The answers mean precious little when you know that they won’t undo the loss that you are struggling to make your peace with. The finality of it all is so damning and draining. There is no higher authority — call it god or anything else you like, there is no court of appeal, and there is absolutely nothing that can undo it. It is just there; a gaping, growing hole; unmovable and gnawing away at your insides.
It has always been my fear that a life spent devoid of any personal loss would extract its pound of flesh in a manner that will leave the soul flayed and heart singed. The universe’s balance is one that cannot be controlled or escaped; but the tatters of our being left all around after the price was paid in full makes me wish there was another way. What this is, words cannot express. It cannot be shared.
After a certain age it is a fact that your life will have a lot of people past their prime. As the days drag on, the losses mount, casting its long, dreary shadows on even the best of the living. Fear takes the role of the guiding light. Every day, you brace. You stop cherishing the good in your life. You start fearing when will that bit of good you just felt also be taken away from you.
At its worst, you understand easily what you could not understand earlier — how can people give up so easily and let it all just disappear? At its worst, that is the easiest thing to do. Give into the darkness. Turn your back on hope. Draw the curtains. Hide from light. Take a knife. Go into a corner and keep stabbing away at your heart, for you hate the way it is making you hurt.
A child is such a finite expression of so much that is abstract about two people. You can measure it down to the last atom. And yet, what it represents is so not measurable. The loss of one is what none of what you have ever seen or read will compare remotely even. The guilt is an endless ocean you drown repeatedly in, every day. Even a billion drownings later, it cannot be overcome. It is that absolute.
You look for meanings in the signs and the symbols. The way the leaves unfurl. The movement of the wind. There must be some sign that explains this. Some presence that you can latch on to. Another’s loss is always lesser. Another’s gain or normalcy is an experience beyond painful. The entire world turns into a conspiracy to point out how you have failed.
The darkness is so easy to embrace. We just need to hold hands and let go of the earth. It is just so easy. It is so tempting. But, we will not sink. There is no destination that is will feel not feel empty ever. There is nothing we can do that will make us feel the way we did earlier. But we will not sink. We will stand and keep moving, even in this pitch darkness of light.
What you hear, is just the wind.