We have all been through our share of losses. The pain of losing someone very close is not something one can describe in words. People talk about moving on, letting go, about making peace within, not holding on to any pain, so on and so forth. Whilst all that is critical to make peace with ourselves and move on so we can be there for those around us, the reality of the situation is very challenging to deal with. We seek distractions. We seek comfort. Sometimes very dysfunctionally. I have been there, so I can share.

What I share in my blog is very personal to me. But if it means it can give solace to even one person who is dealing with a similar loss, it would make me a happier person.
It’s been four and a half months since my beautiful, angelic mother passed. Her death was sudden. So many things left unsaid, unanswered, unsorted. Too many regrets. She was meant to spend last Christmas with us, and then celebrate my children’s 16th birthday this January who were her babies and be with us here. The loss is deep. The loss immense, it’s intense. Unbearable at times. It’s very personal. It’s not something you can share with anyone, except learn to deal with it, and know that over time you will accept it for what it is. It’s a permanent loss.

Those days were very challenging. My very kind family and friends, who supported me typically said:
– Don’t cry, let her soul rest in peace
– This pain will pass, and you will only remember the happy times
– Stay happy for your children
– We all lose our mothers someday, so just stay strong, it’s part of life.

I took in all in, and felt the pain, tried not to shed tears with all the expectations around me, and mostly tried to stay strong. But, something’s got to give! So, I became a self-sabotger!

I smoked, I drank so much that one day I blacked out, and I ate and ate and ate…..! The more I ate, the more I felt weak, ugly, felt like a loser…. I simply did not care….

I said “F***K” off to all those who reminded me that:

– I was diabetic and had to take care of my health
– I needed to look after myself and be there for others
– I had children to worry about

Until, I woke up heavier than I had been in a long time; feeling miserable, lost, and deeply upset with myself for being a self-sabotager.

I realised that grieving does not mean being silly, sad and hurting oneself. Grieving is to simply accept and let go of the person who won’t be present in our lives any more. And to live with beautiful memories. To live our lives each day with absolute honesty, sincerity, and authenticity is our responsibility. To keep their memories alive with our behaviour, every moment, every day is also our responsibility.

Losing anyone is not easy – whether in death or through a break-up. And when someone is going through such challenging times, all we should do is hold their hand and give them support. That’s all I have needed, and I got that in plenty from my loving family and special friends.

I had to remind myself that I am the most important person in my life and that I had to be self-responsible.

So, as a reminder to myself and my friends who are on a similar journey, I have put together FIVE simple thoughts :

1) Make peace with yourself – most critical

2) Let go of all that does not serve you anymore

3) Don’t seek comfort outside through food, drink or any substance. Seek it within

4) Keep focusing on your health (make better food choices no matter what)

5) Most important – be kind to yourself.

Raga’s story

“A Ticking Time Bomb”.

That was the blunt description given the mounting problem of Type 2 Diabetes within the South Asian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom a few years ago.

According to research, immigrants to the UK from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations from South Asia are six times more likely than the indigenous white population to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

Whilst current evidence is inconclusive as to why British Asians are more susceptible to the disorder, medical experts have pointed to the twin evils of a diet high in carbohydrates and saturated fatty acids (all those chapattis and rice dishes) as well as alarmingly low levels of physical activity, especially among older South Asian women, as two of the most significant contributory factors to a problem that is certain to put a huge burden on families and the community at large.

Alarmingly, there is widespread ignorance about Type 2 Diabetes within the community, according to medical experts, which threatens the lives of thousands.

Mumbai-born, North London-based marketing and advertising expert Raga D’silva among those ignorant masses.
The 43-year-old mother of twins, whose family had a history of Diabetes, was diagnosed with the disorder in 2012. The news brought about a radical change in Raga and has inspired her to help others with Diabetes and raise awareness. This is her story, in her own words.