It was a lovely sunny day in June 2012. My Mum and brother were here visiting from India. We all had good chat and laugh at breakfast time. Sagar got ready for work. I asked him “Are you ok? Are you sure you want to go to work today?” He held my hand and said “Yes I’m OK…” I said, “But if you find your day hard, just come back home.” He promised to come back home and he hugged me and kissed me at the front door. I didn’t have any idea that it was the last time I would hug and kiss him.
At 12 o’clock, someone knocked on the door... It was the police... I don’t know how, but I knew that something very bad had happened and my life was about to change forever. They asked me “Can we come inside?” The first thing that came out of my mouth was “Is it about my husband? Is he dead or alive? Just tell me... just tell me now...” That second I lost him and I lost myself.
I was 30 and he was 32 when he died. We had been married for seven and a half years. We met in India. He told me on our first date that he suffered from a chronic mood disorder called cyclothymia, but I was not concerned at all. We decided to spend our lives together five days after we met. Everything happened so fast. After just over a year we got married and I left my country, my friends and my culture behind to come and live with him in London. He was my first love and treated me like a princess.
Two and half years before he died, he was diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. It was a very difficult time, because our son was also diagnosed with autism. Life was so hard but we were so happy that we were fighting with it together. No one knew our struggle behind closed doors.
When I heard from the police that he had jumped under a train, the first thing I felt was how could he give up when I’m still here fighting with life! I was so shocked and refused to accept that he was gone. I wanted to see him. Because of all the legal formalities, it took six days until I saw his body. I didn’t sleep at all for those six days… I was looking out of window waiting for him… I was calling everyone and saying, “Police said Sagar died but I don’t know... He promised me... He will come home...”
For the first 18 months, I felt all mixed emotions – anger, denial, betrayal, relief, hyper, excited, happy and strong. My grief is so complicated and confused, as I never felt loss or sadness.
I didn’t feel that he’s gone and will never come back. I wanted to feel that… I wanted to cry… I went to view his body, arranged the funeral, watched CCTV video footage, attended the inquest – but still I didn’t feel that he’s gone...
Finding a way forward
I first found out about WAY through a social worker about six months after Sagar died. I went along to my first WAY event at London Zoo in February 2013. I was met with a big smile and a big hug, and someone pushed my son’s buggy too. It was the first time in months that I hadn’t felt alone. It was the first time I felt I had found a group where people understood my crazy grief.
People are so judgemental about words like autism, bipolar, suicide, widow etc. I was running away from lots of questions from society. When I met people from WAY, I was so surprised. There were no questions. They accepted me for who I am - for ME, not the labels I was carrying.
WAY provided me with a platform to meet new people... I wanted to change my life completely and WAY helped me to do that. I wanted to take on new challenges to prove myself that I can survive without Sagar. I wanted to build a brand new life.
I met so many lovely people through WAY and made some good friends. I feel more comfortable to talk and share my mixed emotions with my WAY friends. Family and friends (outside WAY) try to help and support me, but somehow they don’t understand what I’m going through. They always make suggestions about what should I do, how to move on etc. When I smile they think I’m happy and all is good! But my WAY friends can see all the hidden emotions behind my smile.
Now WAY is my new family. I can’t imagine myself without them. I’ve had so much support, love, understanding and attention from them. Thanks to my new friends at WAY, I am learning to live again.