downs and ups of our life in Mysore and our creations: Mysore Bed and Breakfast and MyCycle Tours.
Sowbaghya and I visited the home for elders to sponsor their meals on the 23rd March on the anniversary of Manjula’s soul flying away.
It was a hoot. SB and I misplaced each other before arriving. Then there was the checking Aadhaar (ID) cards, completing the receipt, and at the last moment remembering to write to confirm it was in Manjula’s remembrance.
The guys remembered and others joined in recalling me cycling in the grounds with the giant picture of MAnjula, a year ago on the anniversary of her death.
I promised to return for her birthday in August. We all laughed and joked, very entertaining but I wonder what they really think.
Sowbaghya is preparing for today’s memories of Manjula.
I’ve just read an article about CPR which helps clarify the situation Manjula and I were in almost exactly two years ago.
Manjula had a heart attack on the Friday evening and she’d had CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation to bring her back to life. On the Saturday morning she had another heart attack. I was asked whether we wanted Manjula to be resuscitated. I believe she didn’t but it is and will be the hardest decision of my life.
To this day I still don’t know and it hangs over me.
I wish I’d been able to discuss it properly with Manjula so that it was her decision so that it would be clearer that she didn’t want CPR.
Here’s a quote from the article
“… we need to explain that CPR means something very specific. It is the term we use for chest compressions and electric shocks to a heart that has stopped beating – and is reserved exclusively for someone who has already suffered a cardiac arrest. In a sense, the patient has already died: we are trying our hardest to resurrect them.
A “do not attempt CPR” order does not mean we make no attempt to prolong a patient’s life. All manner of other treatments may well be appropriate, such as fluids, antibiotics, admission to hospital, or even treatment in an intensive care unit. The only thing ruled out is chest compressions and shocks to the heart.
Like every other medical treatment – from chemotherapy to major surgery, and transplants to antibiotics – CPR has harms as well as benefits. Resuscitation is an ugly, aggressive and often traumatic treatment. Only in around 10% of cases does all the effort reap rewards. It is nothing like what you see on TV. Too often, the heart cannot be restarted and all we achieve is a cacophony of alarms, wires, shocks and needles in place of dignified dying.
Even if the patient’s pulse is restored, there is a risk their cardiac arrest may leave them profoundly brain damaged.”
is proving to be quite a challenge, partly as there is a
“paradox at the heart of the enterprise, the inevitable tension between the distance required for apprehension — for a perspective to emerge in which events can find their proper place — and the pressured immediacy of vivid narrative.” from The Art of Time in Memoir by Sven Birkets.
It’s telling a story when the trauma, the wound of: Manjula’s death, the circumstances leading up to it, the wider context and my powerlessness to act on what was happening is still very much with me and therefore makes it harsh and tender by turns. It’s necessary but hard, so the telling of the tale doesn’t progress at a speed or in ways that I’d like..
It’s about knowing when to focus-in the lens and when to pull back, with both “experience tasted and experience digested.”
In addition, I’m having to write in proper English with the handicap that I’m from Yorkshire.
Manjula, still with me, gently sighs, as she’s seen it all before.
Manjula wanted to return as a tree to provide support and cover, to help people. To me she already was.
Maria’s brain pickings helped again m, this time, with the tree but do follow the link for more about closeness and our reaching out. It begins with…. “When I am sad, I like to imagine myself becoming a tree. Branches that bend without breaking, fractal with possibility, reaching resolutely toward the light. Roots touching the web of belonging beneath the surface of the world, that majestic mycelial networksuccoring and nurturing and connecting tree to tree — connection so effortless, so imperturbable, so free from the fragility of human relationships.”
Follow the link and a lovely reflection on closeness….
is what we almost always are: close to happiness, close to another, close to leaving, close to tears, close to God, close to losing faith, close to being done, close to saying something, or close to success, and even, with the greatest sense of satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up.
Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in being almost there, we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation.
To go beyond our normal identities and become closer than close is to lose our sense of self in temporary joy, a form of arrival that only opens us to deeper forms of intimacy that blur our fixed, controlling, surface identity.
To consciously become close is a courageous form of unilateral disarmament, a chancing of our arm and our love, a willingness to hazard our affections and an unconscious declaration that we might be equal to the inevitable loss that the vulnerability of being close will bring.
Human beings do not find their essence through fulfillment or eventual arrival but by staying close to the way they like to travel, to the way they hold the conversation between the ground on which they stand and the horizon to which they go. What makes the rainbow beautiful, is not the pot of gold at its end, but the arc of its journey between here and there, between now and then, between where we are now and where we want to go, illustrated above our unconscious heads in primary colour.
We are in effect, always, close; always close to the ultimate secret: that we are more real in our simple wish to find a way than any destination we could reach: the step between not understanding that and understanding that, is as close as we get to happiness.