In keeping with SAMHIN’s mission of greater dialogue on mental health in the South Asian community and to highlight the experiences of others, we invited Anju Puri, who is committed to helping people, to tell us how about the role self-reflection has played in her personal grief journey.
A major portion of society’s attitudes and expectations indicate that holding onto a loved one after they died is a sign of weakness. I might have bought into this belief had I not taken the time to self-reflect the loss of my parents.
Dad passed away in September 2013 and left a void in my life. I sensed the void but was too busy to pause and reflect. However, his loss made me develop a more “conscious” mindset. I started to seek more in life beyond my responsibilities as a working woman, mother, and wife. One of the first things I was pulled towards was mediation. In the silence of meditation practices, thoughts about finding the purpose of life became stronger. I became receptive to various volunteering opportunities. The “extra” work I did beyond my demanding career was sometimes questionable as I became more passionate to continue serving my community. Reflecting, I realized that I had evolved greatly and found a sense of fulfillment and contentment.
After losing my mom in September 2021, I found myself going back in time and remembering dad a lot. For some reason, I was now keener on doing some deeper self-reflections. I invested time to acknowledge ALL the feelings that were coming through. This time period was more difficult because my husband of 30 years was also grieving loss of his dad and our grief started to look so different. Unfortunately, grief drifted us apart in our day-to-day lives and it was a painful phase.
It would have been ideal if my husband and I could have seen a therapist together. I was deeply hurt and felt helpless that we were so drifted in our grief journey. I knew that this was something I could not handle alone. To bounce back, I had to prioritize my health. I saw a therapist and learned about grief from different resources. I learned that everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong in grief. I have become more accepting of different grief journeys and healing pathways.
Having written this on Father’s Day in remembrance of my dad, I am sharing his favorite quote for all of us to ponder.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – By Vivian Green
By Anju Puri
Transformation & Life-Purpose Coach
Corporate Trainer, Learning Tree International
I invite your comments and I would love to hear about your grief journey.
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