It’s normal to want to protect our children from sadness. But making illness and mortality invisible to them can have unexpected consequences in the long term
During the final weeks of her life, all spent in an Indian hospital, my grandmother deteriorated peacefully, and gracefully, until she slipped into a coma and breathed her last. My 10-year-old self remembers a thing or two about this time.
The hospital’s egg curry, a much-loved north Indian dish, was amazing. The tiny cakes with real butter icing that defied all dietary guidelines weren’t bad either so my cousins and I, gathered in the small room, took turns selecting the menu and outwitting the nurses, who sweetly played along, praising the voracious appetite of our fading grandma. Enveloped in grief at their mother’s impending death, the adults couldn’t bear to look at the food – if our mirth seemed out of place, they never said so. Continue reading...