[Note: A post written to someone I know that’s going through a difficult time. Skip if uninterested, it’s spoilered for a reason.]
I was recently notified that someone I knew had suffered a personal tragedy, and had the privilege of going down to meet him today. Alas, however, I was unable to stay for when I had reached as I left my house too late and had a church event to attend after. And so, I only had the chance for a short conversation, but this is written (so late) because I wanted to say more, but didn’t have the chance.
It’s funny how, when we first met today, we exchanged stories of how we lost contact even though we had only met for the first time slightly more than a month ago. And yet, the blame’s on my side – I did not contact those in the rest of the group over a small incident with ‘Sable. It is my bad, and I’m glad that you kept in contact with them as things went to hell pretty fast.
Of course, nobody should have to go through something like that at an age like this. It’s something that one dreads even when one is older and hopefully wiser, as inevitable as it sounds. And yet, I think you’re doing an admirable job of keeping it all together. Sleepless nights, reddened eyes, yet a firm handshake and a wavering voice that wordlessly spoke volumes of your gratefulness.
I cannot seem to find it now, but something I read on Reddit last night about a similar situation went something like this: ‘Our parents gave, and taught us how to live. Now is the time we show them what we’ve learnt’. In hearing your dream last night, I could not help but be reminded of it.
For the time being though, if I may suggest a few songs that helped me through sadness: Gone Too Soon by Simple Plan is not bad, but there’s also a soft instrumental playlist that is some form of comfort for me and easy to listen to when reflecting or reminiscing. I still listen to it on a regular basis, since it’s somewhat soothing for one’s emotions.
I wrote in the card a quote which I thought was appropriate: ‘There are years that ask questions and years that answer.’ Too frequently one gets the ‘it was part of God’s plan’ or ‘there’s meaning to this tragedy’, and perhaps sometimes it may be true. But in the midst of sorrow, one cannot see past the wall of tears, and comments like this, though possibly well-intended, do little to ease one’s emotions.
And to paraphrase a certain running girl, ‘The best advice anyone gave me was that these things just happen. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, but you don’t know what it is until it comes, and you deal with it when it comes.’ Somewhat flippant, but you’re doing it right now handling things in this dark period. In the long run, do remember not to lock up your emotions in order not to feel hurt though – the very walls that one builds to keep them safe often ends up isolating them from feelings and emotions.
To end off, I’ve copied the poem and added a bit. There’s a flow to the poem: The first paragraph talks about the initial hollowness of comfort received, then some nostalgia, the early grieving and later acknowledgement or acceptance. I wanted to add a bit that acknowledges the middle stages of grief and in future anniversaries or memorials when you look back at this time.
Writing to you, in this time of grief and sorrow,
Words often fail to comfort, and still, yet tomorrow,
You’ll rise again, in this turbulent storm,
To brave the trials of life, perhaps forlorn
He may live on, as a part of you,
He may bring comfort, as you reminisce through
Shared past memories, perhaps bitter and incomplete,
Yet every one of them, so precious and sweet.
When tears have been shed, as one asks ‘Why?!’
When with deep grief, one bids a final goodbye,
When the funeral is over, and cremation done,
When all has been said, and then, still some,
In this arduous race of life, he ran,
Toiled and strove, as one does tend,
Anchored in faith, to the very end
Perhaps it is enough to say, “He was a good man.”
Nobody should have to endure such a weighty burden,
Pangs of regret, of that, one is certain,
And yet, in this period of bleak, bitter darkness,
One just may see stars shine their brightest.
‘There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.’
Some may offer, perhaps none the wiser,
But in matters of heavy, regretful reserve,
‘Where there is deep grief, there doubtless was, great love.’
Years from now, in a future unforeseen,
One may look back and wonder, just what could’ve been,
But as surely as your heart believes it to be true,
Then smile, step forward – He will always be with you.
Take the time you need to mourn your loss, I believe the faculty is there for you, and so is your family in CAPT…your friends from army as well as the camp we first met in. Seek the counselling services that I talked about – I think it may be of great help.
And finally, when you are ready, return to the world. I think that they (your family, friends and loved ones) would both be proud, and glad.
Until we next meet,