Manjula’s Messengers

Today’s messenger rest on a branch of the tree across from my balcony, repeatedly flies away and returns. Sometimes it’s still, at others its chuntering or maybe chewing.

The dragonfly arrives as I’m writing about how we first met to be submitted for a literary competition. I’m happy that this messenger is a reminder that she’s still with me and loves me. It’s taken up residence on the branch. Lucie’s walk will have to wait.

The dragonfly leaves to be replaced by a butterfly flying to me on the balcony.

A few weeks ago, I complained to Manjula that I’d not heard from her. Within days a dragonfly maybe ten times bigger flew into the downstairs hall, circled me three times and landed on Manjula’s pennant.

Butterflies have often visited, since my appeal.
They also feature on a banner that Jacquie is creating in the U.K.

They get everywhere. Thank you Manjula

‘Beloved’
A portrait of Manjula, step-by-step

We have had great feedback about Aadirika’s painting of our beautiful Manjula with requests to see the step-by-step process in one post. Here it is….

Aadirika was absolutely dedicated to doing justice to Manjula’s memory.
Manjula was with her every step of the way
Lucie posed, not.
this has taken astonishing commitment and skill
Stephen’s love for Manjula .
Weaves a bridge,
between our worlds.
A bridge made of heart strings,
a bridge of exploration to the multi dimensional.
Manjula’s love for Stephen.
Pierces through the veil,
as a warm ray on a chilly day. 
by Aadirika Kawa
on the day following the unveiling of the painting a dragonfly flew into the house, circled me and landed on Manjula’s pennant.
It’s a sign, it’s a sign. A message of love.
Manjula and I, was and are very happy

‘Beloved’
A portrait of Manjula
by Aadirika Kawa

Publish and be damned – a plan is forming.

Five things lead to a plan

First, a cow peed on the Rangoli.

Missing Manjula. Second Christmas and birthday without her

Next, a dragonfly flew into the hall, circled me and landed on Manjula’s penant that we bought on holiday in the U.K.
Immediately afterwards, a sepia coloured butterfly as a few days earlier also kept circling me.
Some believe that Dragonflies and Butterflies are messengers of love from your dearly departed.

At today’s writers group a presentation from editor Karthika helped clarify what is possible.

I’ve committed to Manjula to write our story with a working title of Full Full. I’ve completed the first draft of many and feels like I’m building the Taj Mahal out of matchsticks. This will take sometime.

Target date March 2022 to complete story

Launch book by August 2022 on what would have been Manjula’s 49th Birthday

Identify Editor, First Readers, Community Publisher advisor,

Create 3000 person mailing list and feature blog posts to help create interest.

Self publish POD and E book with 1000 sale target

Available in Hebden Bridge U.K. and silverfish (mysore) local bookshops.

Next: consider… additional chapters, Children’s book, Online interactive version

Non work station notebooks and printed draft. I have a fountain pen and blank paper. I must be a writer.

Missing my love.

With me

I’ve reached out to Manjula and I’m disappointed that she’s not appeared, or maybe she has. I know she’s with me. I am surrounded by her image but is that any reason not to commission another?

MAnjula is even on my mask and T shirt on this morning’s Lucie walk. .
A ghostly apparition?

She once told me a story about hungry ghosts which will feature in our story. I hope she’s not one as we’ve completed the rituals to help her her soul find it’s way to a new home.

I’ve commissioned a painting, of MAnjula and posted for you some of the early stages and a ‘teeny’ example where Lucie appears.

Previous postings of the painting one and two.

There will be more on the 24th and the painting arrives on the 25th. Look out for the star.

Faced it

I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t been avoiding it.

I’ve travelled through the most difficult period in my life. I’ve faced it, even embraced it, it’s still with me and always will, grief has become my unwelcome friend.

Psychology Today has something to say on this.

As I follow Manjula’s teeny tiny steps, remember our happy and yet challenging life together, as peeping through the cloudy sadness I learn more and love more about her, realise how lucky I was and continue to celebrate my beautiful, wonderful, kind wife.

I’m sharing always, and I continue to write our story but it will be some time yet before it’s finished. At times, it feels like I’m showing my devotion by building the Taj Mahal in matchsticks. So hang on a little longer. 🙃

In the meantime, there’s early postings about our life together, here on our site for you.

Check the contents page.

the grief gravy group

I have been part of an online therapeutic group with two young women and a therapist, for the past few weekends.

At our final session we were asked to creatively reflect on our journey and how the group has helped. Here’s my feeble effort.

The detail in this rich picture will be shared by the end of our story. Yes, I’m writing and it’s far from complete but it is progressing: at the pace of a snail slithering along on the shell of a tortoise that’s travelling backwards.

Please do feel free to guess what the different images represent. There maybe a prize.

The group been an incredible support and very productive to help me swim along the grief gravy river and keep my head above liquid.

I know you’ve seen it before but I had to post the drawing of Manjula again as today’s attempt is so baaaaad.

Monisha Srichand, the group therapist is a skilled facilitator. She got the balance just right, providing enough structure, guidance and professional input so everyone felt comfortable and confident to share their own challenges whilst enabling us to provide insightful support to other members of the group. Highly recommended.

I’ve also posted details of the empty chair technique used in one of the sessions where you will also find contact details for Monashi and a network of therapists.

A great representation of the group by one of its members. Spot the dog!

If you or anyone you know is dealing with grief and need help. I can recommend books, have a chat or recommend the therapist who facilitated our group.


“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
― Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

More masking.

We announced in August that Vasanth’s wife Sumati was making Masks.

There was tremendous interest from our Mysore Bed and Breakfast family. Vasanth has now posted masks to Europe, India, Australia and North America.
Victoria in London is very pleased with her Buddha mask.
Of course, I have to go over the top. I have a great selection of Sumati’s but sometimes carry Manjula with me.
And the boys are spreading the mycycle word…