Archive for January, 2017

Cry heart, but never break.

It’s only the third week of 2017 and I feel like I’ve aged by ten years. I wasn’t joking when I hoped that 2017 would be a year of growth and more learning, but the fact that the last two weeks have been one of the most trying periods of my life, both physically and emotionally is no joke. It’s only the third week of 2017 and I’ve gone through several emotional upheavals, realising that trust between two people is extremely fragile and can be severed anytime. That’s when I knew, forgiveness does not come easily to me. The capacity to forgive comes from the heart of a person who is able to let things go, and that takes a great deal of sacrifice, understanding and empathy. It demands for you to be greater than your being, and to separate yourself from the person who was originally hurt by it. This sounds meta, and I do not know how to describe it either.

Over the past week, I had a chance encounter with death too, with the passing of my grand uncle. That was when it dawned upon me that no matter how hard one tries to reconcile oneself with the reality of death, that death is a part of life and not apart from life, it still hurts when it confronts you in the face. I thought I was alright. I remembered hearing the news, and feeling half dazed; but that was about it. I looked at his serene face and I said my silent goodbye; I was alright. However tears started welling when I saw his family members bid goodbye to him, and a wave of emotions just swept my resolution away, and I wept. Silently, I tried to imagine what it must be like, to feel things from their perspective. A wife who has lost her cherished partner of fifty years, a daughter who has lost her esteemed father, a grandson who has lost his doting granddad… only in the face of death will all these memories revisit, and you realise that remembering too much can be a painful affair. It brings relief that you’ve had several decades of goodness with him, but it also reminds you that for the rest of your life, this person will forever be conspicuously absent. How does one deal with the cards that they’ve been dealt, when reality can be capricious and by a twist of fate, you lose all that you’ve had overnight? I wept because I will no longer see the grand uncle again every Chinese New Year. While we hardly interacted, he always had an air of quiet presence around him,and that presence represented something reassuring, and was a constant in all my years. It is Chinese New Year next week, and it will be my first Chinese New Year without him. Gone is his quiet presence; I will never hear his voice again, and never see him smile again. My heart breaks when I think of this. I am alright, but there is a gnawing emptiness amidst everything, that when we weep over the demise of a person, we are weeping over a self that has gone away, and will never come back. Maybe our attachment to things stem from the meaning we have ascribed to it; a part of our childhood is captured in an object, in a person, and when we cease to see it, we lose that part of ourselves. It is an indication that we have aged, and there is no turning back. The thought that one can never recapture something is a scary thought, and has the ability to haunt for eons. When I wept, I wept for a reality that will never be again, and I can only understand a quarter of how a loved one must have felt when he received his lemon barley from someone else, because the person who used to offer it no longer is. The reality that he knew has ceased to exist as such, simply because the protagonist has taken his final bow. Perhaps we are weeping over the demise of a certain type of humanity that has been ascribed to a person; because every person is intrinsically unique, he has left a solid footprint in the minds of people he had met, and that is in itself can never be replicated. We cry because we understand that the reality that we know is no longer the same again; the demise of a constant, the death of a habit. Is it even possible to accord reasons as to why we cry?

Sometimes I wonder why I bother to type things down, because I can never fully translate the thoughts in my head into writing. Somehow in the midst of translating into semantics, the intensity of my emotions are diluted, with each tap of an alphabet. But it is human nature to record things down, for time immemorial, because it is human nature to reflect, and to make sense of things on hindsight. My only question is, how many times must we weep before we can adequately understand the essentialist nature of life, and the fact that one can never reenact the first, fineless rapture? That things don’t happen the same way twice, and while nothing is irreplaceable in this world, it will not, and cannot be replicated. Such is the essentialist nature of experience.

So cry heart, but never break. Such are the vagaries of life, and this is a journey you must walk, alone or not.


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