How do you reconcile with the death of someone?

How do you reconcile with the death of someone?

I often wonder the number of life lessons my parents or school forgot/avoided to teach me. Like how to handle it when life doesn’t turn out as expected or the importance of understanding our self-worth to deal with such unpleasant situations or accepting the reality of death.

Death. Perhaps the only word that sinks my heart every time I hear it. A word that brings along a nasty smell of agarbattis and periwinkle flowers. ‘Death’ carries a sigh and a cry in itself. ‘Death’ exists on its own.

As I was saying, no one trained me to deal with deaths. When my uncle died in a bike accident, I was barely eight years of age. His death was an overwhelming reality to accept. I knew that he was not going to be around anymore, but I did not know what was to do with that reality. A reality so haunting for an eight year old that, she was welcomed to a newer world of nightmares.

Two years later, another uncle of mine died in a bike accident. I learnt the news from my father’s tone and face when he responded to the phone call with ‘mmm’. In two years, I still hadn’t learnt what to make of deaths. Nobody told me. Even though tears dried up in days, fears increased, nightmares powered up.

Here is the thing with accidents, they happen so quickly that you are left unstable between grappling the truth and dismissing it altogether. When my best friend died in a bike accident on April 1, it was altogether an absurdity. The absurdity of an accident combined with that of Fool’s Day- how do you make sense of that many chaotic entities coinciding? How do dissolve the fact that your dearest, your best friend, the one who was always with you like a shadow, like fresh air, was not going to be there anymore? How do you convince yourself of that reality?

Why wasn’t I taught that death was a natural course of life? Something very real that you can’t escape from? Why wasn’t I taught that everyone I love will be dead one day? Would it have turned out to be easy handling the truth then?

I saw my life breaking into pieces and falling into the whirl of the black hole of this reality. A fun fact about reality- how much ever you dismiss it, it will smirk back at you like an unforgivably cruel person. And your dreams, your dreams are your escape, truly. Dreams bring back your happy memories, take you to an alternate reality where things haven’t changed much. My best friend would reappear in many of my dreams, I would tell him how everyone thought he was dead and we would laugh. Sometimes when it’s a nightmare, I would run to him in the dream, and there, I am relieved, I am alright, I am saved.

Yet, I am called back to the reality. Where I am welcomed by his eerie absence. I am asked to accept this reality, and not the one where he is actually present.

How do I reconcile with the death of someone if they are alive in my dreams?

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