“Don’t pity the dead. Pity the living and above all, pity those who live without love.”
Being a potterhead, this quote said by Dumbledore to Harry Potter has always been really close to me. Pity. Regret. Sadness. Morose. We go through umpteen emotions in a day, throughout our life. The word death sets a course of emotions in us difficult to explain. It stirs memories that we shunned away in a box in our head. The worst memory in most of our lives is losing a loved one. It releases this turmoil inside us; an anguish, a pain too extreme to comprehend.
You know how we read about fictional characters dying and then we just clutch our stomach or chest or just cover our face with our hands and just cry? We cry for their loss, we cry for ours. We cry because for a second there, they were real for us; in their death, we see the loss of a beloved. We mourn, we miss. And then we find ourselves engrossed and obsessed over some other book. But whenever you will go back to that book, or be reminded of it, you will feel the pain, not like you did the first time, but you will feel it.
Losing someone in reality is much like that, only magnified. It’s like a piece of you was cut and taken away. You are never whole again. You cry, you grieve, and eventually, you find something to get busy with — a distraction. And then you get on with your life. The funny thing about death is it teaches you to live. No matter how much you feel you can’t live without a person, you find a way to when they leave you.
Death. It is so permanent. It’s final. It’s irreversible. It’s certain. We all have to die. Some die in their mother’s womb, some live up to a hundred. We tell ourselves whatever comforts us. That the souls that pass on are with God, or that they’ve taken birth in some other family, or they’re in a better place now. But in reality, who knows? Can any one of us be certain of what will happen to us some time in the future until we have experienced it? Certainly not. All we know is that death will come to us someday. But how, when and where are some questions that we simply can’t help but ponder. We’ll know it when we know it. It’s funny how the absence of someone, whose presence was so prominent in one’s life, becomes bearable. You cry for hours the first day, the next, and then the day after that. But until when? After a point, life takes a toll on you. You get so busy with your life, with your chores, with your duties and responsibilities that you somehow manage to get up, wipe your face and get on with life.
We don’t know what happens after we die. Conjectures about afterlife are many and varied. We choose to believe that which gives us solace because that’s one thing no one can take away from us. Our belief. Losing someone is never easy but believing that they are in a better place gives us this inexplicable comfort, allowing us to wipe those tears away, get up in the morning, or stop eating ice cream from the box.
We find ways to vent out our anger, our loss, our frustration, our grief. Some write, some paint, some sing, some dance, some work. There are these moments in life that suddenly remind us of the one we lost. They bring back all those memories, all the pain. Remember to be strong. Remember your belief, remember that they are in a better place and remember that life moves on. Life after death isn’t the afterlife; it’s our life. It’s our life after the death of a loved one.
Though after some time we’ll go back to our schedule, life changes every time someone leaves us for good. It is a permanent alteration and no matter how badly we try to have a chance at normalcy, it is anything but that. All I want to say is — don’t. Don’t strive for a normal life. Don’t try to go back to the exact life that you were leading before it happened. Because it just reminds you of all those times that that person was a part of it too. No. Make a change. It can be small, but noticeable. Make a change in your life so that things aren’t exactly the same. Make a change so that the alteration doesn’t just remind you of the loss but also of the gain, of the change, of the reform.
So all I want to say is — there is life after death. Not just for them, but for you as well. Don’t sit back, don’t live in the past, and don’t dwell on memories. Instead, get up and make a change. Learn to appreciate life, to get a grip, to be able to wake up in the morning. Ernest Hemingway once said, “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” They lived theirs, now it’s time you live yours.