Secrets About My Mother I Never Shared Until Her Death

I never wanted anyone to lose hope

Suvadeep Paul
Age of Empathy
Published in
5 min readJan 13


Secrets I Never Shared About My Mother Until Her Death
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

It has been two years since I lost my mother. She was a really kind-hearted woman who meant more than the world to me; but cancer took her away. There were many memories I had with my mother, but there was one secret about her that I never got a chance to tell her.

The secret was so depressing that I never had the guts to even share it with my family members, not even my father. I had a fear that they would end up losing hope.

Let me tell you the story.

It was the story of 2020 (before the Corona outbreak). The day that secret happened, I was in Mumbai (the business capital of India). On that day, as usual, we were all getting ready to visit the doctor for my mother.

We had an appointment with the doctor at around 11 a.m. So, we left home and took a tuk-tuk to the railway station. After 40–50 minutes of train and taxi travel, we finally reach the hospital.

Before I dive deep let me be clear about her disease. My mother had breast cancer which later spread to the liver. And due to liver failure, she lost her life on August 29, 2020.

It was fully packed that day. Inside the hospital, everyone was running from one corner to another for their own work, and it was so busy (more than usual). The reason for the crowd was probably the news of the Corona outbreak. As most of the patients were from outside the state, they wanted to complete all their work ASAP and leave the city.

We also had a kind of similar goal, which is why we went to see our doctor that day. Our goal was to complete all of the prescribed medications and chemotherapy in one day so that we could board our train the next day.

We finally get to go inside the doctor's cabinet after waiting in line for more than 2–3 hours (as is common in India, even though we had an appointment).

I used to go inside to talk to the doctor with my mom, and my father would stay outside. The reason for that was that only two people were allowed at a time. So, after we went inside, the doctor asked for our reports, which we had already completed, and also questioned my mother. We were having a positive talk when suddenly the doctor asked my mother to go outside.

Hearing that, I was shocked. I sensed something bad was going to happen. And after my mom left the room, everything that happened inside stayed secret until her death.

The conversation that happened inside the doctor's cabinet

The doctor said, “I have bad news to share with you." “The reason I asked her to go out is that she might not be able to handle the news." “So, the thing is, your mother has a maximum of 1-2 years of life left.”

Me (inside): The world started collapsing in front of my eyes. I was devastated inside. I was about to burst into tears, but somehow I held myself together.

"Are you okay?" inquired the doctor.

“Yes, ma’am.” “What should I do now?”

“There is a medicine that is quite expensive that can help." "Tell me, what did your father do?”

“He is a businessman.”

“The medicine will be worth around 50,000 rupees (around $700 per month at that time) per month." Can he afford it?

“I do not know, ma'am." 50K is a huge amount for us. "Btw, how long does she have to take it?”

“I am not sure; it depends on how her body reacts to the medicine." But roughly, I can say at least a year. "If you can't afford it, then there is a cheaper substitute, but it's not that effective.”

“I do not know, ma'am." Do what seems best. I want my mom to stay with us.

“Ok, do not worry." The cheaper one is also good. Here are the medicines I am prescribing. "Remember, do not lose hope.”

“Ok ma’am. Thank you.” “Btw, ma’am, she will be okay, right?”

Doctor: smiles!

I left the room.

After I came outside, my mother asked me, “What did she say?" "Something bad, right?” "I know I am going to die.”

Although I knew them all, I said, "No, maa, all good." Do not say such negative things. She prescribed us an expensive medicine. "And as the amount was huge, she did not want to tell you.”

After this small talk, we rushed to the hospital’s pharmacy, collected the medicines, and left for home (in Mumbai).

I never shared the secret with anyone. I knew if I shared the secret, everyone would start losing hope and create a negative atmosphere around her. And when you are fighting cancer, all you need is a positive attitude from your family and loved ones.

I held that secret for the next 7 months until her death. I always gave her hope. Even in her last 30 days, when she was going through enormous pain, all I was saying to her was that "everything will be ok, maa," and "you will be well again."

My mother. She was a true warrior, way stronger than anyone in my family.

Image from our last trip in 2019

By the way, this is not a secret anymore. I told my father and a few of my family members about this. I let them know that I had an idea about the end but still kept it a secret so that they would keep fighting.



Suvadeep Paul
Age of Empathy

I write on Medium Growth, Personal Development, Life, Experiences, and Health. Subscribe to The Growth Newsletter -