The odd thing is that love is a lonely, lonely experience but grief is a communal one.

Love is lonely. We struggle to explain why we love who we love, often even to the object of our affections. For even in reciprocation, there isn’t equality. Love after all, is an expression of our unique identity, our specific needs & abilities & where we are at that point of time in our lives. That’s never going to be exactly the same as another human. We love alone. It isn’t even a ‘we’. I love alone & love is a constant reminder of the aloneness of my journey.

Grief, on the other hand, is communal. It has a common objective, a universal agreement that death is a loss & a painful one. This agreement though, is a shallow one as the depth & breadth of our loss is a function of our love for the lost one as well as how we love as individuals. Maybe that’s why there’s so much bad behaviour at funerals. We are hit by the betrayal of the community in not understanding us, the acute disconnection of being adrift in solo pools of pain.

Grief, I guess, is a temporary united articulation of love. That is why we only say the good things about people when they’re gone, in obituaries & memorials. The messiness, the awry intimacies, the incomplete strands of relating we hold in our minds, spending the rest of our lives figuring out.

@jedikhare, the beating heart emoji you sent me after reading a post I sent you, still beats on WhatsApp. Yours doesn’t. This is me telling myself that this is love. My love. A picture of you I picked up from one of your friends’ feeds, full of affection & mirth for a cat, is in my gallery, making me teary-laugh. That is my grief. I have to assume your understanding but I know already your acceptance. Even if you’re not there to say it. And I must continue my learning of life & love, carrying you in my heart, hoping it means for the first time, I’m not alone in this knowing.

Go in peace, my dear friend, into eternal peace & learning. You are loved, you are missed, you will always be remembered.

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