Trigger Warning - Grief, Isolation, Overwhelming Emotions, Negative Thoughts
Grief is Like a Baby Craving to Be Held, Fed, and Waiting to Be Taken Care of - is it?
Have you been at a stage where your eyes are swollen and the color of blood? Grief dripping from your eyes yet silence tugging at your mouth ensuring words don't see the light of the day - this is what I'm talking about.
Now, imagine your younger self, when you didn't know words are meant to be spoken. Crying was the only language you knew to express pain and discomfort. Yet, your family knew, your parents held you, smiles all around to see you express. But, what happens when neither you nor anyone else can fathom the grief you've soaked up?
Your parents will come rushing with a thermometer to check if you're running a fever. But, how do you and they measure the grief flowing in your blood, with a pace you can't keep track of?
A loud cry, and your parents would know either you're hungry or diaper needs to be changed. But, how do you write about the scream clinging to your body? What's the word, please tell me if you know.
But, as I think of grief today, I sense my body curling up. It's an act of protection, closing up to the outside world. However, it's yet to learn a gesture for silencing the mind, those thoughts that are racing with a speed that would put light to shame.
You would ask, what's bothering? How do I tell you I go through the cycles of grief without knowing what hurts? I don't know how to pinpoint but it feels overwhelming to be alive sometimes. The light at the end of the tunnel is --- It does get better. I make sense of the deafening silence I become.
I sit with my grief. Talk to it. Try to be alone and establish a boundary with everything else that seems to interfere. There are moments of peace within this grief. And, slowly, I take those tiny steps away from deafening silence to embody calmness.
Would you be surprised if I tell you grief has silenced me to the core but when I sit with it, I become more empathetic, humble, and kind? Did I tell you that the stories of grief have no conclusion but lessons to learn, imbibe and keep close? Remember childhood stories always came with enlightening morals, but adult problems don't come with a manual. 'Deal With it And Make your Own', is what people may say. Others may brush it away - it's just life. You gotta move, let go, blah blah. We gotta do what we gotta do but we don't function mechanically. No button to press for venting emotions at once. No siren or alarm that beeps when the going gets tough.
Now, I know when someone writes about grief, there are all kinds of associations. Loss, breakups, fights, failures, and the list is infinite. People feel differently and they should. No one owes anyone an explanation for feeling the grief of failure and all the above.
But, what astounds me is that none of these are my reasons for grief. It's something innate. Like a part of me. It appears every now and then, knocks at my door. It's like being a polite guest asking permission. Well, there are also times when it comes by banging the doors and windows roaring that it has come. The arrival makes me uneasy. Food and sleep leave silently, leaving me full. And, I sense grief rushing in to fill every corner of my being. Like a storm. And, when it comes, I feel the slightest prick. I sense what grief does to a normal human being. How it makes you detest working, eating, and functioning normally. I feel. Even for the strangers, for events happening in the parts of the world I have never visited in person. Strange, Dear Reader. I know.
Who said grief is a straight line? It's a personal story, yet one that is weaved with knots left here and there.
Some days, grief is like a baby, I feel. One that doesn't come with a lot of answers. But, a truckload of questions and overwhelming inquisitiveness. Sit with it. No matter what the reason, it's okay to feel it. Even if it's not welcome, please sit with it. Don't serve it tea if it's an unwelcome guest but slow down and lend an ear.
It goes without saying that I'm not talking about solutions but acceptance. Sitting with it may not be easy and comfortable. But, shushing it can be suffocating. If you feel like, allow someone in to welcome this guest.
As for me, words, stories, poetry, and everything is outside the door when grief is in. But, I'm finding ways to make space for 'I' and the things that comfort me, the people who can bear with me, to come in.
Always? No. But, trying is a huge step, Dear Reader.
Not your usual write-up, eh? But know that a stranger who sits with grief often is wishing you healing, light, acceptance, peace, and love. We all deserve healing, love, peace, and so much more.
Take care of your heart, mind, and soul. Make a list of the things you want to do if everyone else didn't have a say. The 'I', Dear Reader. Why 'I'? Because, our lists are sometimes defined by what other people like to see us doing, how they accept us. And, there are people who will take you and your lists as they come, but, patience, Dear Heart. The boxes you put yourself in were meant to save those beautiful souvenirs not your dreams.
They say, 'Follow Your Heart', I would say, 'Do What Your Heart Craves to Do'. And, please try not to shush it because no one understood or approved of its ways. You do know that being true to yourself is an unsaid rule, no? And, of course, following your heart never means losing out on your values, morals, grace, honesty, kindness and what makes you human. A huge list, no?
I hope as you read this today, you grab a pen and sheet, and start writing about things that make you happy. The paper can be blank for now too. We will get there. Soon, In Shaa Allah. If Allah wills, yes.