An Unconventional Motherhood, the Madness and the Magic

**Trigger Warning: Death, Trauma, Grief**

Trembling, I gently pulled my husband’s hands into my lap. I looked into his large, dark brown eyes. His eyes were set firmly on mine, as though they were piercing deep into my soul.

I had just one question.

“How will I be a mother without you for the rest of my life? I don’t know how to do it.”

The most tragic circumstances had led my husband and I to this point. We were running out of time and we knew it. He was calm, almost peaceful and spoke to me very softly.

“You can and you will. You have no choice. I will wait for you and Siya on the other side but until then, she needs you.”

I wanted to believe him in those last moments, but my fear of a life without my husband left me feeling empty and in doubt. The reality was that the beginning of my journey as a new mother was going to also begin with the loss of my husband. They would forever be intertwined and I didn’t know how to separate the two.

I would spend my maternity leave grieving the loss of my child’s father whilst trying to be a mother to our new baby. I can’t even begin to explain how insane that felt.

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Until this point, and for the first four months of Siya’s life, well three months really, as Krunal was very ill in his last month, I’d had my husband by my side. He encouraged me, guided me and taught me how to look after our baby. It didn’t come naturally to me, but I wasn’t worried because I had Krunal. Together we would figure it all out, just like we’d done from the moment we met.

But when your primary support system is cruelly taken away from you, your entire world comes crashing down. I was left doubting my capabilities as a solo parent. I had never even imagined being a solo parent. It’s the loneliest place to be!

As I watched the man I loved more than life itself, fade in front of my eyes, somewhere in the distance I heard a baby crying. It was a cry that was asking for love, for her mother, for her father.


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I scooped her up in my arms and wept. And wept. I cried for my baby and the father she’ll never see. I cried for my husband who would never see his daughter growing up, and I cried for myself.

I was going to have to find a way to survive this loss for the sake of my baby. Somehow, I had to learn to be a mother in the most unimaginable circumstances. 

I had now entered survival mode. Powered by my grief and adrenaline, I moved seamlessly from one day to another, and trying to find routine became essential for me. With my new baby, I didn’t have time to stop and mourn my loss but I had to carry on. There was always a feed or a nappy-change needed. There was always a rhyme to sing or a book to read. She gave me routine and in return, I gave her stability. We both quickly became each other’s comfort. 

Under the surface of the mundane, I’ve struggled to even recognize myself. I’ve changed physically and mentally, with the innocence of life stripped right away from my soul. I’ve wondered what I can offer my daughter? Whether I’ll be enough for her; How will I play both mother and father? Doubt, anxiety and grief have riddled my motherhood journey as a solo parent. Without my husband, I found myself desperately craving his guidance, love and support in my role as a mother.

But very slowly, I began to trust my instincts when it came to Siya. I learnt to drown out the background noise and all the unsolicited parenting advice, listening to what my gut told me to do for her. It was the realization that our journey would never be conventional anymore and I had no choice but to adapt. 

[Read Related: Confronting Motherhood Stigmas & Fears: a Mother’s Day Realization]

I also had to trust the faith Krunal had in me. He had always been my biggest advocate and when I gave birth to Siya, he said, “You are already the best wife, there is no doubt you’ll be an amazing mother to our girl.” These words from him have become my biggest driving force in life. 

Motherhood definitely feels very strange. There are times when I’m drained from sheer exhaustion as a solo parent and then there are moments where my heart soars with pride of what I’ve achieved so far. There is no black and white for me, just so much grey.

I never thought I’d make it this far. But I’ve somehow found my own path. And whilst we still have a long way to go, I’ve found that in all of the madness of our life, there have also been moments of pure magic. I’ve managed to keep my baby happy. It’s a rare magic when she wholeheartedly laughs, a sound that fills my lungs with a new lease on life.

And she laughs so, so much. 


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By Nimisha Sharma

Nimisha is a blogger/writer with a vision to change the narrative around grief, one word at a time. Her writing … Read more ›