Mandatory Diwali Post

Posted on November 13, 2020


This week crept up on me! In terms of dates and how it is impacting me. I just got back from my fourth Vipassana retreat, and I thought I was ready for anything life threw at me. I guess, not everything. Or maybe I am coping with it to the best of my ability. Last night, my dad sent me a forwarded message for Dhanteras. It was official. It was time to feel blue. I climbed over my husband (no exaggeration), buried my head in his chest like a frog child, and bawled. He was taken aback, and proceeded to bark questions of concern at me. I had to stop him. I let him hold me till the feeling subsided and I wrote down this sad, bad poem. Whatever. It describes my plight completely.

My mom died when I was 19, but she was sick when I was in my tweens / teens. I consider that as her dying – as a mom – because my development stopped. In therapy, everything I process feels like it is coming from that point. My wounded inner child is 12. She is slowly healing. This poem is a way of holding space for her.

This sort of grief around the loss of traditions, customs, and rituals can be referred to as Ambiguous Loss, a loss that occurs without closure or clear understanding. This kind of loss leaves a person searching for answers, and thus complicates and delays the process of grieving, and often results in unresolved grief.


I don’t know
How to be an adult
Or a wife
Nor do I know
How to be the head
Of my household
I was a child
When you died
I didn’t get to learn
How to be a good woman
And my flaws and loss
Are never more apparent
Than on Diwali
The whole world
Lights up
Yet my heart feels
Dark and empty
In my husband’s arms
I weep for something
Something primal
Every year I make plans
To clean, cook
And light lamps
Yet when the time comes
I fail
In my efforts
To heal or celebrate
I try to make my grief coexist
It refuses
It is not time
Two and a half decades
Is nearly not enough
Those in mourning
Do not revel
If there is a daughter equivalent
Of a Vrindavan widow
It would be me
Maybe next year
Diwali will finally visit me.

Posted in: Relationships