In the last three years, several relatives, neighbours and acquaintances have passed away. Regardless of how well I knew them or how soon the passing was, death always leaves my stomach churning.
Some say preparation would lessen the pain. However, that's easier said than done. Don't we all know it's inevitable? One way or another, the ones we love are going to be taken away from us. Someday, we too will be on our way.
As far as grief is concerned, we can never prepare enough. No amount of preempting or funeral throwbacks can ever prepare us for that overwhelming feeling of loss. Kind and sympathetic words will never fully heal the deep, nagging sadness gnawing our heart. The moment it happens, we have nowhere else to turn to but to our grief.
People look at grief as if it's their own worst nightmare. But what else could we do? Death will always be a part of life. Moreover, besides death, there are far too many things that cause grief. No matter how careful we are, one way or another, someone or something will hurt us and the more we fight and deny it, the deeper the void becomes.
The only way to deal with the accompanying pain is to grieve. Yes, surrender to your sadness. Cry, bawl, get angry or scream in agony if you must but the sooner you embrace the pain, the sooner it goes away. And lest you forget, time will always have your back. Drowning out our sorrows with unnecessary undertakings will only prolong our suffering. To overcome grief, we must let it in.
The fact that life is a one-way train where there's no turning back shouldn't stop us from giving our all and living to the fullest. If sadness sits with us all too often in this journey, remember that we're not alone and humanity is blessed with the gift of healing.