I have always been the most blessed person I know. Perfect family, loved by awesome friends and family, extremely lucky with grades and achievements at education and work and most importantly—very very optimistic.
To the outside world, I was a girl who lost her mother as a toddler. To me, I knew only one parent and he happened to be the best dad ever….. so never ever missed having a mom. To the outside world, I was this “good girl” who studied hard, respected elders, was polite and didn’t have a mother. To me, I was lucky as I enjoyed school and work and was always happy with people of any age or kind. To the world outside, I worked hard to run a household and get an education and work part-time. In real, I was so happy doing things I loved. I never wished I was prettier, smarter, richer or more popular—I had everything perfect.
So my life was a perfect fairy tale and obviously there was a wait for Prince Charming to come along. I had a zillion crushes but the time when I actually fell in love at 17, I didn’t realise it for a long time. I met him through a friend….he was my version of angry young man and was quite the opposite of whatever I was at the time. Laughed less but had the most angelic smile and the kindest eyes .
All our friends knew what we denied so hard. We were so good at saying that we were “just friends” that even we ourselves believed that. I knew he was more special than anyone else but I also knew we both needed to focus on education and had a whole life (we were barely 20) to figure out the romantic stuff. That’s what we thought.
One Thursday afternoon I was told that he had died in an accident. I am yet to understand this act of God.And I absolutely refuse to ever forgive the 4th of July for coming into my life.
However ,this post is not about that day. This is about what it did to me. I would cry all day and would fall asleep because of exhaustion. The morning would find me sitting in the living room crying after a sleepless night. I was guilty every minute that it was him and not me. I was angry at everything around me for continuing life as if nothing had changed… the sun for rising, the neighbours for laughing, the friends for having birthday celebrations. I begged God to send him in my dreams and I could live and be happy at least those few moments. I never did.
I soon discovered I was “grief free” for the first moment after waking up… you know the time when you are not sure you are really awake, when you don’t know where you are and why. That was the only moment when I forgot he was gone. But that moment barely lasted and I would soon be back to crying .
As the years went by, I adapted an unusual strategy and spoke a lot about him to everyone. I spoke to his family about the great times we had, mentioned him always when friends met as if he would walk in any moment, told about him to all my friends who didn’t know he ever existed and made him an integral part of my personality. I had a picture of us on my bedside table for 7 years. I was blessed meanwhile to have one of the best college experiences and meet the most amazing perfect partner. I gave love and life another chance and decided to live happily ever after.
It took a good 18 years to be able to talk about him and not have tears….to be able to write this . Now there are times when I am able to complete sentences when I talk about him and not feel sad. But, of course, I still think he will appear magically from the white fluffy clouds every time I take a flight and look outside the window …something tells me he is very close.
The point is, I accepted the worst, saddest days of my life and still gave life a chance. And life didn’t let me down. I now am a happy mother, wife, daughter and am fortunate to wake up next to the three people I love the most. I have a job I love and I have some of the most beautiful friends you can imagine. Life has been extremely kind to me. And I genuinely believe nothing bad can ever happen to me again (excuse me, I lost my mom and then my love…..doesn’t that make up for a lifetime of sadness quota?)!
But, life had interesting plans!