The Invisible Man

He has always followed me. Everywhere. Everyday. Every moment. For 19 years now and who knows for how many more. Now, he is nothingness, a non-existent entity, an irreplaceable permanent hollow in my heart, that no one can fill. No one. Never. Ever.

I remember his voice, his laughter, his handwriting, his kind, green eyes. I also remember how it felt to hug him, the excitement of receiving his letters and the joy of seeing him in person, as I felt the lump in my throat knowing he would leave in another 10 days. Time must stop. I remember how hard it was to see him off at the railway station, holding back my tears as I waved him goodbye, putting up a fake smile, for he had told me it would be painful for him to see me cry. I remember the ghastly absence I felt after I returned back home from the railway station, not knowing how to process this pain I felt and only knowing it will be a long long wait until the next time I see him.

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19 years back, this wait turned permanent, along with a lot of other feelings.
Pain.
Loneliness.
Melancholy.
Lack of faith in people and relationships.
Suppressed, exploding anger.
Absence of happiness.
Fear of rejection.
Hopelessness.
Guilt.
Insecurity.
Feeling of worthlessness.
Longing to feel safe.
Not having a sense of belonging.
Confused sexual feelings.
Need to build survival mechanisms.

Life became a performance there on. An act of hiding my pain from people. The constant exhausting marathon of running away from loneliness and worthlessness.

He will always be the most endearing invisible man to me. The never-ending search for his presence leaves an unavoidable void in my heart. I still feel caught in time. Only this time, time has stopped. I still mourn his death. I also mourn my stagnated emotions, unprocessed pain, undissolved anger, unexpressed love, masked fear and sense of fulfillment.

The Grim Reaper & Me

Its been 4 years since Y & I have been involved in rescue and rehabilitation of injured street dogs & cats. Rescued pets are often low on immunity, in spite of the medication & efforts you take, some make it, some don’t. Y says,

Its a tragedy waiting to happen. Even if they make it, they can’t outlive you.

A couple of days back, our 11th rescued pet died. This was the 11th pet that died in our arms. We saw this tiny paralyzed kitten breathe her last. I haven’t seen death more closely. This was one of the many deaths we saw in the past few years.

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How do I deal with loss?”

“What does grieving mean to me?”

“How do I perceive death?

Death is not in the moment, death begins the day we were born. Each day something within us dies, cells, thoughts, emotions until one day we stop being. Death carries a certain settling feeling with it. There is closure in death, unlike when your pet is lost; perhaps he ran away, perhaps someone took him away, perhaps he died. You keep searching for him days on end and the doubt haunts you. There is an abrupt finality to death.

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I believe in this finality of death, ‘there is’ and ‘there isn’t’ and in between there are breaths. People are what they are and one day they will cease to exist. They will carry their moments, their good, bad, ugly secrets to the grave. Unlike death, secrets never die, they keep affecting people around them in mysterious ways. Secrets are immortal. Y says,

Secrets are like a monster. The deeper you bury them, the bigger & stronger they get. You bring them to light & they fade away.

Death is harsher to its survivors. The dead have died and have left behind their memories.

How do I deal with death?”

“No, I haven’t been able to accept death, anyone else’s and the thought of my own.”

Do I allow myself to grieve?

“They say grieving is healthy and has no time limit. Grieving is an art and I am no master at it. I mostly cry, sulk, be angry, act obsessive. I don’t let go, I just don’t let go.”

Why do I rescue half dead animals?

“Because more than death, what moves me is pain. Death isn’t as horrible as pain. And yes, also because I couldn’t have been any other way.”

What do pets mean to me?

“I am still figuring out.”

What do I think of death?”

“It is therapeutic in a weird way.”

What helps me deal with death?”

“Humour. The irony of it.

Louis C.K. on death – https://youtu.be/QPQu__ujKx4?t=39m58s

Louis C.K. some more on death – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSIVvm7DRSw&list=RDiSIVvm7DRSw&index=1

Louis C.K. on pets & animals – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb2DjcwltyE

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