Life As We Know It

9th June 2020, a date that’s engraved on each nerve of my mind and each beat of my heart. Well, it was just an ordinary day and all seemed to be good as I went to college until I received a text that changed everything. I lost my grandfather. I was shocked and just couldn’t believe what had happened. I ran towards the washroom and burst into tears with no courage to accept the harsh reality. The pain was so excruciating that I could almost feel my heart shattering into a million pieces. I experienced palpitations that were so bad that I could feel my heartbeat in my stomach. I clenched my eyes and just waited. Waited with a hope that all this was just a nightmare. But, it wasn’t. I had lost my grandfather to a heart attack. I just couldn’t make sense of it all. He was doing just fine. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t even move properly. As I sat there, a flashback of 20 years of my life started to play in my mind. A glimpse of each memory with him felt like a slow death. If asked to compare, getting stabbed by a knife in the throat would have hurt less than what I felt.

As a child, I used to spend my weekends with my grandparents. I loved them so much and never do I remember any birthday or special occasion of my life that I celebrated without them. Regardless of my age, whether I was 6 years or 20 years, I ran into their arms like their little girl. The unconditional love and comfort I received from them was unmatched. This loss didn’t seem just like losing a loved one, it felt like I lost a part of me. And no matter how difficult it was to accept, I had no other option but to move on. I could cry as much as I wanted to, or beg for help but nothing had the power to bring my grandfather back.

I remember how a month before his death I got so busy with my studies and MBA plans, I wasn’t able to spend much time with him. I almost ignored him or took time for granted thinking I’ll spend time with him once I had more time on my plate. But my life shook up with this devastating loss. Even now, I haven’t fully come to terms with this reality. It still seems unreal and shakes me off the ground when I think about it. Sometimes, I find myself wishing for an opportunity to take good care of him. I wish I could go back to the past and change it. But life is such – it exists with the condition of non-existence.

I do feel guilty at times for not being able to be with him during his last days. I’ve experienced my share of depression and self loathing for that. I have cried myself to sleep to a point that my eyes dried up and I just couldn’t cry anymore. I have tried to divert myself by engaging in a lot of things. But nothing helped my guilt and not for a moment did I get solace. Today, I might get a great job or admission in top MBA institutes, but nothing can recover the loss of my grandfather.

When grieving, I realised I wanted some space and time to be by myself and sit down with my feelings to feel what I genuinely felt. I didn’t suppress my emotions, nor did I hurry this grieving phase. I took my own time with no rush to reach healing. I reminded myself every day that it was hard for me and that I could humanly not process too many things at a time. And that it was okay to take a break, okay to cry and slowly let go of pain.

As time lapsed and I gather myself together, I could see past myself and noticed my mom. I  realised that she needed me. She needed me to support her and reassure her that things will be good again. We couldn’t change what had already happened in the past, but I sure didn’t want this to reflect on our future. So I decided to grow through this seemingly fiercest battle of my life. I decided to never ignore, intentionally or unintentionally, the people I love. I decided to not make the same mistake of taking loved ones for granted again.

As hard it has been to see, each season in our life indeed serves its purpose. This one has been no different. I learnt that thinking over the same things over and over again only makes it bigger in our head and worsens our ability to cope with it. With awareness that there is absolutely nothing that can help us till we willingly want to help ourselves, I began doing yoga to control my thoughts. Initially, I couldn’t even meditate for a minute as whenever I closed my eyes, all I could see was his dead body. It was scarring. But, I didn’t give up. I tried. I tried again. And then I tried again. And again, and again. Maybe it was the thought of my mom that gave me the courage to persevere and prevented me to drain in this pain. Eventually, after practicing yoga regularly, giving myself time and compassion, and spending time with friends and family, I started to feel better.

I began to see the positive side of the situation and life as a whole. I began to feel immense gratitude of having lived 20 beautiful years of my life in the presence of my grandfather and under his embracive shadow of love. Birth and death are natural, and the loss of a loved ones is a part of life. The only way to cope with it is by accepting what is happening and giving ourselves permission to grieve over it. There are a lot of things that are out of our control. Overthinking about such situations can not only disturb you, but they can disrupt your life. Sometimes, life may not give you what you want or were looking for, but if you keep persevering and don’t give in doing hard times, you will emerge out of its with valuable lessons. I believe everything happens for a reason. Had it not been a heart attack, it could’ve been something bigger or worse than what happened. I feel grateful that he didn’t suffer till his last breath. He lived a full life and went in peace too. He had a smile on his face when he left us all. And for this, I am beyond thankful. Most importantly, I have learnt to never take people for granted. No matter how busy I am or how hectic life seems, I now make time for people I love. Maybe someday, they too will leave me, but that day I will not have any regrets or guilt that will haunt me because I am “here” in the now, a hundred percent for them.

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Venugopalgoud N
Venugopalgoud N
4 years ago

It’s Life…..V need to be Strong ….and lead the life….their blessings will always be Showered on U.

Prasad Goud Nalla
Prasad Goud Nalla
4 years ago

Superb narration