There won’t be an opening act.
When he played his first number, I mistook him for someone else, that’s how subtle he was.
Confusion is playing! I thought to myself, I’ve heard him a million times and I would gladly walk this one out but right then he looked into my eyes, willing me to stay on.
He then did covers of anger, jealousy, self-pittance and pride. Not my favourites, but he looked at me again, and drew me in. You need to stay and see how this ends.
His melody swept through the air and darted straight into me. It straddled my soul and I didn’t think of leaving any longer. Instead I peered my eyes farther onto the stage, looking for his band members.
But that’s the thing about grief, he’s a one-man show.
He doesn’t allow anyone else on stage when he is performing. Not the best friend sympathy, not the sister concern, not even his own shadow of regret.
When he enters your life, he takes center stage and NOTHING ANYONE does will steal his spotlight.
I used to think that grief would entail a lot of weeping, endless days meshed into sleepless nights of bawling the eyeballs out. But it wasn’t like that. It wasn’t like that at all.
I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t even really feel the sadness.
“It’s too much to talk about,” was the favourite sentence to never really have to do it.
And here I am, my thoughts running all over each other and my words at their incoherent best. I used to call myself a writer until I realized that I can’t pen down this feeling, because I can’t feel this feeling.
Sometimes I think that we have mechanized our minds in a way that it cannot ever perceive pain beyond a certain threshold. I truly believe that I am incapable of perceiving grief.
How do you allow yourself to feel something so overpowering when you know that once you dip into that ocean, you will never be the same person coming out at the other end? Worse yet, you may never come out.
I do not know how to succumb to this and so it keeps hovering over my head like an angry Thunder God, waiting to pour down on me. Any moment now, any moment now, what if it happens tomorrow? What if it happens on July 15th when I have no means of being able to cope?
I drown in his melancholy tune day after day after day, but he doesn’t hit me. Not the way I thought he would. We both know that he is entirely capable of decimating me in the blink of an eye, but it’s funny how kind grief is. He just wraps himself around me and lets me be.
I only wish he understood that I need to feel, it’s the only way I can process.
I decide to take matters into my own hands instead. I keep trying to go over the little things hoping to find my release somewhere in that collegial cluster. But there are too many million little things and before I even take two steps he pulls me back into his arms and carries me away.
In a goliath effort to understand, I write this now. But I still understand nothing. I don’t understand grief.
So please stop asking me to talk about him, and when I don’t, please stop thinking that he isn’t present because he is. Just not in words you and I communicate.
He is present, and only when I hear that one song or walk through a down trodden lane does he blow up within me, an internal twister, throwing into the air broken links from a long, long chain of memories, a lifetime of them. Just for a moment, where my soul is stirred and I can’t breathe. And then he subsides into quiet symphony.
I kept awaiting this malevolent internal force to drift me away but it didn’t. I still keep standing, day after day after day.