Losing loved ones
This past year has been many things. Challenging is one way to describe what the entirety of humanity is going through. While we’ve all had to make many, many adjustments to what life started to look like no one told us that grieving during the pandemic would be a thousand times harder.
We’ve had to learn to do many tasks virtually (school, work, additional skills), but I didn’t know that we had to take it up a few notches and grieve virtually as well. If someone had told me about this a few years ago, I would’ve dismissed it. Called them crazy, you know. But this is the reality of today.
I’ve not been home (India) in over two years, and during this course of time I’ve lost family members, friends, and relatives to the pandemic (and also to a host of other reasons). To be able to physically see someone after they have passed away is one way to come to terms with the finality of death, but, how do I describe what it is like to not be able to get that closure?
Every time the phone has rung during odd hours, it has brought the news of the loss of a loved one that I shared many life moments with. It got to a point where I could not receive phone calls for a certain time. I still hesitate to answer the phone when I see a number from India, as my anxiety takes over.
Your life is woven with the journey you share with people who you have met in person, and in today’s world it is also made up with people who you have a connection with virtually. I’ve continuously grieved people who I knew virtually as well, and a recent death of a friend (who I knew virtually only) completely shocked me. I am still in denial of her passing away. Every single death has left a void, that is inexplicable. The fragility of human life, and how the pandemic has forced us to grieve in our own bubble with small fragments of memories of our loved ones is cruel.
Sometimes grief takes over you in waves, and many other times it is perennial. It becomes a part of you. As I go through my struggles every day I wanted to write to everyone who is going through this and offer my condolences and solidarity. Don’t let anyone else decide how you should grieve. Do what you need to cope. I’ve been honest to the kids about what I am going through. I’ve tried to tell them stories of these people and the impact they’ve had on my life.
To everyone carrying this burden, I see you. I feel you. Your burden, and your feelings are valid. Your memories of your loved ones are valid. The soul crushing feeling is valid. I am not sure if this will get better, and I won’t as you to be strong. Be weak. Be in denial. Cry loudly. Grieve privately. Be angry. Cope however you need to.
All my love.