Words That Heal

A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.

Healing is evoking the Will to Live in Others.

~ Unknown


Health-e Bytes

My friend, colleague, and contributing author, “Dr Rama” is a Healer by definition. He is an MD and more essentially, a compassionate human. His practice has permeable boundaries, case in point, a young woman who is a healthcare provider who works with him, was one day emotionally down. Rama picked up on her palpable sadness and what followed was a very human and caring exchange between them. For context, the young woman shared that her parents after 45 years of marriage are getting a divorce–and her mother is not prepared for a life on her own having to cope with finances (which her husband always took care of), and all the moving parts of “gray divorce.”

I share this here with the sole intent of spreading good in the world and to “heal” others who may find themselves in a similar situation.


Healing Words

First, let me say how sad I felt this afternoon upon hearing the news about your parents from you. I am always used to seeing your smiling, happy, and eternally optimistic face. Sadly, that was not the person I saw this afternoon. After thinking about it for some time I decided to write this note as a concerned friend and send it to you. I hope you will not consider this message an intrusion into your privacy and private grief. It is never easy, to put it mildly, to witness and come to terms with the fact that the two most important individuals in your life who brought you into this world decide to divorce after nearly half a century of marriage. There is no way to rationalize or cushion the enormity of this emotional devastation. It is particularly hard to deal with this problem at this time of the year when we gather as a family to celebrate and be thankful for all the good things life has to offer. Here are some suggestions for you to consider:

1) Never let the deeply negative effects and emotions emanating from this separation overwhelm your emotional status and your ability to think and act in a pragmatic way. As hard as it may seem, it is vitally important to safeguard your emotional status and your pragmatic thinking and decisive actions. These essential resources are the ones that will help you safely navigate the treacherous sea of emotional and practical problems ahead of you. It is helpful to remember the notion that life, despite its unpredictable and infrequent ugliness and treachery, is still full of beauty and joy. It is easy to forget this simple fact in moments of deep despair and darkness.

2) It is important to focus your energy and efforts on the person who needs your support and practical help most – your mother. I am glad you have already recognized this fact. The challenge here is to strike the right balance between being overbearing and feeling not being very helpful. One useful way to deal with this issue is to sit down with your mother and map out a mutually agreeable practical and pragmatic plan. As you mentioned this afternoon, she faces challenges like managing the finances.

3) You may wish to think about and identify the challenges and obstacles your mother faces and group them into distinct groups. This approach may ensure that no problem or challenge or obstacle is overlooked or missed. Examples: emotional/psychological support, guidance on financial matters (social security, Medicare), and finding a competent and trustworthy source of legal advice, to name a few.

4) It is important for you to encourage your mother to believe in the idea that there is life after divorce – a life that is filled with joy and true independence in which she is the sole and only master of her own destiny. In a world that has always subjugated women to a variety of societal forces, this is an opportunity to find her own true voice and live courageously her life on her own terms.

5) I would like to encourage you and your mother to consider this: to find inspiration in stories of women who have found joy and peace in their lives after very challenging and traumatic events. If your mother is an avid reader, she can find several excellent books on this subject. You may wonder why I am suggesting this idea. It is because self-confidence and belief in one’s ability to achieve ordinary and extraordinary things in life take a big hit after an event like divorce. Fueled by self-doubt, this can be a debilitating problem. It is important to recognize this issue if it is present and deal with it decisively.

Currently, at the request of a friend of mine, I am proofreading a great book on this subject that speaks to women of all backgrounds. I found the stories of women in the book very inspiring. If you are interested, please let me know. I will get you a copy. The book should be published in December (next month). (Due to restrictions and other usual conventions to be observed prior to the publication of the book, I am not allowed to say anything more about the book). It is vitally important to help your mother remember the fact that her future is bright and full of potential, promises, and joy. Her best days are ahead of her.

6) Finally, it is important to ensure that your mother has two things that have been shown in several large studies – I mean large population studies – to positively influence good health and longevity – social connections and living a life with purpose. Both may sound very philosophical. But the effects of these two factors are undeniable and manifest themselves in very measurable, observable, and practical ways. I certainly would have omitted them if I was not writing this message to you. You have the necessary qualities of intelligence, compassion, and empathy to understand the true meaning of social connectivity and purposeful life.

Please also keep in mind you have an incredible husband with a deep well of worldly knowledge, common sense, loyalty, and an unmatched ability to see and recognize the things that are most important for living a joyful life with meaning and purpose. Your husband is a pillar of strength that you can rely on for support during these difficult times. I don’t have to tell you this. You know this already.

I wrote this message with good intentions and wanting to be helpful in some way.
Please let me know if I can be of help now or in the future.
Sincerely, Rama

A Source of Inspiration

The young woman’s response included a heartfelt thank you for Rama’s support and encouragement. She also mentioned his uncommon level of caring, and expressed gratitude to have such a thoughtful person in her life. His message will be a continued source of inspiration to draw on in the future when inevitable challenges arise for both the mother and daughter.


A book to inspire your best life.

The topic of “Gray Divorce” is explored in Chapter 3, including empowering concepts and action steps.

I include the book because I deeply feel it can help–this is why I wrote it.

aging women

Oder your copy here


Health eBytes: The Science of Optimal Aging, Ramiah Ramasubramanian MD, FRCA (England)


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