When Grief Transports You Back…

friendsLast week I received shocking news, which transported me back into time…those pleasant days of sitting for hours in the company of friends, those carefree moments that seemed to suggest life is blissful. We basked in its glory, oblivious of the fact that we would go our own way, get busy with the nuances of life only to meet occasionally and that too if we made special efforts to synchronize our visits to our home city.

Time is ephemeral, but we keep drifting back into it whenever it exhibits its tyranny!

This tyrant snatched away those insouciant moments we still treasure. Ironically… it brings back those whiffs of friendly fragrance more at such times of bereavement.

Happier times pass by complacently, with the thoughts that all is well and we have all the time in the world to meet.

Could we ever imagine that a day will come when we would be far away from each other, yearning to be together in the grief of one of us?

Could we ever reflect that we would be placed thousands of miles away and the word ‘friendship’ would stand before us in a questioning mode?

Could we ever think that one of our most effervescent and vivacious friends would be the first one to face the biggest setback of life…losing her husband and that too at such a stage when life starts afresh?

I always thought that I have become impervious to setbacks, having the experience of facing them since childhood but each one brings new emotions and memories. This one jolted me out of my illusionary world of thinking ‘everyone has to go and so must I.’

I often say I am ready to go, unmindful of the sentiments of my dear ones. I preach selflessness but in the process forget certain emotions that are vital to heart despite detachment. Today these emotions are hitting me hard from a new angle. They remind me that detachment is a mere word…a delusion to keep us occupied to deal with the struggles and realities of this world.


Real detachment is painful and the laceration never heals as it is eternal…it is like amputating one part of the body.

Recently I came across an interesting perspective about time – “Time does not heal, it just teaches us how to live with the pain.” This outlook appealed to me and as I look back, I nod to myself how true it is as time has blurred my agony and hurts and I have learnt to live with them.

I know my wishful thinking can never put us in the same boat of blissful friendship we shared but we can provide solace with our words. We cannot bridge the distances but we can be with each other in spirit.

As I grieve over the loss and loneliness of my dear friend, the words of a famous poet come to my mind: “If moments were birds, I could have caged them, nurtured them with care, fed them with pearls and kept them close to my heart…”

Moments do get entrapped in our hearts and we can revisit them through our “inward eye.”

“A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” Henry Van Dyke

‘The greatest gift of life is friendship’…Have you received it?

Thank you for reading this amalgamation of emotions. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this real story, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.



48 thoughts on “When Grief Transports You Back…

  1. All of us have an ‘ expiry date’! While we all know this fact it hits harder when we experience the loss of a dear one. It’s hard to think that we are here on this planet as a part of our journey, but this is a reality!! Great post as always!

      1. I’m not sure if you believe in this but I do believe that all of us have allotted days, pre-destined you may say. While I don’t say that I’m great believer of destiny but I do think that everything happens for a reason.

  2. You’re clearly writing straight from the heart here, Balroop, and I appreciate your candour in the matter. Rather than circulate around ideas of grief and detachment, I will leave you in peace with your sad and painful experience. H ❤

  3. So sorry to hear about what happened to your friend, Balroop. It is very brave of you to share such honest thoughts about life, living and leaving this place behind. So true there will come a time when we will all go, and you are very humble to pause and think of those around you.

    ‘Real detachment is painful’. So aptly put. I think we all touch others around us in more ways than we think, and it may not be a direct friend as you said but someone we know via a friend. Live each day and don’t take it for granted.

  4. Reading this has made me want to hold my love close and not let him go anywhere. I want to treasure every moment and not take any one person or moment for granted.
    This: “detachment is a mere word…a delusion to keep us occupied to deal with the struggles and realities of this world.” How profound.

    It’s the not knowing when…that allows us to put it to the back of our minds. I’m sorry for your loss of a dear friend, Balroop. They are irreplaceable.

  5. I’m sorry for the loss your friend is experiencing, Balroop. Each new loss brings up all the losses of life and they offer valuable time for reflection. Your words and the quotes about the value of friendship provide an opportunity to reflect and reach out where it’s not too late. Peace, my friend 🙂

  6. I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s and your loss Balroop. Indeed when we lose someone close to us it hits us harder than hearing of the loss of someone may not know as well. It always reminds me of how fine a line our mortality rests on. The line “Time does not heal, it just teaches us how to live with the pain” resonates within, bearing much truth. They say time is a healer because time will pass as we grieve, and although it may never lessen for some, we do just learn to live with it. 🙂

  7. The loss of a good friend is always so difficult. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more of a live like I’ll die tomorrow mindset, and part of that is making more of an effort to tell those closest to me how much I love and appreciate them.

  8. It is so hard to see friends going through such a terrible loss Balroop. Thought we know that one day we’ll leave this life, that all people will, we’re never prepared to it. And when it happens, it does change the way we look at life, the way we share love with closed ones.
    Thinking of you and your dear friend.

  9. Reality hits hard when such disaster happens. Feeling so sorry about your friend, Balroop. May she acquire enough mental strength to cope with the loss…

    You have rightly said, Time helps us to be in truce with the pain…

  10. ‘Time doesn’t heal, it teaches us to live with pain’ – profound words Balroop.
    Sorry to hear about your friend. May she find the needed strength to deal with it. Yes, as you rightly say we cannot really be impervious to setbacks, for each setback brings it own pang of pain.

  11. Balroop…this post did bring tears to my eyes and moved by such a loving tribute to a friend..this vacuum can never be filled and each passing day brings more memories of the days gone by…

    1. Thank you dear Sunita for absorbing the emotions that lie within my words. We tend to take each other for granted till such a jolt reminds us how limited that togetherness could be…same is the case with friends who were once our world but we don’t even know how quickly time fleets by and we are placed in far off corners of the world.
      Thanks for your visit and lovely reflections. Stay blessed!

      1. A cruel blow of fate does cut short the lives that we hold so dear and in this short span of human life, we are greedy, revengeful, egoistic and dishonest…

  12. I cannot disagree with your sentiments, Balroop. Though I am very aware of the impermanence of all life, it doesn’t prevent the sting of losing a loved one. It’s just rough stuff. Painful. Sending you peace and love from an understanding heart. ❤

  13. Thank you for sharing your friendship with us Balroop and so sorry for your loss. I found your words about healing to be true. Time doesn’t heal. We have to work on our own healing, grieving, letting go, etc and over time, we get better with dealing with our grief and sadness.

    Otherwise your message to me in this post is to value life, make the most of each day and be as present to what’s happening to us now, instead of years in the past.

    1. Thank you Vishnu for reaching out…words do heal and when they come from dear friends like you, they go deep down the heart with a reminder that friendship can do wonders 🙂
      I appreciate your positive message of making the most of each day and value life. I really do.

  14. I’m sorry for your loss, my friend. One of the most painful issues I’ve had to deal with over the years is not having the financial wherewithal to be able to physically attend wakes and funerals of friends and loved ones across the country. We do what we can to acknowledge the losses with cards or phone calls, but it’s not the same as being there.

  15. It’s rather amazing what you go through with your friends. And you never imagine during the beginning of the journey of anyone ever dying or suffering (unless perhaps that is how you came together in the first place)! I’m a little peeved by FB not allowing for accounts of the deceased to be deleted. It seems like cruel punishment to keep their accts open.

    It’s an odd sense of loss, isn’t it? A friend who will always be your friend now…forever someplace you cannot see or understand, until you cross that threshold yourself.

  16. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts here Balroop, I am sorry for your friend and your own grief.. Like you I often say I am prepared to go, and yet the sudden passing of someone we care for sends us into shock at how grief stricken we become.
    I know how much I missed and grieved for my old friend.. Whom I knew her passing would come months prior due to cancer.. Yet even given our faith I was plunged into despair. So I can feel the words you wrote here my friend.
    Time yes as they say is a healer.. but as you also said “Time does not heal, it just teaches us how to live with the pain.”
    And I so agree..
    Love to you my friend xx ❤

    1. Thanks for your kind words and sharing your own experience dear friend…we are all together when it comes to grief as it engulfs us whenever it wants to. Love and hugs back to you.

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