Sunday, 6 July 2014

Grief; what is that?

The loss of depth; my redefinition of the concept of grief and how we should but couldn’t deal with it, afterall.

Grief is something you can never prepare for. The new predicament that you have been thrown into. Grief is a human, not medical, condition. While there are pills or methods to help us forget it, there is no concrete way to cure it. Since the griefstruck rarely know what they want or need, offence-giving and offence-taking are common. The anger are vented instead on people around them.

To what extent in this vortex of missing am I missing this person, or missing the life we had or could have had together, or missing what was in him that made me a better person or all or the overlapping bits of each? What happiness is there in just the memory of shared happiness? How in any case that might work, given that happiness has ever been considered of something shared?

What doesn’t kill us make us stronger? Really? There are heaps of things that fail to kill us but weaken and pain us forever. Look around at those emotionally damaged by mere ordinary life.

Grief reconfigures geography. In this new-found land, there is no border, except the degree of pain. Who has fallen from the greater height, or who has been climbing back up? Nonetheless, there are still new, random pains for which you can never be prepared or protected from. Like looking at your pictures or visiting places you’ve been to together, just that alone this time round. All that. “We” are now watered down to “I”. Binocular memory has become monocular. So trapped between the paradoxical concept of grief, still – does the pain come from the remembering or the forgetting, or the fact that the person you once loved or still love can only be described in the past-present tense. Your new achievements are now thinner, less significant and does not matter that much anymore because there is no shared celebration. Could anything be changed? Such questions are rhetorical, hypothetical and operatic.

Grief-work is an ambiguous unpaid work. It is difficult to tell if you are making progress or how.


Julian Barne's Levels of life has beautifully put grief and mourning in words I never thought possible. It's reading something so familiar, something i revisit everyday. Or maybe, something that's perfectly assimilated in my emotions department.