Happy Diwali

Many of you will know that it has been a hugely tough couple of years for me. Losing my beautiful and kind Jeremy was the most devastating thing to have happened in my life. Not long after I lost my mother-in-law (Jeremy’s mum), and this year my beloved father, my close friend Paula and a few weeks ago my lovely, loyal and affectionate cat Tabasco. Loss seems to have become part of my life.

But, after many months in the dark, there is finally some light filtering in. Light gives us hope. Light overcomes darkness. And it is this light that we celebrate during the Hindu festival of Diwali. The festival of Lights. The overall significance is that of the triumph of good over evil, lightness over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair.

And it is this hope that I carry with me into my future. In the depths of my grief I never imagined that this would be possible – that a future filled with optimism and hope was a possibility.

I have lit a candle in front of a photograph of a smiling, happy Jeremy every morning since the day he died. And, today on this special occasion of Diwali, it will be no different. And as I light the candle I will ask him to give me his guidance, his love and the strength to move forward with my life.  I want to live again. I want to laugh again. And yes, perhaps one day, I might even want to fall in love again.

You do not have to be a Hindu to mark this occasion of Diwali. After all, Diwali is a time of love and laughter, compassion and companionship, festivities and friendships. And these are things that we all as human beings can share.

So, to all of you, a very very Happy Diwali.

Shalini Bhalla-Lucas