To a brave cousin

The husband of my most admired cousin died today. It was sudden and completely unexpected by any of us, and he was just 44. I am told that she has taken this bravely; courage has been the story of her life. Nine years ago she had a child with severe CP. Through these years, I have never once seen her complain, and was touched every time I met her to see her cheerful dedication to give the child a good life. She trained herself in special education and became a teacher in the school that her child goes to. Special education can be demanding physically and emotionally, but all that I saw of her and the school was an acceptance, and a dedication to give children a good life.

These schools pay very little to its teachers; that’s the nature of the game. Many years ago, her husband lost his job never to get a stable one back again. Almost seven years of this, and I never once heard her complain about it. She valued her marriage and values her child and has only spoken to me of the good things these have to offer. Her wonderful attitude has amazed me through these years. Her ability to smile through what would have been crushing difficulties for most of us humbles me. The death of her loved husband adds another chapter to her troubled life…and I hear that she is taking it bravely.

I wonder why all this happens to her…is it because she unlike most people has the ability to get through it and remain a pillar of strength? I pray that she meet this most challenging time of her life with the same fortitude that we have seen of her through these years. My heart goes out to my incredible cousin, one of the finest women I have known. I have known her as the loving mother of a child with CP, with an unflinching commitment to give her daughter a good life. I now pray that she will come through these tough times and have the commitment to give the daughter and herself a fulfilling life that each of us deserve. May the best of her stand by her.

In Love, grief and solidarity: A Cousin

About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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