Sending You Light


Everyday / Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

The days are warmer here in Bangalore. A gentle reminder of the change to come. The change that is already here. 

I looked at the date – it’s supposed to be a holiday here – and couldn’t believe that it is almost the end of the first month of this year. My last post was almost 40 days ago. 

This is my personal reply to all of you who have written to me. Please bear with me until I find in myself the strength to respond.

I look at your emails, and I want to respond. Believe me, I do. But I feel paralyzed. 

I have been away from emails, chats, WhatsApp, even physical meetings, gripped by a malaise of terror – terror at this life that seems to be shrinking, fear that I am somehow not being kind to myself or anyone, and that worst syndrome of all: hopelessness at the relentless parade of pain. I know I am not alone in any of this – all of us are struggling. Some of you with the remnants of trauma. Some of you with grief. Some of you with health. Some of you with your relationships. Some of you with work. Some with anger, despair, hurt, and anxiety. And almost all of us are dealing with pain – emotional, physical, or mental. I hear you. I hear all that you have shared, and I am so grateful you chose to share that with me.

In December, when my Dad fell down again and was hospitalized, I felt I was thrown back again into the horror of the Covid battles I went through in April/May/June. I retch when I visit hospitals. I spent 7 days there, taking care of my father as he underwent surgery for his shoulder. I watch him now, stooped and bent, and I am reminded how age creeps up, slyly, cunning in its stealth, parading its victory over our loved ones. I once wrote a short story on how I wanted to throw away the walking stick my Dad was using. Now, I watch helplessly as he can’t take a step without a human crutch to guide him; watch as someone gives him a bath, and look away at the wrinkled, broken, bleeding skin of his arms. Look away from all that I am seeing: this is my father, all of my 42 years, and I know this time is so precious, and I want to cry and rage and hug this beautiful life all at the same time. Mostly, I cry and rage. Meanwhile, my sister struggles with her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis, and what do we do in this short, precious life when it mocks us thus?

Every time I want to talk, the words freeze in me. I realized that I am not making sense to anyone, that I am simply unable to offer myself in any capacity to anyone while I struggle with my mind and everything around me. 

All the therapy sessions I am going through bring up things long buried. I choke on the bile of the past and spit the present out in morsels of rage. I am learning to set boundaries, recognize toxicity, and slowly, as slowly as the spider draws its web, unravel the people who didn’t offer that respect, kindness, care, or compassion out of my life. 

I am not here. Yet. But I will be. Because that’s the gift you all gave me with your kindness. I will live a life that’s shatteringly Buddha-ful, and I will take you all along on that journey.

That beautiful woman, KJ, told me something recently that somehow made me less broken and more whole, and her message is what I want to share (hopefully, she won’t mind).

I take some of her words and make those mine to share with you until I am back and I am here, fully present, engaged, and ready to build on our connections again:

You give me too much kindness. I promise you I will work hard to at least try to be deserving, if not actually get to that point. Thank you for holding space for me in your life, thank you for being so selfless and kind as to look in on me during these vulnerable times. I wish that you all nourish and take care of your inner child.❤️ May every mote of stardust making you YOU be filled with the vibrant energy of healing and may all that has, does, and may ever bring you pain be diminished.

I send you all my light. I thank you for your patience. I promise you I will be back with a larger, more compassionate, spacious heart. I will not let you down. Please continue to share anything you wish with me. I will respond when I am here again. And know that I will always have you all in my mind, even if it seems I don’t respond to messages or emails as soon as I want to.

May you all be well. May you take care of yourself. Honor, nourish, and be kind. 

8 Replies to “Sending You Light”

  1. Hi Smitha
    Dave here. Karen and I know you for what you are and we love you for it. The you we know is ready to travel thousands of miles to to see old, really old, friends. And when you get there you bring a heart warming surprise. That and hundreds of other acts of joy and love are gifts we will never forget.

    Your truth and goodness shine in our eyes, even in your darkest hours. Good grief, if you get any more enlightened, a flame will pop out of the top of your head. As you continue your journey, please know that there are many of us out here who wish you peace, light, and a cool heart.

    1. Awww, Dave. How do you write things that make me feel like crying and laughing at the same time? Haha, a flame pop out of my head, I believe! Haha. I can’t sleep at night because my light is so bright that the room is enveloped in brightness! 😉

  2. This post resonates so much with me, and I feel your pain and agony. I am also seeing my dad going through a really difficult time. Not a day goes by when I don’t cry or rage. He’s been lying on that hospital bed for two and a half months now, and he tells me that he’s doubtful if he’ll be able to make it out of there and home. I share his fears and despondence, and life feels so frail and beautiful at the same time.

    It’s okay to take that time. However long it is. The people who matter won’t mind, and will try to support you in whatever ways they can. Take care of yourself, and keep reading whatever brings you comfort. 🙂

    1. You are one of the people I have left behind, Restless, while I tried to make sense of myself. I hope you will forgive me for not being there fully for you. I hope to resume our conversation soon – and meanwhile, I will continue to send Metta to you and your family.

  3. Your post made me cry. The portion where you have talked about your dad reminded me of the time, when I saw my dad, always agile and nimble, lying there lifeless with numerous tubes piercing his skin. I was blank. When I came out post seeing him, my mind was blank. It was a big black hole that was slowly swallowing me. That night I shut myself in the washroom and cried my heart out. He was everything to me.

    1. I am so so sorry this post brought up these memories, Swati. I hear your pain – I wish I could offer more support, but grief is a long journey, and I know that my words may not offer you solace. But I hope you also will think of the happier memories with your Dad.

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