Today marks Year 6.
I never write obituaries, because how does one put into words the hollowness of picking up a phone, mind reeling with news only to hear an answering dull tone. And then remember. How does one encapsulate with just 26 alphabets the awkward silences as we skirt around your empty seat at gatherings, and how that makes your non-presence, more present.
For a time, words were my shield. Like a tapestry weaved of my own non-acceptance, I hid in the non-realities they wielded, blanketing my consciousness in the comfort of oblivion. But words, though a salving balm, made a flimsy fortress against time.
So I decided to live in action. Recovery started in little ways. A smile at a child, and then one day I surprised myself when a laugh escaped, and that grew and grew and we slowly learnt how to spread that around. For years now, I made a conscious decision to do all the things you never will, never had the chance to. I went out and did silly things, crazy things, stupid things, things people told me were impossible. I made mistakes, lots of them, I made them for you. I challenged my boundaries, I pushed my limits, I got rewarded, I got hurt. But boy did I live.
Soon, I’ll reach your forever age, and as I age, so perhaps will the memory of you. Perhaps that is why I keep writing, because to cut into these healing wounds, I am reminded of my deepest fear : of how each year, the scars hurt less. And dreams of you become flimsy threads connecting our very existence to your previous one. Is it not an irony that in the effort to forget, one has to remember what there is to be forgotten in the first.
Today marks Year 6. And I’m still learning to forget remembering.