My Nightmare, Your Experience

When you lose someone, people say a lot of things. Like “it will get better with time.” But does it really ever get better? Time makes it seem like you should forget, but what about the scars? Everyday they remind you; about what was lost, what will never come back, beautiful memories, moments and secrets shared, and the void you have to live with. So time doesn’t really hold the answers nor does it take away the pain, it just changes the way you grief, and this was exactly how I felt about losing my dad.

My dad and I had a weird bond that should exist between a father and daughter. He gave meaning to the word ‘Telepathy ‘. We could communicate easily from across the room without ever having to say a word. We could conspire against someone in their presence without them catching a whiff of it. Yayy! It always felt so good. He could always tell what I was thinking, and knew what I wanted. On the day the dam broke, he laid on his hospital bed staring at me, saying nothing. I couldn’t guess what he was thinking, no matter how hard I tried.

The nurses found flimsy excuses to send me home, giving me a list of things to buy. When you have faith in your heart, you are blinded to glaring signs before you, even if it is a middle finger being stuck in your face. Less than 30 minutes after I got home, I heard the sound of a car by the gate. It came to return most of my dad’s things from the hospital. I saw my Uncle that was supposedly caring for my dad. “Why are you home? Who is with my dad? You know he’s not to be left alone”, I blurted out in my confused state. He stared at me with blatant sadness in his eyes, and immediately my heart knew.

I walked out of the gate and into the night, barefooted and unthinking. All my senses numb from the pain and defeat I felt. All I wanted was to walk to the ends of the earth. I had so many questions for God, so I didn’t slow down. There were voices all around me; calling, yelling, explaining, and pleading. All that did nothing to deter me, till I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was my friend and neighbour, Christine. She led me back towards the house. I didn’t complain, merely followed like a zombie. As soon as I got into the house, I felt unshackled. Nothing could stop the tears. The bar had been let loose, and everything just flowed freely.

Before that day, I never cried at the news of the death of someone, or at funerals. The loss of my dad had hit home, and unravelled a part of me I never knew existed. Empathy was released in an ample fold. I learnt to cry over the loss of little things. I understood what people felt when they lose someone. The experience might not be the same, but I could still identify with them by lending a shoulder to be cried on, offering kind words, and not saying silly things like “it will get better with time”. Because there are nights when the grief will return fresh. You see their faces everywhere and you still miss them. The only comfort is that you will find a way to manage your grief, and it is never the same for everybody.

Vera

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