On Wednesday, October 30th at 6:30 pm K. breathed their last breath. An advanced form of cancer had metastasized all over K‘s body, and by the time it was known that care was needed, it was too late. K. was someone I’d known for many, many years and even though we had not had contact as often as we should’ve, I’d like to think we were close.
I hear people say in response to grief, “You’ll feel better as time goes by.” Even though there is some truth to that, that lingering feeling of loss never seems to go away. It only takes a certain item or memento to bring back a flood of memories. It gets harder to shake that melancholy off as one gets older. Natural pessimist that I am, my fondest memories are usually vague or not as clear, even if I look at photos of those moments which I shared with K. Maybe I’m trying to block out unfavorable memories, unconsciously. Nevertheless, there is symbolic power in that loss of someone close, or even if the relation was not that close. It’s like the news that some pop icon passed away in recent years. It affects our psyche at some level. It’s the end of an era and it lets us know that it’s time to grow up; stand on our own whether we’re ready or not.
Talking about the loss of loved one doesn’t seem to relieve grief either. It only intensifies the loss and a form of anger comes back. It reveals how helpless and utterly powerless we all are. Grief is like going into a fierce battlefield with only a butter knife in hand. It’s a sure losing battle. Oddly, though, there is the relentless urge to let others know that you’ve been wounded, even though it’s the loved one who no longer with us. When I heard the news, the initial shock dissipated and was soon replaced by the urge to let others know the situation. It’s as if the weight of the burden was too much to carry on my own; I needed to unload it. I am much appreciative to those who have responded kindly to this deeply personal and tragic news.
If I had the chance to ask K. a question, it would be
“Did you have a full life? Did you feel like you had satisfying life? “
Life certainly is not to be taken for granted. I know that sounds cliché, but we ought to live each day as a gift. I’m still very much affected by this news but the consolation of K. passing is that one battle and suffering is over.