We got the TV installed just before my parents came to stay for a few weeks. We hardly ever watch it. This evening I happened to switch it on as I was alone at home. I watched a film on the Aberfan disaster, a catastrophic collapse of a coal mine spoil tip in a small Welsh village. This occured in October 50 years ago and claimed the lives of 116 primary school kids. One of the snippets showed the utter chaos of it and mothers standing in a long row, passing rubble and bricks away from the disaster site. The mums, now in their 70s and 80s choked up while relating the experience and shared the pictures and sweet little belongings of their kids. They also remembered the great difficulty they had in surviving this immense loss. They wondered what their wee ones would be like as grown ups. They would be in their 50s now!
Wow! What must that be like!
It’s strange that while I actively seek out programmes on mental health related issues and thus manage my deep sense of loss, when I am not seeking anything out, the radio, TV or life bring me face to face with it.
12th of October 2014 was a Sunday. Diwali, the festival of lights was less than 2 weeks away. Diwali signifies joy, love, reflection, resolution and knowledge and represents victory of good over evil and light over darkness. The annual Diwali Mela was being celebrated at Trafalgar Square. Saagar and I went along to that and ran into a photographer friend who took a few pictures.
I had no idea that those would be our last pictures together. Was I in darkness then and now I am in light? Or was I in light then and now I am in darkness? I don’t know.
This is one of those pictures. This is what a terminally ill person looks like.
With all due respect to parents whose kids have suffered cancer, I sometimes wish Saagar had cancer. It would have been taken seriously and looked after by specialists. I would have been given some facts, figures and things to watch out for. I would have had a chance to tell him how much I love him. I would have had a chance to say good-bye.