As promised, here’s some more context to the situation surrounding last week’s post about Desikachar’s dementia, and the aftermath.
First of all, as I stated in the article, the primary reason I decided to go public was pure-self interest. What no one could have known (except my partner and editor Lydia Mann), was that as soon as I completed writing the piece, a full-blown, on-my-knees-to-get-out-of-bed, can’t-stand-up-straight, ice-pick-to-the-back-of-my-pelvis back spasm straight out of Dr. Sarno’s book…disappeared without a trace. Damned if Sarno wasn’t right when he claimed that suppressed rage can lay you low with pain – and last week I had 5 years of it being triggered by the news of Iyengar’s imminent demise.
I guess I was also extra mad that Iyengar’s students had a chance to mourn him and his accomplishments, and I was still in this limbo state of hidden grief since 2009 with no end in sight.
So, I’m very happy that so many people from around the world and within our tradition have thanked me for saying what I said…but I really didn’t do it for them – or anyone else. As I said in the piece:
“It’s been unhealthy for me to carry this silent burden of loss and anger for so long. I share this in the hope of a healing that will keep the beauty of Desikachar’s teachings from being tinged with pain every time I mention his name.”
So far, my lower back agrees that we’re on the right track. And, last weekend, back at my original Yoga home – the Sivananda Ashram, I taught a workshop and spoke of my teacher with nothing but love for him and the teachings.
Secondly, what’s also been very interesting and moving is how many folks out there are dealing with the dementia of a loved one – either now or in the recent past. I guess I shouldn’t find it surprising, but it really wasn’t in the front of my mind when I wrote the piece.
So, I seem to have tapped into a deep well of common grief – not just for Desikachar – but all of those we have lost, or are in the process of losing. If you have your own story to tell, or anything else you’d like to contribute to the conversation, please feel free to leave a reply below. I will read everything and respond when appropriate.