Friday, October 18, 2013

The Living

I have never been a great expresser of grief. I can’t cry for prolonged periods of time. I can’t sit stony faced without stepping out of the house and abstain from food on death anniversaries of near and dear. I actually make it a point to conveniently ignore such days and do my regular stuff, because it is very difficult to re-live a death day year-after-year.

But, I miss the ones who are dead, the ones I was close to, and I ache for them badly, sometimes for weeks together. I miss them on random days when I crave pudalangai porichukootu and thogaiyal (tam brahm comfort food), or when I want to show off my “exemplary” driving skills, and the best driver I have ever known isn’t around to see it. 

I just deal with these deaths differently. Perhaps, I haven’t started dealing with them yet. It is much easier to push the whole “dealing with sorrow” part to the corner of my mind and move on with life. It is efficient, effective and much less painful. But, then it is prolonged. And since I am not done dealing with it and can never be, the memories come haunting back at the most unexpected of moments. 

Each of us deals with death differently. We perhaps get regular visits from the dead ones in our dreams, or fantasize that they are happy in another world. I don’t know. But, I sure know that we can never guess how every other person on this planet deals with the death of their loved one.

And, it makes me “nose-turns-bright-red” angry when someone comments on how someone else they know doesn’t seem appropriately teary eyed at that someone else’s husband’s death. How can any of us know what is appropriate? With what can we benchmark such a behavior? Shouldn’t we rather be, at some corner of our heart, thankful to the Universe that we aren’t in that situation at this point of time and proceed to let the dead, and the living, be?

Death is personal, mourning life-long. We cannot build a framework around death and try fitting everyone we know in a two-by-two.

So, the next time you want to get judgmental on how others should deal with death, just shut up. Because, you don’t know the first thing of what you are talking about. And, the world has better things to do than listen to your drivel.