Alone in love

Tear drop on eye lashWe dissected the husband at lunch. They were a young couple, well-educated. She was dying for sure. And he was not letting her die in peace. She was in pain and suffering.

“What do you know about us? You talk of life and death as if you straddle both the worlds and control the one-way gate. I thought you understood me, us. Now, sure as I am dead, I know you didn’t.”

We concluded that the husband was in denial. Did he really think she was going to live? Did he really believe that by dictating which medicines she took he was helping her? She was in excruciating pain and he was worried about side effects. Poor woman! He was even not letting our counsellor talk to him.

“We were in love. We are in love. We were clinging to each other, trying to face a situation we had never faced before. Suddenly there were strangers in our life, like you. Trying to tell him what was good for me, to tell me what was good for him. You were trying to pry us apart. We were afraid, confused.”

See how he walked away when she started crying. He didn’t care. So arrogant! He kept avoiding us. He did not let us help her. If he had let us, we could have helped him too. They could have used all our knowledge and experience.

“Yes, he walked away. But, what makes you think that he did not care? He didn’t know if he was helping me by letting you guys help me. He was worried if he was doing everything to make me happy, to keep us together. He would never trust anyone else with that. Nor would I. You came in as if you had all the answers. We did not. He just wanted to try everything. You did not know or understand. You could not have. You were not us.”

A woman like her deserved better. These are the kind of people who should set an example. So much unnecessary pain. Such a waste of time. With our help, she could have done everything she wanted to do. She would have died happier.

“How much time is enough? Do you decide that? Are you God? We would have never had enough of each other. We just wanted to go on and on. Somewhere along I knew. He didn’t want to accept that. Should I have killed him by forcing him to give up on me? He wanted me to live on, happy and healthy. I wanted it too, because we love each other.”

Now she is gone. Even now, we can help him, if he allowed us. He made her miserable. Now, he must be making others miserable. Wonder if he is happy now. Relieved, maybe? And to think that theirs was a love marriage.

“Please! Leave him alone. Go back to your books and case studies. This is our life. This is our love. Do you have a chapter for that? You will never stop trying to help, will you? Know that there are times when the best way to help is not to. But, you don’t want to know that, do you?”


They pushed their chairs back, lunch done. The canteen boy cleaned the table, leaving it shining for the next group and their conversation.

Hundreds of kilometres away, he stood before another God at another place. He wanted to speak his pain, no woDesolate man silhouetterds would come. He was breathing, but the choking wouldn’t go away. He looked away from sympathy. He wanted to cling to something that made sense, but shrunk from touch. His eyes dammed an ocean of tears.

He was alone with all their love.

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10 thoughts on “Alone in love”

  1. Individual responses to the death of a spouse vary tremendously, it is difficult to generalize. But yes, what you have described is one of the heart wrenching effects.All I can say is that God give him strength to bear the loss and live his life.

  2. My heart goes out to them.

    In love there is no right and wrong…there is only love. And only in love is there a right and a wrong that’s decided by the people in love. Anything that comes from outside this circle of love is cold, neutral (perhaps well meaning) advice .

    I hope the love they shared will eventually help him emerge from his grief.

  3. Beautiful! I can very much empathize with the husband in your article. I wish there was more awareness about some silent therapies like Sandplay Therapy. Sometimes, it is just necessary to be there for a client and listen to his silence.

  4. By Silent therapies, I had meant non-verbal therapies. While there are many such non-verbal therapies, I had mentioned Sand Play Therapy as I practice it. This Therapy is practiced on both, children as well as adults.
    When I was reading your article, I felt that as much as the couple needed counseling, what they needed more was time and space for themselves. As Counselors, we are so tuned to the idea of helping, that often some of us forget that at times, just being silent, being present for the client can help. There is no need to talk or get the client to talk. Healing can happen without talking also, if free and yet protected space is provided by the therapist to the client.

    1. Thanks, Prerna. I wonder if it is feasible to set up a directory of therapists or an umbrella body so that one can call for the right kind of therapist when the situation demands. Does something like this exist? If not and if you think it can work, perhaps you may want to take the lead?

  5. Dear Vijay, It is with mixed feelings I read this post. It is deeply saddening and I can understand the silent desperation of the spouse as life slips away. No words can plumb the depth of the loss. You have said it in the most measured manner. Sand play therapy – it seems like a possible answer.

    Thank you for this moving, and insightful story.

  6. I am sure there must be a directory or an umbrella body existing, though I am not aware of one. However, I wonder how many people would look in a directory and go for counseling or psychotherapy. Generally, people go through recommendation from doctors or friends. Most hospitals also have their own counselors and psychologists or psychotherapists. I am available for Counseling, Play Therapy and Sandplay Therapy whenever someone needs it.

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