Looking back at Life after reading Option B

Just finished reading the book Option B. Felt very connected with it as I could see many personal strands of me come back to life… Some books start revealing itself more when you put them down. Option B is one such book. Thanks Sheryl, Thanks Adam!

I lost my dad when I was 16 or 17 and my sister was 11 and I could relate to (in first person) so much of what Sheryl talks about in the book. I still remember the day and I am sure each one of us while in grief would have taken the news in such different ways.

I remember even as we grieved, my mom took the strength to get our life back on track in a few weeks after my dad’s demise. Not agreeing to continue in the darkness of grief, she started back at work and I remember her mentioning  how tough it was, but she knew… that she had to continue living and be an example.

I always knew it was tough, but I think I will never know how it impacted her the way it did. At least when I read Option B, I am able to see a few things more clearly, after all this 30 plus years. That huge uncertainty that lies ahead and in a society where still there were people who hold a stigma when you bounce forward and not act widowish enough.

But I also have regrets as I was never a considerate good kid growing up. One that I would have wanted me to be looking back. I think, I could have done so many things differently so life could have been much easier for her. But it is a fact that we cannot reverse time and all we have is the future.

But as I write this my mom is still there and I am able to call and talk to her and meet her. And I know that not everyone will be as fortunate like me, to make amends when realization comes. There are many times when time defeats you. So this Mother’s day when I spoke to her, I had Sheryl’s Option B in my mind.

As a son while even today I miss him, I can say for sure that I cannot fathom what my mom would have gone through. At the same time I also realize that there are countless others in similar situation who have more odds stacked against them than us.

As Victor Frankl says ‘ Pain is like a gas and it fills the whole chamber and it does not matter the quantity of gas, it always fills a chamber.” We all fail in understanding other people’s grief as we do ours.

The details in Option B of how people try avoid talking about a tragedy, when you so much want someone to talk about it and then how you grow up to make a joke within the context of the tragedy and how it surprises people. We all move in life, or should and again I quote three things what I have learned from my dad.

  1. Time will heal everything
  2. My biggest asset are my kids (to someone who asked what assets you have)
  3. Take time to be still and think because everyone in the world is moving.

Just like how it was for Sheryl, even for my mom, it was a sudden unexpected change in life. One fine morning the person with whom she lived is not there anymore. The life and responsibilities ahead like a never ending path.

My memories I often offload through my blogs like letters to my dad on a Father’s day and when I first realized that I had spend more time without him than with him and then a Poem on Remembering Dad. and the same way I continue expressing my gratitude to my mom.  And still I know I will not ever be able to gauge what she would have gone through.

This is not really a review, but to just look back on my life after I read it. Isn’t that books are for….

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