Daughters of the woods

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I’m finding it difficult to write these days. This month of June is a heavy one for me, because it is the month that would have been my daughter Mia’s due date, on the 22nd. My sadness disguises itself as many different things, and my grief twists its way around everything I touch. I sit down every morning to write to you, but no words come.

So instead, please join me as I revisit memories of a warm, cloudy afternoon in May.

Three sisters and our dog, playing by the small trickling stream, stepping on slippery rocks, wetting our feet in the cold water.

Holding hands and running through the hills made of long, long grass.

And walking bravely at the edge of it all – where the blue mountains meet the sky.

“Nature is a woman’s best friend. If you are having troubles, just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That’s how a woman cures her fears.”

Fatema Merniss

We are daughters of the woods.

We are daughters of the earth. 

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May 2017 Favourites

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I have seen a lot of youtubers do these monthly favourite videos and that inspired me to create my own! I should tell you though that this list is not really my May favourites, rather more like SOME of my 2017 favourites so far. I think that if I were to continue doing these monthly favourites, they would be much smaller in size.

Also, I find that taking photographs of “things” – especially products purchased, and then writing product descriptions – is quite a joyless activity for me. Product descriptions from their own websites will do a much better job of that. So this post is probably not going to be very informative or detailed but, rather my experiences surrounding these various things.

I’ve split the category in Beauty/Fashion, Home, Food/drink, Heart/ Mind & Soul. Something for everyone!

So here you go, some of my favourite things: Continue reading

Space Girls

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My friend Laura from medical school, came to stay with me for a week. Laura and I have always loved to dream up something beautiful and try to create it in images. Each year we were together in Ireland, we would create something together. It was so nice to have an opportunity to do this again, even after we had graduated and moved to different sides of the world.

When we would do our photoshoots in Ireland, we were always limited by having to rush back home to study, or just generally filled with the doom of an impending exam. This time, we were so free, with nothing to do but to enjoy our time together and create something beautiful. We had a lot of ideas, and I’m excited to share them with you!

Here are some of the images we have created together in the past:

Laura & the roses, Laura & the ocean,  & A strangeness in the woods.

Usually I feel much more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front of it – but this time, I decided to try it out! Over the years of doing our random, amateur “photo shoots” I think Laura and I have gotten really good at working together towards our vision.

I don’t usually like to just dump photos into a blog post without any words to accompany them, but neither do I like to write captions just for the sake of writing them. So this time, here is something from us, for your eyes.

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Mother’s Day

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Mia,

in your 6 months of life you changed everything

you made a girl into a mother

a man into a father,

you turned two into three,

you showed me life,

you showed me death,

you are as close to me as you are far

with only one infuriating inch of space that separates us

and even though I am a mother who has to understand 

that your journey in this life was a short one,

I can’t help but wish that you were in my life

instead of all around it. 

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Devaki & Me

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Readers who have been following along with this blog since the beginning of time, just kidding – the beginning of this blog, will know about one of the main characters in the story of my life. And her name is Devaki (pronounced they-va-ki)

She is the daughter of my mother’s best friend. And her parents are like second parents to me. They have known me since I was 9 years old, and I have known Deki (pronounced they-ki) since she was born.

Living in Kamloops together, just a 7 minute drive from each other, I watched her grow up and she watched me. She was the sweetest little girl; imaginative, considerate, thoughtful and soft-spoken. A few years later we welcomed her little brother Ishaan into the world. He was the first baby that has fallen asleep in my arms and that is one of the loveliest things that has happened to me.

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Why I’m not a positive person

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I’ve asked some friends and they said they would consider me to be a positive person. In fact, as I walk this unimaginable path of the loss of our first unborn child, so many have told me they admire my positivity.

Even my husband often says that I’m a positive person.

But really, I’m not. I’m not a positive person.

…But I’m not a negative person either.

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Reflections on life without my baby

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This experience is good for me.

It’s good for me because it turned my entire life into a giant question mark.

And I think it’s a good thing to feel like that from time to time.

I have seen how fragile life is. It was a topic that I had been contemplating before I became pregnant with Mia. It was a concept that had become illuminated in my life. And now I know it more deeply.

Last summer, I had been thinking about death and my own mortality a lotFor the first time, really. At the time I finally realized that I was walking through life like I was invincible to death. And I felt that was a foolish way to live when I understood that life is not promised to me.

Going through this journey with Mia has taught me that death is just as beautiful and just as necessary as birth.

And now, I see the gift of life.

In my mind, I picture two newborn babies. One, perhaps a child of my future, who is born alive. And the other, my Mia, who is born sleeping.

The difference between these two babies, the life that exists in one, and the life that is absent in the other, it is invisible. And yet it is everything.

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How we transformed our marriage

Note: I had been wanting to share some photographs from our wedding day 2 years ago, but for some reason never got around to it. So I have included them in this post 🙂 The photographs bring me back to such a wonderful day in my life, and I hope you enjoy them. 

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I have something to tell you. My marriage is blossoming.

It is so full of love. And joy.

It feels like a flower that is in bloom in the summer. The season is right. The atmosphere is right. The flower grows and blooms and it is beautiful. I don’t need to do anything, I only need to admire its grace.

But it wasn’t always like this. There were a lot of bumps in the beginning.

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Born still, but still born

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My baby was born still,

in a quiet room,

with her big eyes closed.

But she was still born,

just sleeping soft,

held 6 months in my womb.

My baby was so small,

that she fit right in

to her father’s hand

My baby was

still born, but she was still held

My  baby’s heart did not beat,

but mine was broken,

cracked in two

and yet all the while, 

bursting in ecstacy for her 

because my baby was 

still born, but she was still loved.

My baby was born in quiet room,

and she did not cry,

but the roar of her presence 

was so loud 

because my baby was

still born, but she was still heard.

The next day

my baby was taken away,

to another room and another world

that we could not go,

but she lives on within us

because my baby was

still born, but she is still ours

My baby was set free,

in a soft stream

of cool flowing water,

my baby was born still,

but she was still born

and still my daughter.

A messy poem I have written for our girl. It isn’t perfect, and nothing seems to flow, but it is the truest reflection of what is in my heart.

Well, I always said I wanted to make my blog more personal – to write about my experiences and about life as I’m living it, rather than it being a textbook of instructions. And now it can’t be anything but intimate. I can’t write anything other than my truth, and what is at the center of it. And right now, the center of it is a blend of deep grief and gladness.

I like to write. Writing is soothing and healing for me. And so I will write.

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Mia’s birth story

I love this part of the story. It’s my favourite part.

For most people, the best part of pregnancy is having a baby. For me, it was going labour and birthing my daughter. For me, the best part of pregnancy was the pain. It’s a morbid and sad thing to realize, but I have not known it any other way.

I don’t know what it is to give birth to a baby who is alive and who I can bring home and watch her grow up. But I know what it is to give birth to my daughter. And it was the most beautiful experience of my life.

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