“And when your sorrow is comforted ,you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure . . . And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky! Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh!’ And they will think you are crazy. It will be a very shabby trick that I shall have played on you…”
Another year went by but I felt more left behind by the decade coming to an end. When it started back in 2010, life was completely different and then everything changed in 2014 when I lost my wife. I turn 45 this year which puts me firmly in middle age, no more in early forties.
I no longer look to the future in the same sense as I did once, the innocence and optimism of my youth were dealt a cruel blow too early in life. Grief can be extremely isolating, it’s impossible for most to understand what it is like to lose a spouse and that too so early.
It didn’t take me too long to realize that except a few close friends and family most were not even interested. They moved on and expected me to move on too, my grief made them uncomfortable. Slowly I found that I was shunned and it was fine with me, my introvertness helped.
I got remarried couple of years ago and slowly found my way back to society but it just wasn’t the same again. Most people I meet do not know my story which is just as fine. I do not subscribe to the usual paraphrenalia of positivity, gratitude etc. It seems to me they are some sort of band aid which only end up making the wound hurt so much more.
After close to six years, I can truly say that grievers only want to be heard without being judged or being told what they should be feeling or subjected to other platitudes which can be cruel at times.
I’m sorry to say that time doesn’t heal, infact there is no healing possible. What one becomes better with time is in learning to carry the burden of grief better and for longer periods of time.
I spend a large part of my time reading. I have a deep interest in the sciences and I can be glued to youtube lectures for hours on end. I find that they keep me from falling into the black holes of grief and loss. I can find joy again in reading and other intellectual pursuits and in that sense I am healed.
I had initially created this blog as a small memorial for my lovely wife and to document my own journey without her. I am thankful I did because I found people here who are on similar journey as me and their heartfelt and thoughtful comments provided me much needed solace,
Society places too much pressure on people like us to heal, to be happy, to return to the old self that we once were. Any impediments in this are seen as signs of negativity, of being depressed or mournful. I’m neither sad nor happy all the time and I find that to be perfectly normal.
Some days even without any significance or milestone can still be hard and I accept them. I embrace whatever comes my way without judgement. I’m no longer the person I was, both tragedy and age have had their effect. But I retain the core of my identity and when I find that I’m able to again enjoy things that once gave me lot of pleasure, I’m encouraged that I’m doing just fine.
My treasured memories provide me both warmth and at times cause searing emotional trauma. I have learned to hide them over the years and carry on as all of us on this path do from time to time.
It gives me great joy to hear stories of my wife from others. It still brings tears sometimes but it literally warms my heart to know that she’s not forgotten. She took great pains to ensure that no one amongst her family or friends felt ignored or left behind. She loved having people around.
I never imagined I would be spending my forties without her and the start of a new decade simply brought back emotional wounds long suppressed. I sometimes wonder what she would say to me now that I’m approaching 45 in a couple of months.Loss of a soulmate is so multi layered that with time and age new wounds open up.
Though I do not write here regularly, I do read about others who are on this journey. Sometimes their accounts take me to my own initial days and it gets too hard to even read as I know those feelings so intimately. And despite that every loss, every journey is so unique and exclusive that no rules can be framed.
I doubt if anything happens for a reason or has a celestial explanation. The sun will burn out in another 5 billion years and the earth will go with it. Then what has been the meaning of it all? I do not know, these are existential questions.
But then we met in a certain age, for a certain time that was entirely ours. That will stay with me forever.