I recently came across a post that showcased five articles related to grief. Five people, who had lost their loved ones, had written these articles to cope with their loss. There are many a time that I have thought of writing something on those lines. Times when I have reached an emotional peak and felt I just needed to get it out, but I couldn’t. It becomes too personal and I could never bring myself to attempt it. So, I thought, why not write something for the people who were with me during those difficult times and helped me cope.
There is a phrase – Friends like Family, the meaning of which I have come to realise. When you are to spend a large portion of the day with a certain set of people, it is very important that you share a good relationship with them. If not, it can end up affecting you in a negative way. And especially when you are at the most emotionally drained stage of your life, it becomes all the more mandatory to have a set of people around you who can give you the energy and lift your spirits.
When my hero, my father, passed away, 15 months and 21 days back, the mental state of all of us was at the lowest point. He was bedridden and suffered for two months before he left us. I am still not ready to write about that, nor about him. I had shed enough tears those two months and bawled my heart out that day. But I decided to be as normal as I could after that. I did not want my mother to feel worse than she already was. It is not easy to do that. And, when you have situations where you are alone, your mind starts playing with you.
I used to travel every day for an hour, minimum, from my home in a bus to reach office. Most of the days, I used to have a conversation with my now husband. Those days were fine. I did not get a chance to be alone. But then, there were other days when I would be alone, with just my phone for company. I would plug-in my earphones and start some song. But within minutes, my mind would start its work. Being a person who daydreams a lot doesn’t help either. There are many a time, I have shed tears thinking about my father, in the bus. When a day starts on this note, you can imagine how it would go further. Till I step into my cubicle, I would feel the chains of grief tightening around my chest. But as the day passes, my colleagues never allowed me to continue feeling that way.
Even when I returned to office after those two months, they seemed to understand that I did not want to talk about it and they did not. I used to be a senior teammate to them earlier. But after this, they started seeing me as a friend. And so did I. There were times when I used to end up being extremely emotional for small things. And, they would understand. They would calm me down. And then there was that rare time, a year later, when I couldn’t control my tears. And they cried with me.
There were numerous nights when I would try to sleep but end up crying for hours together, trying desperately to think something else and distract myself. During these times, it was the friendly banter, the teasing, the lame jokes, the pulling each other’s legs that happened during the day that became my saviour. It was not just for me. I used to narrate whatever happened at the office to my mother also and I could see that it was having a positive impact on her as well.
The set of people, who were once just colleagues, became my close friends and at some point, I came to consider them to be my family – my sisters and brothers. When I was to leave the office, they arranged for a farewell party disguising it as a birthday party, since my birthday fell on the same day and I didn’t want the drama of a farewell party. It is customary for the person going away to talk about their teammates and give them feedback and for them to talk about the one leaving. I requested (begged) them to skip this custom and they reluctantly obliged. I knew that if I started talking about how much they have helped me, it would end up in a very teary farewell and I did not want that.
The feelings and words that I should have told that day, I am conveying now. I might not have made any lasting impact on your lives, but you have, in my life. It is never easy losing a parent. There forms a huge void in your life which quickly starts filling with guilt, regret, the what ifs. And trust me when I say, it is not something you ever get over. But it also doesn’t mean that you continue to just exist with all those negative feelings eating you up. My father would have hated it if I had spent my whole life moping around in tears. And if it was not for you guys, I would have done just that. Maybe not for the rest of my life, but for a considerable period of time. Whether you realised it or not, you helped me get back on track. You helped not just me, but also my mother. You helped me laugh heartily when I thought I can only fake it. In you guys, I found another family. As time passes, you might end up forgetting me. But I will never forget you all in my life. I can only say thank you to each of you, for helping me cope. I love you all and I am forever indebted to you. Thank you, so very much, for the laughter, the tears, the memories and for everything. 🙂