Response to “Once in a Lifetime”

“Once in a Lifetime” written by Jhumpa Lihiri is a story about the relationship between Hema’s and Kaushik’s family. After Kaushik revealed the secret that his mother was facing the death because of her cancer, Hema felt both upset and scared. The part of the story reminds me of the unhappy day when I was with you before the day your cousin sister passed away. Although she was in the hospital in a big city, and you couldn’t know about the condition of her health, your presentiment told you that there was something bad in your mind, you poured out. You had been my classmate, but we hadn’t been best friends of each other’s, even we hadn’t been very intimate. However, since you had disclosed your secret to me, we had been closer and closer. On that night, you came to my home; we were on the swing talking about our homework. I knew you hadn’t been in a good mood to do anything, but you pretended to be fine. After saying continuously, your eyes started to return red, and your tears dropped. I was by your side embracing you in my arm and said nothing. I was not good at pacifying others, yet I could give you my shoulder with the hope that your sorrow was brought down. It was a windy night, and the moon was lighting. Seeing you crying, I couldn’t absolutely understand your feelings because I hadn’t passed through the pain that you were tolerating. I was just sad because you were being sorrowful; I cried because you were sobbing. Maybe I felt something called sympathy, but you mustn’t have known my secret. I twitted you with your desperation. I soothed you that there was nothing bad would happen, and you had to keep your hope. You continued to cry regardless of what I said. You saw me. Then both of us were in tears. The event changed my mind that sharing was also a good way to relieve one’s grief. There were many things I hadn’t talked to you because I was not a person who could disclose my feelings to others. I was sure that you agnized my characteristics, but you still trusted me by sharing yours. That made me very happy. You told me about the time when you had been with your sister. You described elaborately your experience as if it had just happened the previous day. You remembered all the words she said, the meals she cooked and the pieces of advice she gave you before she was sent to the hospital. I listened. Actually I didn’t know what to say; I thought you understood me. And we spent the time together like this.

4 Responses to Response to “Once in a Lifetime”

  1. phamtram says:

    Maybe speech is not as valuable as silence. Your silence gave her strength and confidence to express her feelings. You are the only one who she could rely on although she could have many friends. Remember that the essential thing is seen through heart, not eyes. Hope that your friendship will last forever.

  2. Ms. Fatema says:

    This is very beautiful. I do not recognize your username, however. Can you e-mail me or respond to this comment with your name please?

  3. I felt as silence was the best responce to your friend’s grief. I felt so because there is no other options. If you had support her grief by saying “I am sorry to hear that”, she would feel more sad and if you had said that was ok and it would be ok soon, she would feel as you were irresponsible to her feelins. So, it was the best way that you hold your friend and listen to her grief. May your friendship last forever.

  4. iratahmid says:

    I think you are correct. Sometimes when we share our feeling our pain releases and silence helps to recover your wound. On that situation speech is value less.Your attitude towards you friend was correct. I really appreciate that. I like your these lines most- “Maybe I felt something called sympathy, but you mustn’t have known my secret. I twitted you with your desperation. I soothed you that there was nothing bad would happen, and you had to keep your hope”. Hope your friendship give everyone a lesson.

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