When you lose a loved one

Losing someone is never easy, and when it is family, it is the hardest thing ever. For one, no matter what, you are never prepared for such an eventuality, and even when it is staring you in the face, you don’t want to accept it. When such a calamity strikes, you are shaken to the very core of your existence. It is as though a part of your being, of your life, has been snatched away from you, and you can’t do anything about it. And this reality makes it even more painful and difficult to accept.

As days go by, slowly and painfully, you come around. You have no choice but to accept the reality. You also realise that death is that one final, painful truth that you cannot wish away. You have no choice but to bow your head before that supreme power and accept his decision. You have to learn to live with it.

But the entire process of believing, accepting and then learning to live with the reality is long, difficult and seemingly never-ending. However, eventually, with time, one does get there.

I have learned the hard way that the process of healing, of coming to terms with the loss, has various stages.

The process starts with this complete sense of disbelief. The mind does not want to believe that someone so close to you,  someone who was an integral part of your life, all of a sudden is no longer there. It is impossible to wrap one’s head around the fact because one is in a state of shock. It is as though it isn’t you but someone else to whom this has happened. You kind of exist in the third person. You go through the rituals, the ceremonies, the motions somewhere, believing that you are a mere spectator. The shock does not let reality sink in.

But then, slowly and gradually, it begins to creep into the realms of reality. Slowly you come to terms with the fact that it has happened to you even though you don’t want to believe it. You also begin to realise that you will have to accept it. The heart resists, but the head starts to take over. And, you begin to acknowledge that there is no turning away from the harsh fact. And with that realisation come the feelings of anger, self-pity and helplessness. You want to wish it away, turn the clock back, somehow escape the reality, but you can’t. That is when the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching pain really sets in. And makes life seem impossible to live.

As I understand, the pain and the acceptance come side by side. As time goes by, all that the people say to you starts to make sense. You begin to accept that this was inevitable; this was probably for the best.  But the acceptance is gradual; it is stoic and comes in small doses.

Slowly the mundane of life also take over; you get distracted by it all, but then, suddenly, in the midst of it all, the pain comes back with a thud, with a vengeance.

However, gradually, such instances become rare and far between. Slowly and slowly, you learn to let go.

The void remains, the chasm continues to gnaw at you, but you just learn to live with it. The pain never leaves you, but as time goes by, it becomes dull and not as sharp as before.

And in the midst of it all, your loved one continues to live on in your heart, in your memories.

What do you think?

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14 Comments
  • Rajeswari M S
    September 19, 2021

    Very vividly described and wonderfully written. Keep them coming.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 20, 2021

      🙏🙏

  • Seema kapoor
    September 19, 2021

    Beautifully expressed …Every word sooo true Sangeeta… Was remembering dad when I suddenly saw ur write up. Hoping one day the pain gets dull ….but the memories always remain fresh and beautiful …

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 20, 2021

      🙏🙏

  • Anaisha Sukh
    September 20, 2021

    Beautifully written! Big hug!

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 20, 2021

      Thank you!

  • Anu Juneja
    September 20, 2021

    Just too beautifully written.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 20, 2021

      🙏🙏

  • Jasdeep
    September 20, 2021

    Beautifully expressed Sangeeta. It’s the hard reality of life…. You move forward in life but the void always stays.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 20, 2021

      🙏🙏

  • Priya Saxena
    September 26, 2021

    A heartfelt and an emotional piece. Every written word is a true reflection of what we feel when we loose a loved one.

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 26, 2021

      🙏🙏

  • Anuja Bansal
    September 28, 2021

    Beautifully expressed Sangeeta. Had me choked as mum’s memories came flooding back . Perhaps with time the intense pain will dull somewhat but the void left is too huge …

    • Sangeeta Relan
      September 28, 2021

      🙏🙏