The Horror Of Never Being Able To Find You Again
Suddenly everything in my life started to feel meaningless and grey. The thought of you not being here just made me feel like I was losing myself.
Death is so silent, yet so scary. The coldness and the emptiness we feel after losing people closest to our heart cannot be explained in words. While accepting the truth is considered the most painful part of dealing with the death of a loved one, seeing the world move on like nothing ever happened is another level of pain!
“Is this some kind of prank?”, I thought to myself, lying on the hospital bed, feeling tired and drowsy from all the sedatives. I tried to remember what happened but I just couldn’t.
After this episode, when I woke up, I found my parents sitting next to me. They were glad that I was up and was able to recognise them. Slowly the fog covering my memory faded. I remembered the road accident that I’d been in.
Suddenly I realized that I wasn’t alone in that road accident. I was beginning to get restless and asked my parents about what had happened to him. They never answered. I assumed that he’d be in a different room getting his treatment just like me. I didn’t question them much because they had no idea that we both were together and I thought that the accident was enough of a shock for them. While I slowly recovered, I kept texting him from my phone hoping he’d reply from his hospital room. But he didn’t.
I had gradually started recovering and walking by then. One day, his mother came by to visit me. I was so happy to see her and I consoled her that he’d recover soon too. As I started talking, I saw tears rolling off her eyes. The room was filled with a strange vibe. I was scared, I was sinking, I prayed silently for her to not say it. But she said, “Your boyfriend passed away in the road accident!”.
I didn’t know how to respond. In a trembling voice, I said, “But I thought we can be together after I recover.” I didn’t know what I meant by it but I was lost for words. I can only imagine the pain of the woman who had lost her only son, and still had the courage to break the news to me. We both cried for a long time, no words, just tears.
I was not able to take my mind off all the good times we spent together. More than that, my heart ached to understand and accept that I no longer have him in my life. I never got to see him for the last time or say goodbye.
I remember crying into my pillow that night and struggling to fall asleep. The pain in my heart was way more than I had ever experienced in my whole life. I kept praying for the night to pass. My mother held my hand and consoled me. She was by my side the whole night but I just couldn’t rest. Through the darkness in the room, I saw him that night.
I saw him standing there near the window of my room, looking worried but relieved. I was relieved to see him too. Gradually, my eyes shut and I think I fell asleep.
Once I was given discharge from the hospital, my parents took me back home. While it felt like the end of the world for me, I saw everything else in the world being exact same. I was angry at the universe for moving on so quickly without him. I felt left behind. I broke down multiple times.
Following these multiple episodes of break downs, my parents spoke to me about being strong in times like these and that I was stronger than I knew. I desperately wanted to believe them but deep down I knew that I was not and everything else felt so meaningless. I tried to be strong for them but failed miserably. With all the nightmares and late-night screams, I was scared to fall asleep. So I kept binge-watching random shows and lost my sleep completely. Sleep wasn’t the only thing I lost, I had lost the will to be happy again.
I’d either be rolling on the bed for the whole day, in my pyjamas or be staring out of the window into the sky. I wouldn’t step out of my room even to eat. As a result, I survived on minimal food and water.
One night, when I was lost in myself, something happened. I realized that my parents had stopped talking to me about themselves, or about anything normal. Mostly, because I wouldn’t pay attention to anything else. It was always about me and my pain. How could I be so selfish? I realized that I was giving my parents a lot more hard time than they could handle. So I decided to get my shit together or at least try!
I left my hometown and started looking for a job. I tried to keep myself busy in the mornings with all the job search but the nights were the hardest. I lost my sleep completely. I would keep scribbling and pretend to talk to him on the phone and send him texts. It was so hard to accept that I’ll never get a text or phone call from him on my phone ever again and that his name will never pop on my phone again.
I couldn’t get over the fact that I survived the accident and he couldn’t. I kept blaming myself for taking him out that day in the first place. I kept thinking to myself that, “Maybe if I hadn’t asked him to come back early from his work and take me to movies, he’d still be alive”. It was so hard to keep on living with the truth.
Sometimes I’d be really sad, and sometimes it would feel like maybe I moved on. And sometimes I’d feel like I was not real. I couldn’t figure if I wanted to be surrounded by people or wanted to be left alone.
“The small little surprises you planned for me
The lovely gifts you showered me with
The way my heart filled up with happiness,
each time you held my hand
The way your eyes sparkled when you looked at me
The way everything seemed perfect,
until it got wrecked that damned night!
Now, I forgot what it’s to be happy
I forgot what it’s to be hopeful
I forgot what’s it to be loved unconditionally!
I forgot many things but YOU.
You will always remain the reason that I fight
each day to find the reason why I survived!”
With all these heightened emotions, I had to accept that no matter how many texts or voice mails I left, they would never be answered and I had to move forward in life carrying this part in my heart. I constantly kept looking for something. Something that I had no idea about. It felt like I was missing a huge part of my life. But I wanted to pull this off so bad that I’d act really calm on the outside like I had moved on. But inside, I’d be screaming crazy.
I’d keep doing things that we did together. I walked to the park that we usually went to together. I’d watch his favourite movies over and over again, I’d always order food from his favourite place. I don’t know why I did that but it made me feel like he’s still around and I kept telling myself that I am happy this way and I didn’t need to move on. Little did I know, that I was shutting myself out of everyone else’s life by doing all this.
One night, I just passed out while binge-watching and woke up in terror. I felt so guilty to have slept in peace while he was not there. That’s when I realized that I got used to the pain and that it was slowly becoming an addiction.
I asked myself that night, “Would he want me to live like this?” I knew the answer instantly. He’d always want me to explore my life and live it to the fullest. It wasn’t the moment that changed my life but it was the moment that got me thinking.
Seeing couples in love would make me feel envious and I’d curse myself, for I thought that I was to blame.
After this incident, it took a very long time for me to wake up from a nap without feeling guilty. Anytime I’d wake up from a nap, I’d remember the reality and I’d think that there should be some way to bring him back. There must be some way to change everything. There must be some way to go back in time and fix everything.
I stayed in a women’s hostel but would rarely come out of my room. I knew nothing about who lived next door. I had stopped socializing completely. I wasn’t able to communicate with people normally. This was one reason why I never got a job during this interval.
After months, I identified this issue and tried to work on this part. I consciously put effort to communicate with people around me but kept failing miserably. As a result, I was labelled a freak and had to move out of the place. I remember the time when I once went to a bakery down the lane to buy something but as the time went by, I felt anxious and unnecessary and when it was my turn, I wasn’t able to utter a word, so I ran away from there. There’s no explanation as to why I did that. But I didn’t feel like myself for the longest time.
I moved to many places, trying to move on from the pain and trying to be normal. After that, I decided to put on an act — An act where I forgave myself. I started to tell myself that I forgive myself and it wasn’t easy. But slowly, I started believing it. I wouldn’t say that my nights were completely peaceful, I’d dream of the accident and how the situation could have been different.
By this time, I had started communicating with people a little and started volunteering for causes. My volunteering activities mostly required me to interact with children and it made it easier. I was finally finding peace and wasn’t guilty about it. Looking at their smiling faces would make me forget all my pain, at least for some time.
On this journey of grief and forgiveness, I went through many experiences. I wouldn’t say that all of them were pleasant. But I’d say that all of them were valuable.
I felt really empty sometimes and sometimes, I’d feel complete. When I felt complete, I thought it was because, maybe my pain is what makes me who I am.
After many sleepless nights, anxiety attacks, breakdowns, and unexplained tears, I gave my life one more chance. One more chance to grow, one more chance to make mistakes, one more chance to learn, one more chance to love and one more chance to live!
After you stopped loving me, I forgot how to love myself too!
One day it all ended and I just stood there! I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk. I was numb, yet tears kept rolling down…
P.S: I realize that the journey of grief and its experiences for different people are different and I totally respect it. We all aren’t made the same and we all have different situations in life.