Grief…I have written a lot of poetry about this word, which ceased to be a word for me long back and became an ever-encompassing emotion, just like the threatening dark clouds, which refuse to break away without torrential rain.
I know this emotion is not individualistic. I know it is all pervading and agonizing but when it starts defining life for us at a very young age, it becomes a part of our personality.
That is how it assaulted me, devoid of any compassion with killer instinct to annihilate my existence.
I had to deal with it single-handed, finding excuses to hide away from it, putting up a brave front, denying its existence and even shoving it into the obscure corners of my mind.
We can do so when we are very young, burying our memories with the hope that they will remain repressed. Dwelling in the world of denial we move on, pursuing our dreams and basking in their glory.
Forgetting that no glory lasts forever. Oblivious of the reality that grief is an incessant stream that flows into our life time and again and brings all those boulders back, which we had discarded in the hope of never meeting again.
It is like an ember that keeps glowing in one corner of our heart, which keeps reminding that it is real, it is persistent, it cannot die.
How can you expect a child to grieve? A child who doesn’t even know this word, who is suddenly thrown into the sea and expected to swim!
How can you tell a child to shed tears and empathize with those who want to glorify grief?
‘How dare you smile or laugh’…people remind us and compel us to keep the grief alive in our heart.
I can recollect a feeling of emptiness, of loneliness, of guilt encompassing me, shrieking…keep that emotion alive. A reprimand arising out of my heart…dare you not abandon it!
Such is the way of the world or that is what I experienced. Moments of joy were snatched away not just by the dead, who left me behind but even those who were alive because they chose to live in sorrow.
Grief is one emotion that can never be suppressed… I learnt this lesson in the prime of my adolescence; it is better to accept it, embrace it and conduct a meaningful dialogue with it.
Give it some time to let it percolate, assess your strength, build it further and emerge emotionally resilient. Only grief can do it. It is only in misery that we learn to become understanding. Our vibes of sensitivity become more functional. We become resistant to judgments.
We learn to live with it.
“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison
After all the tears and heartbreaking moments of anguish, grief starts diluting itself and steps out. We just have to open the doors and windows to let it ease. Now it re-enters in a new form if we are ready to accept him like a friend.
When I befriended grief it started patting on my back, it sat with me to reassure that it would welcome joy. I was astounded that it too loved to break free. Now both of us enjoy freedom, soar with each other, laughter accompanies us and we have vanquished negative thoughts.
We pour our concerns and tears into poetry, which is all-absorbing and provides us with somber solace.
Grief is our best friend:
It acquaints us with our inner self.
It makes us ponder to understand its nuances.
It makes us wiser and more tolerant.
It reinforces our faith and strength.
It ennobles us.
It introduces us to joy, which lies in little, fleeting moments.
Have you found a friend in grief by accepting it? Do you like this new relationship? I would love to hear your views.
The above extract, adapted from my next book, which is in initial stages, may seem gloomy and out of place but grief is one word that surely touches our lives with its cold hand, at some stage of life.
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