Grieving is hard, losing your loved one is difficult, it is painful to think about the moment you get the news that the person you loved is no longer there. The time that you let them go away was the day you will never ever forget in your life. I will not say you should let them go forever because you cannot, you are a part of them and they are a part of you. They will always be guiding and looking after you and you need to fondly remember them and get inspired with how they were.
I was not taught to grieve, neither my parents introduced this to us while we were kids. We never had a conversation on what if “I will die tomorrow”. As simple as it sounds that every person born on this planet has to go away, we don’t have these important conversations as kids and as adults. This does not mean that you need to have a detailed conversation every other month but introducing the idea of “Grief” which could be experienced anytime should be a part of growing.
I am sure most of us haven’t spoken about this at our homes but I learned 5 Grief lessons after I bid my “Papa” goodbye on 17th January 2017. This post is for people who have never experienced loss and also for folks who have. The first lesson that I learned was: –
- Try talking about people who have left you. Even if they are not around physically, it is nice to get a smile on our faces as we remember their dialogues or their favorites. I know that can get a lot of memories and many people are not comfortable with it. But trust me, it helps, it helps to stay connected, to remind ourselves about their smallest habits and laugh at their jokes. We might need to be very strong while speaking about it, but if we don’t, we will stop mentioning them in months and then years. I would highly encourage them to initiate conversations about them.
- The second one is let yourself feel what you feel. Do not compress your emotions. Each person has different relationship, and you know yours with the person whom you are never going to meet. If you miss them and you want to cry out loud, please do because you miss them and it is okay to miss your favorites. They have always had a special place in your life, and no one else can fill that void. If you want to write to them go ahead. Do what connects you to them.
- For me one of my biggest ways that I could keep myself together during the month of January 2017 was by writing. I wrote every day, how I felt, about my experience going to the Ghat and performing the last rites, I wrote letters to Popsy from myself and one from the family, about how I missed him and still do, how I thought it was too early for him to leave us, about how will HOME be home without him, on who would ask me to write his messages and play badminton with. I would write about everything and I would just do it for myself. Writing could not be your way, but try expressing in any form that you can, because it helps a lot.
- Everyone has a lot of questions during these times, why him, why now, how did it happen, all of us go through the process of DABDA(Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance), the different stages of grief. I had them too but there are no correct answers, in fact for some situations there are no answers at all. Losing my dad suddenly at 52 without any medical illness and chilling with him the previous day is as difficult as someone losing their dad because of a disease when they are 75. During this time, only one thing will make you feel better, spiritual talks. I did not get answers to my questions from my talks but it eased me out. I would tell myself on what happened could have been way worse and started becoming thankful that it didn’t. For example, Papa did not suffer in the hospital for days, it was a cardiopulmonary arrest for him. I would not say it helps completely, it just distracts you from your questions which has no answers and I started going towards the last phase acceptance. Spiritual talks are not a one- time conversation but a constant discussion that gives a different meaning to relationships and life.
- The last is we need to understand that life is uncertain, and how my dad left all of us, I could leave too. Just the realization of life being very uncertain can change the way we see life. This doesn’t mean you need to feel sad and take short term decisions, it only means that you cannot control your life all the time and you need to realize it, which a lot of us forget in our everyday busy lives.
I never thought I will be writing about grief 5 years back, but here I am trying to share my experiences and lessons. You can never be prepared for it and you will experience it when it happens to you. You might not be able to relate to this post while some of you might be, but remember grieving is a dangerous discussion and its worth it.