So, it’s not true. We’re not healed after one year. I didn’t notice one bit of difference after 365 days.  Actually today sucks… a lot.  I have heard other bereaved parents say that the second year is worse than the first because you think you should feel better. What a let down when it doesn’t work out that way.

We had a Rememberance for Kiran yesterday. It was good for me to have the event to focus on. A bit of a distraction from the anniversary of Kiran’s death. It really felt like we were doing something for him again. Being his mom and dad. Kiran loved a good get together, and hopefully that’s what it was. We wanted to reconnect with people from Kiran’s world and I think we did that. It was especially good to see some of Kiran’s little friends and the new babies of friends and family. In the early days following Kiran’s death, it was very difficult for me to even look at another child, particularly his friends. Just a reminder of how much I’d lost, how unfair life can be.

Here are the words I spoke at yesterday’s gathering:

Thank you all for coming.  We wanted to do this because we had lost touch with so many of the people whom Kiran loved.  We can often go weeks without having contact with someone who actually knew him (with the exception of Auntie Shelley, Tati Sha, and Uncle Rob, of course).  Today it will be great for us to speak openly about our boy… and be with people who knew him.  We don’t want this to be a sad occassion, although I am sure we will shed some tears.  Rather we would like to sit with you, share a coffee, and talk about Kiran.  When I am done speaking, feel free to move about the room, look at pictures, share a story with an old friend.  Many of you know one another from various connections.  Hopefully some of you will get to know one another better.

Please don’t think that if we are laughing and joking with you about our boy that we have in any way “gotten over his death.”  Our world has been crushed and we still don’t know exactly what to do with ourselves.  This continues to be very difficult for us.  Kiran was our entire world, our whole identity, and still is.  We are now trying to learn how to live again.  Certainly there was no part of our future that did not include him.  One thing we know for sure is that we would rather have had Kiran in our lives than not.  We are the luckiest parents ever.

Kiran understood that the three of us were a family (use sign).  He would sign “mama, daddy, Kiran  – 1, 2, 3.”  I have often thought of that since his death.  I used to have a little decorative table with three evenly spaced legs, take one away and of course the table falls over.  That’s been a metaphor for our world over the last year.   We have started a tradition of always having a 3-wick candle in the house that we light every night with his words.

This last year has been a roller coaster.  Sekhar and I are each in our own fragile state, not always in the same frame of mind as the other at any given time.  To paraphrase from a favorite movie of mine Sleepless in Seattle, “we get out of bed every morning…breathe in and out all day long.  Then, after a while… we won’t have to remind ourselves to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out.”  We often use distractions to get by, work, books, journaling, TV and my personal favorites crocheting and games on my ipod touch.  If you received a crocheted gift from me, I am sorry.  If you haven’t received one, don’t laugh too loudly as you may just be on the list for a future gift.  Keeping ourselves busy is helpful for stretches of time.  One thing that has helped tremendously is our weekly Wednesday night “date” with Uncle Rob and Tati Sha.  Kiran died on a Wednesday night and that makes them difficult for us.  In the early days being alone was not an option, it was kind of like they were babysitting us.

We also started attending Compassionate Friends meetings in Needham.  This is a support group for parents whose children have died.  In their company it is ok to be anything we need to be.  Some of the members have joined us today.  Please welcome them as they have played a role in saving our sanity.

Our greatest fear is Kiran will be forgotten.  So, consider this an open invitation, if you think about us or Kiran please send us an email or comment on our blog.  We often feel very isolated from his world.  Just say “hi.”  There is nothing more welcome than a mother’s/father’s day note, a story from Kiran’s classmates, a note on his birthday…it’s June 28th.   I don’t know if anyone has been reading our blog but in it we wrote that it is not possible to “remind” us of Kiran’s death.  Actually, we want nothing more than to be reminded of his life.  And while I have a captive audience, I will say that this need will never go away.  Please remember his fifth birthday and his twenty fifth birthday, as birthdays and holidays are particularly difficult.  If you ever wonder “should I write or call?”  The answer is “yes.”

We don’t know what is next for us…although we are able to talk about it together.  We couldn’t do that for many months.  Today we will keep the contents of those conversations to ourselves, but we’ll keep you posted on our website, kiransplace.