A year ago, my life changed in a way I could have never imagined. Within the short span of 3 days, I lost my father and my husband, Josh, who was the love of my life, to Covid. On the same day that my husband passed away, my mother-in-law also succumbed to Covid. My world, as I knew it, collapsed and crumbled all around me.  I just wanted the earth to open and swallow me up. I was 34 years old with a three-year-old son who had lost the father he adored and a 70-year-old mother who had lost her husband of 43 years. I did not have time to cry or grieve my own enormous losses, because I had to help them process theirs. I just had to move on. But how? I had just lost my father, the strength of my being, and I had lost my husband whom I never thought I’d have to live without, even in my worst nightmares.

How do I go on without them? This was the question that broke me, and still keeps me up most nights. But the best thing those two men did was to prepare me for life, make me independent, teach me to be resilient, and more than anything teach me to rely on my faith. My dad did that for me all my life and Josh took it further in the 4 years we were married. If there was one thing those two men had in common, they both could not stand watching me doubt myself. So, they did everything they could to make sure I was able to handle life by myself. In retrospect it almost feels like they both knew they weren’t going to be there with me forever, that they had to prepare me for a life without them.

Losing someone you love is losing a part of yourself, so I know I will never be whole again. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that my son will never know the love of his father. However, slowly but surely, one day at a time, we are moving on by God’s grace and His faithfulness. It is not easy to wake up everyday knowing I need to do all this alone for the rest of my life, but having a purpose helps. Every morning, the moment I see my son, Jeremiah’s face I know I need to be strong for him. I need him more than he needs me, though he doesn’t know that yet. He will know his father. I will tell him. He’ll know how handsome he was, how brave he was, how well-spoken he was. Most importantly, I’ll tell him how kind his father was. He is his father’s son, so much like him, in so many ways. Every time he says, “My name is Jeremiah JOSHUA” with the emphasis on the “Joshua” I get goosebumps, I wish he says it that way all his life. 

Grief is a never-ending journey. One never really stops grieving. Something or someone will keep reminding you of that which you’ve lost. Some days you smile remembering the good times and some days the same memories make you cry, because you know you’ll never see them again. Grieving is the heart’s way of reminding you that no matter how long or short the time was, you loved and you were loved. There is a wonderful quote which says, “Those we love never truly leave us. There are things that death cannot touch.” Josh was mine for a very short time on this earth, but he’s mine forever and nothing will ever change that. He is part of my daily conversations with my son, and he will always be. Death cannot touch the love we shared, and he will forever be the love of my life. I never dreamt that I would ever lose him and go on to live alone. I never expected that my lovely little fairytale of a world would cease to be. But it did. Now I walk alone, a little shaken, a lot broken, upheld by the many prayers and support of friends and family, knowing that it is always love  which leads the way.

By – Helen Suja Joshua (B.Tech. Bioinformatics – Batch 2005-2009)

Wife of Joshua Perinbadurai (B.Tech. and M.Tech. Biotechnology – Batches 2005-2009 and 2009-2011)


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