“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.”
― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
I am a person who greets loss, sorrow, and grief like an old friend. I’ve been accustomed to days and nights of throbbing pain which pierced through the deepest core of my heart, tightening my chest and draining my tears. A pain that can’t be felt physically, but the one who tormented the soul. The pain is so agonizing it drained you mentally.
My first acquaintance with loss, sorrow, and grief was 10 years ago and afterwards my old pal been coming back several times. Bringing backs the same familiar pain. I lost a dad when I was 12 years old, and then I lost a grandma when I was 20 years old. Both experiences lingered to me like a ghost of an elderly aunt that I can’t shoo away. Years passed and nothing has changed. I keep on carrying a hidden sorrow that will never go away no matter how much life has changed rapidly over the course of years. Every time I remembered them, a well-known feeling permeated through my whole body. Ever wonder how it feels? Well it feels like someone grabs your heart and squeezes it so hard it puts you in a terrible aching pain. A pain so acute I can’t do anything, my mind goes blank and tears no matter how hard I held back, will come rolling down my face.
And then you came into my life, I will never feel sure of what happened back then but I hold dear the belief that we were connected, even until it fell apart. I hadn’t known what love was. I was young and naïve, and it was the first time I put someone else’s needs and wants before me. There were occasions, a lot of times, when I would give you the world hadn’t you asked for it. Nevertheless, it is a terrible act to love someone intensely that you forgot to love yourself. We were two lost soul floating in the in-between, holding back to naïvety and pushing aside all consequences. Selfish but nevertheless idyllic kind of love, and we were drowning in it, feeding each other with nothing but love, love, and love.
But I lost you.
And life spiralled down. Or rather, life is gone for I didn’t really have anything outside you in my life at that moment. You were my life. You were the fragment of my soul and in the event of our separation, I lost myself.
Before you, I thought that loss means losing a loved one to the Divine, as in passed away. But you were still living, and I still living. We are both living but I felt like one of us was dying. As Junot Diaz put it in his book, A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, you were the kind of person that God gives me so young that I will know loss for the rest of my life. I’m acquainted with loss from death but not from separation. Nonetheless, the pain felt the same. There were days when I lost my appetite and cried every night to sleep. Papa, Oma, and you were the person with whom I shared my fragment of soul with. Of course, the pain is agonizing.
And pain, this kind of pain, is incurable. I am forever bounded to be a person who is saddened by the fact that I’ve known how it feels to lose someone. To become eaten by grief and sorrow and yet I will never be prepared when it comes back to greet me. There’s no way to prepare or to escape it.
When I think of it now and then, I feel ridiculous for having invested that much love for one person. It is true to say that falling in love is indeed like handing a gun to a stranger and trust them not to pull a trigger to us. Though now I’ve lost every feeling that I have for you, you remain a big part of my life because with that loss I experienced with you. I’ve grown up.
We have a bitter history filled with melodramatic situations and though I will keep on regretting our unpleasant ending and our relationship, but I am thankful for all the lessons in life that you have taught me. I won’t be who I am currently if I didn’t go through this painful moments with you. And for that, I am thankful. For that, I am grateful to God for putting you into my life, not because of our tender moments but rather thanks to our painful moments toward the end of our separation.
One thing I learn from losing a loved one is: the pain will never go away. I will forever carry it with me like some sort of disease and the disease will always be immune to any kind of antibody. Nevertheless, the disease help me, in a sort of strange way the disease shapes me into a person that I am today. Buddha and Haruki Murakami said that pain is inevitable, and it is indeed inescapable, but suffering? It‘s optional, I can suffer but I will never let it bring me down, I will let the pain to strengthen me. There‘re always two sides in everything, and I will always choose to become the person who took the bright, sparkling sight. No matter how ludicrous and overly optimistic I might sound.