Coping With Death
By Shweta Suresh
Blog – My Random Ramblings
Life was never meant to be a bed of roses. The inevitable journey from womb to tomb is interspersed with many thorns. But not many thorns are as sharp as having to deal with the death of a loved one. Death is just as natural a phenomenon as birth, the only difference being that death normally comes knocking unexpectedly. You don’t normally see it coming, and you’ll be knocked off your feet by the sudden impact.
To say that losing a loved one is difficult would be an understatement. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The pain, agony, and grief might seem unbearable. At first, it takes a while for the fact to sink in. It’s difficult to accept let alone acknowledge that they are gone… really gone… just like that. It’s hard to come to terms with the reality that you will never be able to tell them everything that you had always wanted to say but couldn’t for some reason. The weight of unsaid words, the What Ifs, the If Onlys and the Could Have Beens seem too much for you to bear. You will find yourself hanging on to the last memory of them – the last conversation, smile, hug, fight and kiss. You hate the finality of it. You feel scared that you are going to forget how they talked, laughed, walked. You yearn for a simple touch, smile, hug or kiss from them. You would do anything and everything in your power to go back to time, even if it’s only to tell yourself to cherish every valuable second. You cry till you can’t possibly shed any more tears. You resolve not to shed any more tears, only to find yourself breaking that resolution from time to time. It’s hard to remember them without feeling the pain.
They are constantly in your thoughts, even thought you might find it hard to talk about them. It’s too hard, too painful. It’s like a knife that keeps twisting while buried deep in your heart… an invisible hand that takes away your breath, chokes you and blinds you till all you can feel is a searing, hot pain as if you have been branded. You are sick and tired of having to listen to the same empty, overused words that almost everyone has to say. You don’t need sympathy or a reminder of how life can be unfair. You hate that people are behaving weird around you. You hang on to the memories with every bit of your resolve, never veering from that train of thought, because you are too afraid to let go. Your heart breaks over the fact that with every passing day, their face seems to fade a bit in your memory, that their clothes don’t smell like them anymore or that you might forget their voice. You find yourself wondering what they would say to you if only you could speak to them once more. You feel angry, frustrated, helpless and disappointed that there was nothing that you could do to prevent their death. You feel resentful, because of the fact that all around you, life seems to go on as usual even though your world has been shaken, uprooted and turned upside down. It seems outrageous to you that the world seems unaffected by their loss.
You will feel that with their loss, there’s a void in your heart that can never quite be filled. You relive the old memories, again and again, in what seems to be an endless loop, digging yourself deep into the pit of grief. You keep picking at the scabs just like you did with your nearly healed wound when you were little (and especially after your mother forbid you from doing that.) When you have lost a tooth, your tongue has a tendency to run over and over the empty space, reminding you of what you have lost. But that’s just the way a human mind works. The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes it simply cannot have what it wants.
You find it impossible to let go. There’s a part of you that’s scared that you won’t remember them the same way if you let go. Every time you feel an ounce of happiness or feel a smile threatening to break out across your face, you feel guilty. Guilty for feeling something other than pain and grief after the loss that you’ve encountered. You think that you don’t deserve to be happy because you have lost someone forever. Sometimes all you want to do is curl up into a ball and cry. At nights, your memories and pain keep you awake, away from the healing touch of sleep. You find it difficult to get up in the mornings because waking up would mean that you have to face the harsh reality that your life has become.
The worst thing that you can do is to bottle up your feelings, shut it in a locker and keep it aside forever. Grieving is not a sign of weakness. Let it out – let the grief swallow and consume you for a while. Each time you are spent after huge nerve-racking meltdowns or when you end up crying yourself to sleep after going through your entire stack of Kleenex, the pain recedes a bit. The burden becomes a bit more easy to carry, and you get one step closer to acceptance. Don’t be bitter and resentful, please. Don’t be afraid to let in happiness. Don’t be scared to smile. No one is judging you and you shouldn’t really care what people might think anyway. When things get difficult, remember that every cloud has a silver lining. Above all, the dear departed soul wouldn’t want to see you wallow in misery for the rest of your life. They would want you to accept all that has happened and move on. Wherever they are, know that they are in a better place and they would want you to be happy too. Their death is not the best thing that happened to you, but don’t let it be the worst that has happened to you either. I know that it might seem hard to accept that things are going to get better. But trust me, when I say that it gets better. I have been there. I know what it feels like, but I also know that time is a great healer. After a while, you’ll accept the fact they are not coming back and you are going to be able to live with that. It’s not something that happens overnight but one day you’ll find that the world has stopped spinning and that there’s still hope. I would like to quote one of my all-time favorite TV characters, “There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling a lemonade”. Even though he’s fictional, he’s got a really good point. Life might not have turned out the way you expected it to but you’ll find that it’s not that bad after all.
For years, I had struggled to really understand the concept of grief. I was always at a loss when it came to confronting and comforting people who were in grieving. It wasn’t until I found myself in their shoes, grieving the death of a loved one that I understood what it felt like. Since that moment, I’ve never avoided conversations with people who were going through a similar experience. I took my experience and swore to put it to good use. To help ones who were in grieving. I write this post with a prayer that it turns out to be helpful to ones who have gone through the loss of a loved one.
God bless and have a nice day.
Blog – https://thesoulsearchersite.wordpress.com
This post was the last of the Guest Post Series. I thank all the contributors for their engaging contributions, and all the readers for liking and leaving a rousing feedback on each of these posts.
Thank you all for your time, effort and love.