“Life hurts a lot more than death”

Both the children were shifted to the wards from the Intensive Care Unit. The younger girl aged 9 years was discharged that morning. Apparently she yelled at the mother as a murderer and was inconsolable. The older girl was seated opposite me. Her younger brother was dead , I had to break the bad news. All of them were poisoned in the food given to them the night before admission. Mother was absconding from home for one year and six months … she returned and was treated elsewhere for a psychiatric illness. In her absence the oldest girl aged 13 years had taken over as a mother , looked after the brother aged four years and sister aged 9 years. She knew her brother was also poisoned that night…..Mother sat there with out any expression .

The little girl looked at me and felt the silence of the room.

” You look very friendly and kind” She said this after I tried the ice breaking session , to assess how much she already knew. I thanked her and did not relax.

” You have very ┬ábad news to tell me ?” She was extra-ordinarily perceptive.

I looked at the mother , who did not make eye contact with me.

“She is mentally ill. So, tell me which of them did not survive ?”

” He always loved her cooking…… it was him ….. right ?” I nodded wordlessly. She was speechless for few minutes. Then she asked me , “I want to hold my mother , will you leave us alone? Please call my sister, she will not understand, she will be furious” Her voice was shaking as she said this. She held her mother and I left them alone…….

It was not really necessary to give birth to a child to be a mother …..