Very many people have dealt with loss of a loved one in their lives. Death is inevitable and irrespective of how much anyone may have read about it, when it comes calling on someone close to your heart, confronting the loss square-on and dealing with it, is entirely another matter. Theory is so easy. It is practicals that is more challenging.
How much anyone is missed, I think, comes down to each individual. Some cope with it far better than others. We are often quick to judge others on how they are looking and reacting following a loss. Many of us are quick to the draw in being judgmental anyway, regardless of the situation, but I will leave that topic aside for another blog post another time. Is the person crying? Is he looking forlorn? Is he looking the same? Is he/ she able to remain stoic after the event? So many questions and like so many other things, the answers to all these questions is purely dependent on the perspective of the person answering these. The pain and the loss is the individuals’ and only theirs.
Having said all this, as I grow older, I am beginning to believe that the loss of a spouse of 30+ years is probably the toughest to handle, assuming that the couple have been living together for that duration. I just feel that in adult life, having been through numerous ups and downs, the bonding that is shared between an old couple is impossible to replicate otherwise. When one of the two passes away, the obvious selfish question that arises is – why wasn’t I the first? In an ideal world, I suppose, both would move on at about the same time. But that is just wishful thinking.
With my limited experience of seeing people dealing with such situations, I can only say that every person’s loss is their own. No one can truly understand the entirety of the feelings that the person goes through. It is so hard, even years after the event. Random events that remind us of the individual can trigger sorrow. Of course, over time, all that would remain would be idle memories and even those fade away with age.
Being brought up the way we are, in India, comparisons are inevitable. We compare every emotion with some one else’s. In some cases, the comparisons reach a stage where the true, raw emotion of a person remains hidden and all that is exposed is, what everyone else (society) expects to see. Sensitivity to others’ opinions may trump the core that is an individual and in many cases, completely overpowers the originality. What, then, remains the true feeling of loss? The one that is shown to the world? Or the one that is hidden deep within our heart? Is there a difference?