On the road of life

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” – Louise Erdrich

I haven’t been writing too much of late because after a long time I’m trying to live life instead of documenting it. Writing has been extremely therapeutic to me on this journey. It has kept me company on numerous days and nights when all seemed lost.

For me things have become a lot easier than it was in those early days and months. I would never ever want to go back to that space again. At the time it was essential to lean into whatever emotions surfaced and just try to survive the darkness.

Over a period of time grief does ease out, it becomes more manageable though it never entirely goes away. Life in the afterloss has many shades. In many ways it’s a transition into a new life.

Much of the battles we fight are fought in silence. Unlike movies, there’s no moving background score, no quick leaps into the future and no dramatic change of scenery.

Instead, life moves painfully slowly sometimes. Weeks and months pass before you suddenly look back and realize how far you have come. Grief has a nasty way of ambushing you from time to time.

Memories and triggers creep up on you seemingly from nowhere but then you find that if you deal with them honestly, they go away and the landscape seems that much more clearer.

I have realized that sometimes you have to consciously let go of things, it helps to look forward in life when you feel you have made some kind of peace with the past.

None of these things happen in sequence or have a logical time frame. I guess it’s all about how you feel at a given point in time. I believe I have made a sincere effort to step out of my grief and move forward with life.

Moving forward doesn’t have to mean forgetting because that’s not possible. My past is very much part of the person I have become today. It’s also a source of strength because I know I’m a survivor, I have fought, I have taken the blows but I have tried to move forward step by step every day.

People say life goes on and it does go on but to go forward new meanings have to be found. When something significant ends, it seems like final but somehow you have to fight your way through so that new beginnings can be made again.

In Aug it will be two years since the cancer diagnosis and the world that I knew ended. It has been the most difficult years in my life. Through it all, I don’t know how I have survived and today I have reached a point where I’ve started living again bit by bit.

It’s taken me a long time, lot of pain and tears to reach this point. I still stumble and fall sometimes but I continue to move forward. I don’t want our lives to be defined by loss.

My love and my loss has chiseled me into someone who values life and relationships much more now than I ever did in the past. I have paid an unthinkable price for having this perspective but I was never given choices.

A grief journey doesn’t have to be only about grief. There are happy moments, there’s laughter and anticipation of new things and most importantly there’s hope for the future.

I’m trying my best to live my life with optimism one day at a time.


5 thoughts on “On the road of life

  1. Rishi, I am so very happy to know that you are working on living life. It’s funny how it sneaks up on you – that living life thing – it is what we know and somehow subconsciously we find our way back there. It seems to just happen to us. And when you look back at the beginning of this journey you remember, you survived, you are meant to live. You begin to live forward and live fully. That is where you are headed, and around the corner from that you’ll find happiness. You will never forget. In fact, it goes beyond just moving past it – it becomes an integral part of the beautiful painting you call a self portrait. It is not yet complete. But it will be, but like everything, it takes time. I am deeply happy for the distance you have come. And what I know is that you have more road to travel ahead of you; one that will lead to your future. Blessings to you and your beautiful son. I am sure his heart his smiling more as well. Debbie

    • Thank you Debbie for your beautiful words. Sometimes it feels the progress is slow but we are covering the distance all the time. I have come to believe that perspectives change a lot on this journey. Things like being hopeful and looking ahead that I used to quickly dismiss are becoming more clearer now. It’s an evolving process, there’s so much to learn, so much more to do. I keep writing with the hope that this helps others in the same situation. We all have to learn from each other as we walk our respective paths. I hope things are fine with you and your family. Best wishes always.

      • Rishi, more than one time I remember you telling me that you would try something I suggested or that I gave you hope. It caused me to keep writing because I began to write in hopes that I could help someone else and honor my daughter in law. I get words of thanks here and there and I hope every time I write that someone will be helped with some little thing I may have said. So, I say to you that you and I are still on a journey, and while we are finding some peace, we have not seen or experienced all this journey has to show us. I for one ask you to remember to take time to write – if not for you, then for others – your beautiful heartfelt words will strike a chord in someone’s heart
        and make a difference for them. I know it. I hope to always know how you and your handsome little man are doing as you have touched my heart. Blessings to you always – know that my family is moving forward. I shall write you soon privately with much information.

  2. Reblogged this on Voice of Grief and Loss and commented:
    In this post, Rishi has quite eloquently done what I have not been able to do lately at all. He masterfully put in to words what it feels like when you reach that transformative point in the grieving process where even though it is still and always will be there, it no longer consumes you. Thank you Rishi.

  3. Thank you Glenn for your generous words. During my early months I have learned a lot from yours and others blogs. It’s my hope that my words can make a small difference to someone suffering out there..

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