Drifting Kites by Twinkle Khanna : No pain greater than losing a child

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Drifting Kites by Twinkle Khanna

Drifting kites, writes Twinkle Khanna is a must read for all parents.

10 am : I’m enjoying Sunday breakfast with the whole family. We’re digging into aloo parathas with home-made ghee and as I am despairing at the horrific number of calories being consumed, the phone rings and we get some terrible news. A family friend has lost her young son. The young man, in his early 20s, had gone to America to attend a friend’s wedding – left a suicide note on Facebook and killed himself before anyone could reach him.

I cannot even begin to imagine what his mother is going through. There is no pain greater than losing a child. You start worrying about these tiny beings from even before they are born. You worry about their health, their education, their careers, their spouses, their children… Worrying, but not really believing that one unlucky day your greatest fear may actually come true.

You lose a child to an accident or an illness and with a broken heart. You console yourself that you did your best, it’s perhaps God’s will, he has gone to a better place; but when your child decides that the life he has been given, the life where everything he knows is what you have taught him, is not worth living, how do you live with that? How do you stop blaming yourself? How do you go on?

We teach our children to study hard, to strive to succeed; but do we teach them that it’s okay to fail? That life is about accepting yourself? That there is no stigma in seeking help? Our Indian culture is based on worshipping our parents. We grow up listening to words like respect, obedience and tradition. Can we not add the words *communication, unconditional love and support* to this?

6.30 pm : I am standing in the balcony, sipping some coffee and looking at the sunset. The children have taken the dogs and gone down to play on the beach. I spot my son. He is standing on the sand, right at the edge of the ocean and is flying a blue kite.

The kite goes high and then swings low till it almost seems to fall into the water and all I want to say to him is that soon he will see that life is just like flying a kite. Sometimes, you have to leave it loose, sometimes you have to hold on tight, sometimes your kite will fly effortlessly, sometimes you will not be able to control it and even when you are struggling to keep it afloat and the string is cutting into your hand, don’t let go.

The wind will change in your favour once again, my son. Just don’t let go…

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