Growing up means many things, maturity, responsibility and several wrong decisions plus lessons that you may or may not take from all the experiences you encounter.
Your elders will warn you about what to expect and recount their stories as many times as they can but none of it saves you from the reality and neither does it prepare you. Once in a while you shall echo their thoughts and mirror their reactions but the more likely option is that you will fall flat before you ever have the chance to sit and think “I made the wrong decision.” Either way, you have to do it your way to realise.
It is great to put your heart on the line, to give till it hurts and leave no room for remorse but the repercussions can take away all the joy of trying and bring you to a point where you wish you hadn’t bothered in the first place.
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” ― Charles Bukowski
Loss comes in many forms from distance to denial and the ultimate, death. Come to think of it, why do they all begin with ‘d?’ I digress.
I believe to lose something or someone who you shall never see again is perhaps easier than the tormenting loss of a friend, former lover, member of the family who is so near yet so far.
It could even be a job you gave up everything for and had to leave under unclear circumstances or a place you called home suddenly transforming into a prison that you cannot bear.
Denise dated James for 5 years. She knew very well that her parents did not approve of their union but somewhere in her heart she knew she would fight for him and win. Little did she know that his own family was orchestrating a ‘master plan’ of their own behind her back. Before either of them could comprehend the situation, James was betrothed to Liz. A few weeks later, a traditional wedding was organised.
Denise was devastated and James, well, he was helpless. He tried to explain that it was beyond him but she was too broken to even listen. “He should have tried harder,” she thought. As such, there is one more unhappy couple in this city and a mad black woman on the loose who is not only incapable of commitment at the moment but also lacks the passion and excitement for life that she once had.
“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.”
― Paulo Coelho
Lately, I have been trying to deal with a special kind of loss myself. The kind where you can almost see, feel, touch and smell that which has been taken away from you but you can’t. This loss is almost inexplicable to an untrained mind and perhaps beyond consolation even by those near and dear.
“Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.”
― Roland Barthes
It is one thing to hear that ‘Everything will be okay.” but actually believing it can seem like mystic universe yet to be discovered by the world. The sad reality is that when people notice you are grieving, their immediate reaction is to reach out to you and yet sometimes the questions, advice and comforting phrases take you back to the same place you are trying to run away from, the picture you are trying to erase…the shadow that you can’t avoid.
You want to sit still, alone, shut yourself from the world, except you can’t. The world won’t stop for your pain. Music will play on and new lives shall emerge. You have to make a choice to suck it up or get sucked in. Sometimes it is both, other days the distinction is clear.
Loneliness makes it worse yet being around people is just a ‘more crowded’ kind of lonely. You feign laughter and exchange hugs, share an old joke or a meal but the reality whispers “You can’t pretend forever.” and indeed after a few odd hours of beautiful lies, you are coiled in your bed, with only your mind and heart each racing and prancing about in your system, oscillating between whispers and shouts of voices,images you can’t exactly make out and pain that you don’t question.
Yes, your body has caught on too. If its blood is boiling, the mind pacing and the heart unstable, surely you don’t expect it to function ‘normally.’
You know that dawn is a few hours away and that you can’t really bother anyone at such a time, but even if you could, what will you say? They want to believe you are healing. You want them to believe you are healing but since none of that is happening, perhaps it is better to share your feelings with your pillow for it can neither judge nor respond.
Finally the morning comes and you promise yourself a new journey, a happier ending. You even believe it for a bit but secretly you know that you shall disappoint yourself once more. You can’t utter such negative thoughts! “Be positive, you tell yourself.” The cycle continues….
Here I am contemplating the beauty of ignorance from that which we have never experienced versus the bliss of enlightenment that comes and changes your life but is later stolen away in the dead of the night.
“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
It is one thing to give your utmost love, care and devotion to a person,job,project and the like but an entirely different thing for it to be reciprocated in the same measure or even anywhere close.
Loss does things to people, it transforms them. You might be lucky and come out stronger but deep within lies that hole that only you can see and feel.
Some people do not recover, they can’t see the world in the same way anymore. They remain numb with the hope that they shall relive the last moment when they could have held on to a love so dear but sadly, the clock never really turns back, only memories remain.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
Who knows how it will all end or which people you shall meet that will get into that broken heart and try to make it whole?
You don’t. The future has an unwritten story but first, you need to open up the book of your soul to the first page so the story can be written or rewritten.
“So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that’s stolen from us–that’s snatched right out of our hands–even if we are left completely changed, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to the end of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.” ― Haruki Murakami,