Name: Grieving to Healing
Author: Vinita Deshmukh
Publisher: Authors Press
Price: Rs 350
The death of any near one is painful but the loss of a spouse is perhaps the toughest to deal with. The memories of all the happy, sad, angry and of course intimate, moments shared together keep haunting you for months after your partner is gone and no amount of consolation from family or friends works.
But senior journalist Vinita Deshmukh, through her recently released book, Grieving to Healing, shows how, while dealing with your own tragedy, you can heal those in a similar situation.
Deshmukh, who lost her husband Vishwas in January, came up with this book because ‘words, and words are all I have to reconstruct my beloved, back to life,’ as she says in the book.
Vishwas suffered cardiac arrest one evening on the Parvati Hill which the couple would climb everyday and was gone in a matter of a few minutes. Deshmukh started pouring her heart out in poems and was suggested by a friend to give it a more structured form.
The book has a foreword (by Vinita Kamte, whose husband police officer Ashok Kamte was killed in 26/11 Mumbai attack), 10 chapters, 33 poems, many tributes and condolences and lots of family photographs in the end. Although autobiographical in nature, it touches upon many aspects of a couple’s relationship — togetherness, companionship, mutual respect, following different career paths but cherishing the same values but more importantly, it offers advice on the need to accept the inevitability of death — through the writings of spiritual gurus, experiences of those who have faced bereavement of spouse and also Dr Mohan Agashe’s ‘prescription’.
Deshmukh’s language is lucid and although one senses the turmoil she must be going through while penning the book, she’s tried to process her thoughts well. For instance, in the chapter, ‘How to handle your life’, she spells out the ways to deal with the grief and talks about minute things like eating right, exercising, forgetting fear etc.
Occasionally, she does let the scribe and activist in her emerge through poems where she talks about the dirt at Alandi ghat where she went for asthi visarjan or where she talks about the social prejudices about widows.
Someone not faced with such a situation may find a few portions repetitive or the poems little off-key at times but then Deshmukh herself accepts that ‘the poems know no logic because grief has no logic.’
In the end, a book like this has to be felt rather than evaluated. And on the emotional count, it scores high.