By Angel Castillo
This week, I take a pause from my usual commentary on the news.
You see, someone close to my heart passed only a few hours before I began writing this. I thought of letting the emotions be as raw as possible. I wanted to write a tribute, a piece on grief. Heaven knows we have much to grieve about nowadays.
And yet nothing flows. I hardly cried, I hardly showed any emotion. Not that the loss didn’t hit me hard – it did, and I was, and still am stricken with sadness over it. But grief is weird like that.
Grief is such a strange feeling. We feel it over the littlest and biggest of losses, to varying degrees. It displays itself uniquely person to person, loss to loss.
I remember a few years back when I bawled my eyes out upon hearing that someone I knew had committed suicide (thankfully, I later learned he survived). And then this loss came, someone closer to my heart, and my eyes were dry.
I think the difference in the arithmetic was the second variable. We know that a death in the family is a tragedy, but the equation of grief is simple – tragedy plus time.
That was what had changed. The time factor had shifted, and I with it. Time does not necessarily heal all wounds, but it closes them into scars. With time, I was better able to absorb the immutable inevitability that claimed him, who I loved. I, in time, will come to terms with the loss, as will you, for whatever loss you’ve taken.
Scars heal. Not fully, and it always takes time. I still twinge and hurt at the thought of what I lost. The loss is still fresh and has yet to close. Memories, and the lack thereof, are there, heavy in the back of my mind, and surface to the forefront.
All we have left of those we lost are the memories. They will bring us back to the precious moments, but never bring them back. They are dead, but never truly gone until we forget them.
Grief will never bring back what is gone. It is but a way for us to come to terms with the losses we’ve taken. Each one of us does it differently, but it is always the same – it does little more than giving us peace of mind. In fact, I want to cry, to grieve, to let it out, but something in my emotions is stopping it. Something that is the matter for another time.
Thus, hard as it may be, let us feel the grief without drowning in it. Heaven knows how hard it is to not lose yourself in the loss, and the strength it takes to carry on. Pause for a moment on the roadside, and continue walking.
Whatever it is you’ve lost, or fear losing, I enjoin you to take a minute to breathe it all in with me in silence. A moment in remembrance of those we’ve loved, a moment of grief, of fear, of all the heavy emotions that make our nights cold. A moment of vulnerability.
In these times, death is closer than ever. It is in the air around us, waiting. All the money in the world won’t stop her if their name is next on the list.
Remember them, as I will remember him. Let us never forget.