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REGRETS

A mother came with her 1 year old infant to the clinic today.
The child could not move her left hand and feet, she had suffered a stroke a few days after her birth. The child had a difficulty in seeing objects, and hearing was impaired on one side too. The brain scans were scary looking, what with one side showing massive damage.
Life can be unjust and unkind.
Perinatal problems are not uncommon.
But this was different.
The mother says the child was normal at birth, and after 5 day of life when they took th e child to the paediatrician, they realised one side of the child wasnot moving.
The mother then went on to describe the previous night... a night when she had been too tired and sleepy, a night she fed the child and went to sleep, a night when the child did not cry for feeds, a night after which the child woke up with one side of her brain damaged.
It had been a year since that fateful night. The what ifs had not stopped.The sentences with if only I had... continued to haunt the mother.
we could hear it in her voice and see it in her eyes.
No one can be sure when the damage happened, no one can truly blame the mother. There was no black and white, and yet she will live a life perpetually in a grey world she herself had created in her mind.
Many a time as a doctor I have faced such situations. Especially after a surgery gone bad, I keep berating myself- If only, I should have done it like this, I should have not done that... thought follows thought un till I am caught in a whirlwind of my own making. The guilt, the regret. We are all familiar with it.
We see it every time a batsman gets out, in the phantom strokes of the bat he makes while he walks back to the pavilion. A regretful shake of the head, while the stadium growns at the loss.
To live with regret, to live in guilt; I cannot think anything more painful.
I tried to console a mother, who must have been consoled so many times over the past year.In so many ways I felt that the more I said, "dont blame yourself, dont look at the past, think of the future." the more she remembered that night.
some one some day must have told her that she was responsible for her childs condition, and that doubt has grown.
In the end I realised that she felt regret, because she cared. She was an educated teacher, a diligent mother, who was aware of the childs every head turn and blink to surrounding sound and light.
we all feel regret, because we are consientious, we are our own critics.
The world can be tough, but do we need to be tougher on ourselves? Yes there will be a judgement day, but do we need to pass judgement on ourselves?
Life can be unjust and unkind, and in this world we should be our own allies, not our own task masters.

Comments

Gandhaa'S said…
if no comments so far, that could be only because the reader is rendered speechless..............
Consientiousness - truly is it a boon or a curse?
Gandhaa'S said…
if no comments so far, that could be only because the reader is rendered speechless..............
Consientiousness - truly is it a boon or a curse?
Aloka Shah said…
Kuheli all of us have seen the regret..the pain in parent's eyes when they feel they are responsible for the child's morbidity...u r right in saying that we should not be our own devils..most of the pain in our lives is self inflicted...if v just go easy on ourselves life will become so much easy...
Barnali said…
Each one of us at some time in our life has said,"if only" or looked over the shoulder through a film of tears...
But the probability of the past or the possibility of the future should not belittle the importance of NOW...the present, we should meet it with purity and reverence.
To go ahead in life and not put it in reverse gear, we need to give ourselves permission to fail at times...
Beautifully written blog...thought provoking.
Barnali said…
Each one of us at some point in life has looked over the shoulder through a film of tears and said "what if?"...but the probabilities of the past and the possibilities of the future are both shrouded. What is certain is NOW, the present, we have to meet it with purity and reverence.
To prevent moving in reverse gear, we have to give ourselves permission to fail at times...
Beautifully written blog,thought provoking.
unfortunately there is no replay in life. you have only one chance. in fact one opportunity. I should have studied arts and not science. should not shift that job, should married that man when rista came. there is so many such decision points.
unfortunately there is no replay in life. you have only one chance. in fact one opportunity. I should have studied arts and not science. should not shift that job, should married that man when rista came. there is so many such decision points.

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