as we approached the second anniversary of losing Manjula I took myself on one side and had a chat.
I will always have grief gravy to deal with, hopefully the flood that’s now a river, becomes a stream and in time a puddle. As part of that there is a shift towards pushing aside more of the upset and blame, allowing more space to remember the positives and her joyfulness.
The latest sign in response to that positiveness was three examples of people contacting me who might help create the garden, do interviews for ‘our story’ and help reach our story to more people. How cool is that? It’s another sign.
Another is our flag.
Out the front of our house its flapping to show, the Union Jack representing me, with the sun rising to provide a beacon of kindness, that’s Manjula and a crown because she’s a queen.
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.
Tuesday 2nd March the day after our immovable object wedding at the City Corporation.
Visiting the sites of our commemoration held on the fifth
So what’s the plan?
Who is this idiot? Talking about chapters? Drafts, my man, you’ve nearly completed the second draft, with many more to come.
He needs to get a grip.
We’re bonding. Lucie has chosen to lie on my feet immediately underneath the writer’s work station. She’s having liver and consequent digestion issues. Today’s medicine and food might have given her some relief and so I’m in the good books.
“A pair of silver anklets poured out. He lifted them against the cheek of the evening sky and he shook them to unspool their rhythmic zhan-zhan-zhan. ‘Take them with you,’ was all she said. Years later he realised what she had really given him. The sound of her feet. The preface to her movements.
As I’m now officially a writer. Ha ha. Well I have pen and a blank sheet of paper.
I spend time reading with two perspectives: firstly as the reader, I always was, appreciating the journey I’m being taken on and secondly realising more about how the writer has created and revealed their story.
I quote another book to help reveal why I like the one above.
“This feeling resonated in me. It was the resonance that had lingered on, exactly as it does when the last page is turned of a book which reaches the heart.”
I want Manjula and my story to reach the heart as it did for me.
Aadrika the immensely talented artist who created this wonderful portrait of the women in my life visited with Somesh and his six year old daughter Ritu (check her own art here) to photograph the painting so we can have prints made for some of our friends around the world. Whoopeee!