I can’t really put a finger on it, but I have changed since the last time I posted on here.
I have become very comfortably whole, but in a rather porous way. What I mean is, I am not whole in the sense that I have no holes, and no space to accommodate the ebbs and flow of life. My earlier definition of whole used to be akin to that of a SOLVED Rubik’s cube. No need or space for change. Thoroughly well-defined, and really no scope for anymore human interaction to be involved in anymore. And then, somewhere along the way, I didn’t really feel like I wanted that anymore. I like my periodic ‘struggles’… they have helped me unearth aspects about myself that I never expected to learn. It has put me in positions that I hadn’t ever really fathomed, and it gave me a renewed sense of wonder. Sometimes, it did nothing for me, and I discovered that ‘nothing’ is not bad either!
‘Trust your struggle’ is a maxim I have come to accept over the past few years, sometimes grudgingly so. It’s become quite integral to my being now, and in the process, I have finally gotten a peek at the reality of ‘holding space’. Sometimes, life isn’t a project. Sometimes, even the most well-intentioned advice can be ill-timed. Sometimes, what you have to offer is not what the other needs, and other times it is not what they want. And that’s ok! It’s fine to step back and move forward with those connections that are felt strongly, and it is fine to loosen your grip on those connections that seem like they are slipping through your fingers.
I recently did something for someone with absolutely no expectations, and with genuine, uninhibited affection. It was liberating! It still is. I am in awe and curious, but I think I’ll just let this be this one time. I’m letting a flower be a flower; no need to pluck it. It’s already working its magic by just being. 🙂
I took a nap today afternoon. And I had a dream that struck me quite significantly. I was on a plane with my grandparents. The plane crash lands and a lot of its passengers slip into the water, including us. For a split second I find myself wanting to just float and relax before having to get into something of a ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. Then I realize that my grandparents couldn’t swim, and I spot them at a short distance. I swim frantically towards my grandmother first, thinking that her lungs were weak from the cancer and she would be in more desperate need for air. I manage to help her up, and somebody else helps me by taking her ashore. I find my grandfather, and I pull his head above water, and assisting him on the back of my shoulder, I take him ashore. I woke up after that, and for a moment there I wanted to call up my grandparents and chat them up about things. Then for a single unreal moment, I stood there, and thought back to last year when my grandmother passed away. In fact, it was exactly a year ago plus another two days, when I flew along with my grandparents for their annual vacation.
I have to admit, I’m struggling to juggle all these thoughts in my head. All of these emotions swirling in my psyche, barely keeping afloat… a lot like last year around this season actually. But there is a difference. This time, I don’t want to give in and just let it be. This time I want to make the effort, go the extra mile, and take control of situations that are within my control.
That’s what is going to make this time different. I know it.
Some days I’m screaming inside my head, begging the cosmos, the universe, and whatever else may be so expansive and powerful, even if only in the concepts of certain people; I beg them to give me back what was once mine, laying claim on my happy memories, my source of joys, my sense of self, my sense of family and home, and the source of my comfort. I am begging for the existence of people long gone to be restored at their best. I don’t mean to be selfish, but some days are harder than others.
Losing my grandmother in June has been tough. I cannot say I have overcome the grief. It was most tragic, and certain circumstances made me feel bitter at the time. However, this time around, most people are me were respectful and supportive of each other. The atmosphere was calm, and the memory of the departed was vivid. Everybody felt the presence and treated it with the kindness that it deserves. I recognize this because losing my paternal grandmother over a decade ago was one of the harshest experiences of my childhood. It felt like dominoes toppling down one after the other. For starters, I lost my grandfather two days later. It made me keep my guard up for years after. I had to purge myself of it, and cried hard when I finally let it go. And I might not have been successful had I been by myself – if it wasn’t for my maternal grandmother, frequently demanding to be let in and have my affection and shower me with hers, as I eventually allowed.
My maternal grandmother and I. Here I am not older than about a year.
Death is never easy. Its permanence strikes you and sinks in at a painfully slow rate. As much as I rationalize it to myself and regain outward composure, I only have to take a nap in the afternoon to be flung into the world of dreams where my subconscious shows me what I crave for. I want her hands in mine. I miss her sense of humour. I miss her overwhelming concern about me and everything that was about me. I miss lying next to her, simply hugging, not necessarily talking, on particularly rough days. I miss her by the side of my grandfather, for whom I feel miserably incomplete. I miss her till I am sure that it is my soul that hurts inside my chest, throbbing and struggling to be released. Every other endeavour seems like meaningless pursuit and pales in comparison to the meaningfulness of the relationship we nurtured. To me, she was not a person but a world unto herself.