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Source | | Caregiver Saathi

There’s a great saying- “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours.”

And while that may be true, what also accompanies such an honour is the unseen and inexplicable emotional trauma, financial stress and always a certain sense of failure. As one of my mother’s primary caregivers, I felt each of these feelings and much more.

In the wee hours of April 6, 2019, my mother passed away at the hospital, where she had spent about three weeks, phasing in and out of a semi-comatose state. It was Gudi Padwa, the Marathi New Year – and more importantly, my mother’s most beloved festival. Then, aged 67 years, my mother had chosen a very auspicious day to make the journey to the “other side”- even she would have agreed. She had battled with liver-cirrhosis for almost nine years (and suffered from diabetes and related illnesses for almost 27 years), finally succumbing to a multiple organ failure. Having seen her struggle up-close, I felt only relief on seeing her peaceful face. The feelings of extreme grief, loss and sorrow came knocking hard at my door only a couple of weeks following her death, and continue to linger.

Ever since my childhood, I had seen my mother suffer from various illnesses (including multiple bone fractures, cataract operations and tuberculosis), and several rounds of doctors and hospitals were made on various occasions. At that time, my father was her primary caregiver, while my elder sister and I remained on the periphery- simultaneously engrossed in completing our education, forming social circles, finding our careers and being rebellious daughters to our traditional Indian mother.

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