I was hit with a shattering feeling that was alien to me before this—grief. And the thing about grief is that hits you when it hits you. And no amount of precaution will stop it from coming at you when it has to.
However, still, for the longest, it felt like I was protecting myself, shielding myself from hurt and vulnerability that I did not understand yet. What I knew was that it would be scary and I did not want it to happen. Vague, I know. That’s how the idea of grief was to me—vague, abstract, alien but certainly scary.
Various philosophers, as part of different theories that all sound the same in my head, will tell you that you should seize control of your life and not let it depend on external factors all that much. You, and no one else, should dictate how you feel and what you do. Re-claim the power of your life from other people. Life is how you react to things. In simple words, you do you. Sounds good. Sounded great to me too.
So I did what I thought was to be done to be inert to the ways of the world, to the love of people, to the care of the air—I took to the age-old effective technique of building walls. If no one comes in, there can be no one you will care for, no one you will depend on.
But that does not happen. In hindsight, the philosophers did not mean this either. To be impervious is to not live. Things around you affect you, people around you shape you and there is frankly no escaping. You’re bound to get hurt. There’s simply no cheat code to skipping this level of life. And I think it is especially when you try to hack through this game that this god entity sets it straight who’s in charge.
And this god entity, who I think about more with each passing day—on some days, with hate, and on some days, with curiosity—did exactly that. It took someone really important away from me—someone who I could not build barriers against because they were inside the walls that I had built, from the beginning. Just like that, without any scope for closure, they were gone.
The scary alien feeling was here and I was fighting it, every single day. I still am. You would think that I understand grief better now than I did ten years ago but I don’t. Maybe people do not talk about grief not just because it is scary but also because it is difficult to explain.
Yet, I found comfort in people trying to explain their grief. And so I write this—as a ‘you’re not alone, this shit is confusing to me too’ letter.
My grief has made a home in me. For something that I do not understand, it takes up half of my head and heart. It is overpowering on most days and stops me in my tracks. It pushes off all of my thoughts to a remote end and sits down heavily inside my brain. It has tied me down to places that I cannot touch and days gone that I cannot live again. It does not let me move, literally and figuratively. And selfishly, it wants the world to stop too. But it does not. Naturally, disappointment follows.
However, in moments of tears and laughter when someone sits next to me exchanging memories and remembering the days gone, the time does seem to stop. In those moments, I forgive the world for its cruelty.
If you have not experienced grief yet, you would think it is this repulsive feeling that I want to move on from. But that is not true even in the slightest. My grief absolutely despises people asking me to move on from it. I understand that such advice comes from a place of care and concern, but my grief does not.
What comforts me on most days is my grief. It keeps the person alive. It is the penance I pay for my love. That will stay till love does. Hopefully, forever.
This post was written by Khushi, IIIrd year