“The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again. Nor should you be the same. Nor should you want to.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Death. Cold, distant and unfathomable. The only leveller in life. It brings even the meanest, bravest of warriors to his knees, for the sorrows of the heart is unbearable and it does not discriminate. Memento mori, it makes so much sense now. We are but human, born to feel every emotional aspect that God has given us. But as unfair as it is, the follies of the heart is a man’s only intrinsic kryptonite, debilitating us and engulfing us in clouds of remorse.
And this happened to a friend of mine. We’ve only met twice, though, we could hardly say we were friends. Acquaintances, maybe. But he’s a friend of my primary school friends, and a friend of my girlfriend as well. His grief is commonly shared by us. We feel the pain he’s going through, even if it is only but a minute fraction; we hear his silent cries, though we cannot fathom the exactness of his suffering. It torments him, as much as it torments us. To empathise with his tribulations, it does not feel right. To understand his ordeals, is much worse. Concerned as we are, and we genuinely are, I find it excruciatingly hard to encourage a man, and give condolences to the one who has lost one of his own.
“Even so distant, I can taste the grief..” – Deceptions, Philip Larkin
Life is transient. We move from one place to another, change our lifestyles and everything with it once in awhile. But we never lose sight of home. Home. It provides a familiar compass for us to look forward to, whether is it from a long day at work, a week-long business trip or even after a weekend stay-cation elsewhere. Home is where the heart is. Full of contentment, delight and smiles from all around, home is where the heart longs to rest. Sure, there may be sparks of quarrels and heated arguments from time to time, and on rarer days we deliberately choose to cast ourselves away into our own solitary shadow and lead our own lives. But in the greater scheme of things, we still come back into the arms of those whom we love. Those people, whom we know that we can never bear a grudge on. In the end, all these events will fade away, culminating into memories from a forgotten past. Life is but a journey that everyone takes, where only some finish first.
Agonising. A real
Tragedy like no other. We
Hate how it is. But life is just full of it, is it not?
I solemnly extend my hands to offer solace. It was not sufficient, nor would it help, but it was the most I could. Philip Larkin expresses this in one of his poetry, Deceptions,
“I would not dare
Console you if I could.”
I know how painful it is for you. But then again, do I really know? The torment you have undergone, is unfathomable for anyone else. Unless we have went through an exactly similar ordeal, we cannot give any advice other than the ones you know. Deepest condolences.
The greatest pain for us humans, is probably the pain of losing our loved ones, especially so for those who mean so much to us. The parents that brought us up, the siblings that we played, fought and grew up with, and for those lucky ones, our grandparents that continually loved us, fed us, and gave their presence for us. Losing someone close to us, is never an easy feat. It is unpredictable and there’s no way one could ever prepare for the very moment of passing. We console the ones who grieve, but we couldn’t. The pain is not ours to bear, even though sometimes, the pain is being shared. We feel similarly anguished, brokened, and torn-apart. Imagine how that must be for the family that grieves. We try, and we tried.
To you my friend, and to all who are facing this and have went through this, I offer a poem by Williak Blake, On Another Sorrow:
“Can I see another’s woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another’s grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow’s share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?
Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird’s grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear —
And not sit beside the next,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant’s tear?
And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
Oh no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!
He doth give his joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.
Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.
Oh He gives to us his joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled an gone
He doth sit by us and moan.”
I pray you find peace, and that your family continues to stay strong and live their lives with praise and honour of the life you have well spent during your stint. You will be remembered – in our memories, our joys, our hearts.