Its been an year and four days since he disappeared…died physically. My mind still remembers each emotion, reaction, expression, movements and seconds on the clock when my mom broke the news to me. My heart still cries. I have lost my grandparents in the past, and I think I could cope in a healthy way, but this loss felt different…this grief felt different.
This one year of my life has been nothing that I ever thought and imagined. I have been on a roller-coaster ride with no sense of direction, with a driver some people call GOD. This sudden loss taught me lessons that I think I will remember all my life. There were times when I let myself indulge in risky behaviors to challenge the unpredictability of life…times when I was fighting a ferocious yet an already lost battle with life and the invincible power who decides my destiny. There was a period when I just couldn’t accept the lectures on how to live life, resulting in development of arrogance which people found difficult to respond to. I felt that others don’t understand what I am going through, because they haven’t lost someone. It’s easy to say that you need to carry on with your life, it’s easy to say that you need to move on, that you need to start being happy. It seemed as if the feeling of happiness was distant and forgotten. This often made me feel like a machine, who has to wake up, smile, work and go off to sleep. These suggestions pushed me away from my own people. There was an unsaid disagreement and disapproval of things proposed by them. I could see myself hurting my own people, and finding it difficult to cover the distance. There was anger, frustration and resent for feeling cheated by destiny, for not being able to express myself to people, for restricting myself from asking help. There were unanswered questions, and days when I had turned deaf, mute and blind. Endless days of dilemma about whether I should be happy and thankful that I got a chance to have him in my life or should I continue my lost battle with fate…arguing and pressing on getting answers to whys. Whether I should start living like him or not, because he was truly an inspiration and someone who lived or whether I should keep my arrogant false deceived resentful head. I had two options all the time- first thinking of the negative experience and second thinking of him and his happy and satisfied life. I haven’t been able to conclude…but what I have learnt is:
Grief is a “Continuous Process” where there are days/periods when you succeed to have a “happy” day and days when you have a low tide. Days when you can think of the positive associations and may be a day or hour where you find it difficult to eradicate the sense of absence or the thoughts of the painful unfathomable incidence.
“Individual Difference”. Each one of us express grief differently. Few might find it easy to express, and few can’t. There can be tears, words or silence. Even silence is considered as an expression. And it definitely does not mean that those who don’t express or cry are not affected by it.
Expressions, feelings and thoughts of grief are un-measurable and can’t be compared. Its not a quantitative entity but a qualitative and subjective one. Making it a quantitative one might be deceptive or incorrect.
Its time to take help, when you stop functioning or become dysfunctional, and your grief controls your sleep, appetite, daily activities, social and occupational world, when you find it difficult to manage 24 hours in your life. I asked for help, when I saw myself sinking below the functioning level. There is absolutely nothing wrong in asking help from a psychiatrist or a trained psychologist, after all we are humans with a mind that thinks and has a capability of experiencing a wide range of emotions.
Talking to people who have been in the same situation, proved to be quite helpful to me. I felt that I was in a space where someone could understand my words and pictures and not judge me for that.
I realize on and off that giving up is not an option, so I have tried and am still trying every possible way to express what my heart wants to share. Expressing through pictures, art and writing helped me a lot.
Each one of us has already lost someone significant or definitely will, that’s the rule of life. So you can’t be blaming or reasoning that others won’t understand…someone definitely will, so don’t give up on your people.
It’s okay to express…okay to not…okay to feel in particular way…it’s okay…its normal. I think during grief we tend to judge ourselves at various moments, we really tend be hard and harsh…I feel that’s the time one just needs to tell our heart that it’s okay…I feel like crying…It’s okay…I understand that it can never be okay…but still is okay (I don’t know if you understand what I mean).
So many times I have felt confused when someone asks me are you fine now? Are his parents okay? I don’t know…what okay means in this context because I feel anybody who has lost someone significant can’t be okay…and I fail to make them understand and feel a certain loss of words to express their or my state of mind. I am still on the quest to find the meaning of “healing in grief”. Are you labelled healed when you only think of the positive associations with the deceased? or is it when you succeed to immerse yourself in loads of work so that you can play hide and seek with you thoughts? or is it when you start functioning without the low tides? Can there be such days? All I am sure about is that I feel great when I have a day when I am happy that he is part of my life, that he contributed in a way that I have only developed as a better person in the years of association…when all I can think of is the good times, and at the same time succeed to pay positive attention to my existence…to my role in the present hour…those are the days when I feel healed!
I hope the lessons I learnt can contribute in someway.