I Did Not Know What To Say Blog

Virtual Book Tour – Interview with Uma Girish – Author of “LOSING AMMA, FINDING HOME: A MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND LIFE’S DETOURS”

Posted by ididnotknowwhattosay on August 7, 2014

Thank you for joining us on our Virtual Book Tour.

Today we welcome UMA GIRISH, author of “LOSING AMMA, FINDING HOME: A MEMOIR ABOUT LOVE, LOSS AND LIFE’S DETOURS”. Uma’s interview offers many insights into life, death and losing a parent.

Please feel free to comment or share your own experiences on how your friends and family have assisted you in restoring balance in your life after the loss of a loved one in the comment section below

When a loved one dies, all hope dies with them. In picking up the pieces of my life, and finding a way to make meaning of my loss, I felt that this message needed to be shared to inspire everyone dealing with a devastating loss. That was the main reason why I felt compelled to write this memoir. Also, I have long since known that the gift of writing was given to me to serve the world. This was one of the ways I was called to do that.

2. How did your mom’s passing help you learn more about Love, Life and Life’s Detours?
Amma’s passing caused a deep existential ache within me. In trying to figure out my own purpose and what I was meantLosing Amma to do with this life, I discovered that love is all there is. Our biggest purpose in this life is to love one another. Life is all about the soul’s evolution and the wounds we are given are meant to be used as lessons. The only way we can use the pain of loss is by reaching out and helping someone who has lost a loved one. My life took a detour, both geographically and spiritually. That detour saved me. It opened me up. It taught me that when a path opens up for me, I am meant to walk down that road with trust and integrity.

3. How did finding your life purpose assist you in the healing process?
It taught me that my life was less about me and more about everyone I touched. And that was the only way to heal. It taught me that I could only heal when I connected with and served another who was in pain. I am only able to do that when I am willing to open my heart and share the truth of my story. When I share with honesty and vulnerability, I make the greatest of connections: the human connection. So finding out what I was meant to do with this wonderful life was key to not only how I healed, but how I helped others heal their pain.

4. What are some of the cultural differences in working through grief that you experienced between your home country of India and the US? What cultural differences should people be aware of?
In India, grief and mourning are communal and collective events. It I much more public than it is in the West. It is not uncommon to see funeral processions take over the main thoroughfares and inconvenience traffic, even during rush hour. The body is atop a decorated carriage which is then paraded through the streets, rose petals are showered through the journey to the crematorium and there’s dance and music to accompany the funeral party. I experienced isolation here because I didn’t know too many people or have friends. I was new. My mother had no context. It was very alienating. I longed for the familiar: my family, my environment, my cultural context where I knew what was appropriate to say and do.

5. Our website focuses on providing tips to friends and family members on how to support a loved one through the grieving process. What would be your suggestions on how friends and family can support a loved one that has lost a parent?
• Don’t be impatient with their grief. People take as much time as they need to, to mourn and grieve a loss. If you’re unable to bear witness to their pain, don’t. If you are, then be patient with their recovery process.
• Share stories. Tell them stories they don’t know about their loved one, about your interactions with them or an act of kindness you received from them. Don’t make the dead person invisible by not mentioning their name.
• Allow them to lead. A lot of times we feel the need to tell the griever what they need. Ask them to voice what they need and serve that need if you’re able to.
• Avoid clichés like “You had her all these years” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” or “Time heals everything.” If you don’t have words, say nothing. Just listen. Hug. Show up. That’s all we need to do when there’s nothing to fix.

6. What do you wish your family or friends had done differently after you lost your mom?
I wish they hadn’t buried my mother all over again—by not mentioning her name for fear that it would make me cry. I wish they had been more patient with my grief instead of telling me that I’d cried enough and that it was time to move on. I wish I hadn’t heard the words “So many orphans don’t know what it is to have a parent. At least, you had her all these years.” I wish they’d been more interested in stories about my mother, the only way I had of keeping her alive.

7. What is one thing you would like readers to take away from your book?
That pain and grief are not given to us by some avenging God. They are part of our soul’s growth and when we turn our pain into purpose, we heal and we use our pain to serve from a bigger platform and help others heal.

8. What would you like our readers to know about you?
I am passionate about helping women who are grieving a loss turn their pain into purpose so that they can find new meaning and joy in their lives. As a Certified Dream Coach, I also help women who feel lost, or those who are in transition, to get clear about their passion and purpose using a 10-step program.

9. Have you written any other books? Do you plan to write any other books in the future?
Yes to both! My eBook is called “Understanding Death: 10 Ways to Inner Peace for the Grieving” and is available as a Kindle and Nook version, and also on iTunes. Writing, speaking and teaching are as integral to me as breathing. I’m halfway through my next book and also plan to teach writing workshops soon.

UGirish 2



Uma Girish is a Grief Guide, Certified Dream Coach, and award-winning author whose work has been published in 7 countries. She hosts a weekly radio show “The Grammar of Grief.” For archived shows, visit http://uma.creatingcalmnetwork.com to buy a copy of her memoir “Losing Amma, Finding Home” please visit http://www.umagirish.com. You can also stay updated on her events by subscribing to her newsletter via her website.









Our Virtual Book Tourhttp://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/griefbooks-virtualbooktour.html

Grief Support Resources: http://www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com/grief_support_groups.html

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