You know your Mondays are divine when you all you have to do the entire day is watch television or read a good book and simply relax. I ought not bask in the glory of it all too much for work is about to commence soon. Till then however lets rejoice. Carpe diem! Carpe diem! I need to constantly remind myself.
Today as I sat and watched one of my fav early teen sitcom ‘8 Simple Rules (of Dating my Teenage Daughter)’, the paranoid father played by John Ritter had died in the episode. This plot was taken up because he had actually passed away during the shooting of the sitcom. Three teenage kids with a 46 year old single mother. I must have watched this episode a decade back as well but the fact the father died must have probably been a casual plot to me back in the day. ’cause you superheroes (read: Mom and Dad) don’t die right? Or at least we take that fact for granted that they shall always stick around. And not that I wasn’t already hormonal, the parent died, crumbling my existence to the last fibre in my body. Oh Lord! I cried, I cried my eyeballs out. I cried till I could cry no more because my eyes had swollen. I cried cause I missed MY mommy.
Its been almost three years, if you’ve stuck around, you already know. I was overwhelmed. I was devastated. I was reborn with a part of me dead with the demise of my mother. People told me it gets better with time, well, for me, it gets bitter with time. Time does not heal. It just gives you an excuse to cover up your wounds. The first time I had ever heard of death around me was my older sister’s boyfriend when I was 16. I had come back from boarding school for winter vacation and had taken it for granted I shall be meeting with him within a week’s time and the three of us shall have oodles of fun. Two weeks passed and she did not mention him once. And then one day I casually enquired about how he was, to which she matter-of-factly replied, ” he’s dead and we won’t talk about him anymore. Period”. PERIOD. A full stop on my fun, a full stop on never seeing him again. A full stop. But that was that and it did not take me much time to move on from my grieving. But then in 2011 my whole world came crumbling down.
My Mom leaving changed me in ways I can’t even express in words. My core and fundamental beliefs changed. I thought if God has snatched away something so precious from me, he owes me something in return. But he did not owe me anything at all. I built walls around me, I started rebelling, I posed to be stronger, well, everyone around me told me I was very strong so I believed it. I couldn’t burst their bubble and tell them that ” excuse me! you think I have a choice?” No, lets not be rude to the world that is only trying to sympathize. The sitcom brought back horrid memories that I have been repressing these past three years. As depressing as death sounds, which it actually is, you learn to appreciate what you have, on the good days at the least. My sister left no stone unturned to let me be deprived of motherly love and affection. I had recently turned 22 when this had happened. I have always had her. But on most days it scares me, it scares me that my superheroes are mere mortals and they can leave me in the blink of an eye. It is as though somehow stole the discs between my spine and has punished me to stand erect for my entire life. I easily forget to believe. I easily forget to have hope. I feared happiness, I still do. Happiness is somehow incomplete. It feels to have wronged to have felt happy on the rare occasions that I do. There is an element of guilt. There always shall be.
I easily build walls so no one can conquer and have the power to emotionally affect me. I AM strong is what I tell myself, that’s the consolation prize you see.
Have I depressed you enough yet? No?
Have you read the young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, where you teens suffering from Cancer fall in love with each other and the boy eventually dies. Oh, you haven’t read it and I ruined your plot? Well, this in any case was a depressing post, remember? THAT was the aim. I read it for two factors: a) the romance, and b) the death factor. Death somehow glorifies romance, does Romeo and Juliet ring a bell? It wouldn’t be half the fun it was to read if both of them hadn’t died. Diverging again. Yes, I am a hardcore romantic. Gimme my chick lit and chick flicks ALL THE TIME. But what I ended up liking most about the book were some of the quotes, which I shall most graciously share with you,
“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
“You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”
“That’s part of what I like about the book in some ways. It portrays death truthfully. You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence”
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
If you read the last long quote in Italics, you would probably understand how it humbled me. How it made me realize that we are at the end of the day all mortals. What self-help and books based on reincarnation, which I have read plenty in the last 3 years could not help me do, this teeny bopper book did. It made me ACCEPT death. Not easily. Never easily. But accept it nonetheless. The World or God or the Universe owes me nothing because it took away something so precious from me. Mind you, this book is not the doctor that has managed to stitch the hole in my chest, but it did something different altogether. It made me realize, that the hole is now a part of my chest. A part of me. Death scars you, yes, it changes you. As much as I believe in love and its sanctity, I do not however believe in the permanence of love. Because the only thing permanent in this world is change.
I think death like recovery any sort of addiction is a life long process for the ones who are left behind. W.H.Auden was not wrong, as I conclude from In Memory of W.B.Yeats, if I am not wrong, that it is not the ones who die but the ones left behind who endure suffering.
The Grandma that I am, I usually conclude with an lesson for you all, but today, there is none. Sometimes there are no lessons in life, there is but life. There is no rational to life. Sometimes there shouldn’t be 8 or any simple rules at all governing life. Sometimes, there should be no plan, sometimes you should simply be erratic and do whatever the heck you want to do. There is reincarnation, yes, I do solemnly believe, but I have no idea what God has planned for me in my next birth, so why not enjoy this one while I can, use it to its last drop? Maybe that is the lesson we must all learn from death..to live.