It’s our loss and no one else’s
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is not an easy burden to bear, to say the least. At the time of writing this, it has been one and a half months since my Fiancée died and left me with a handsome three month old son. I have first hand experience and am not writing this as an attempt to console anyone. I am not a therapist, psychologist or anything like that. I am just a victim of untimely loss of a loved one.
I am, however, writing this article as an account of some of the emotional changes I have been through and still am experiencing. Let me say first off, people (at least myself) who have suffered such a loss, do not need excessive consolation. A simple “I’m sorry” will suffice, then move on. Too often people, who have absolutely no idea what you’re going through, wants to give worn out advice on how to deal with it.
We are angry and sad, so we don’t need or are not ready for advice or solutions. We just need to work it through our systems. We need time to mourn, not with people in our face trying to talk to us about something they don’t understand. We will talk to people in our own time, of our own choosing and about what we want to, but we won’t talk to anyone who tries to push themselves into something that is not their business.
A rolling stone gathers no remorse
I now understand the importance of prolonged pre and post funeral activities. It kept me focused on the job at hand, not giving me time to crumble at my most vulnerable period.
Around the funeral period, I had so many other tasks, legal and social, to perform that it didn’t give me time to slow down and think about what had just transpired. At nights I was so exhausted, I just slipped off to sleep without knowing what happened and when I woke up, there was always something to do and supportive (not pushy) family and friends around to keep me occupied.
The return of reality
About a week after the funeral, I started waking up in the middle of the night sobbing, or breaking down spontaneously during the day. Things started to calm down, so my mind was open to straying onto days gone by. The shock of the week before was wearing off and I was beginning to feel again. Shock has a way of numbing your mind and body.
I cried for days on end. It seemed I was getting worse, rather than better. I definitely needed to be left alone at this point; I needed to finally start grieving. I didn’t answer the phone; I confined myself to the bedroom. I just needed seclusion. Thank God, my Fiancée’s family took care of the baby for me during this time.
On evenings, I went over to see my son. He was my only salvation, my only hope, my only reason for holding and moving on. If I didn’t have a reason to be strong, I would have spiraled into oblivion, or so I felt. Every person finds that reason somewhere.
Anger is born from loss
What followed was the angry phase. I was angry with the doctors, nurses, the hospitals. I was angry with God for letting this happen and at the same time still very thankful for my son. I was angry with myself. I thought I didn’t do my best; I didn’t give my all to try to prevent this from happening. Up to this day, I still blame myself and no one else. I don’t know if that’ll ever go away.
I don’t know if there are better ways to handle the self directed anger, but I used it as motivation to make a promise to myself and my beloved fiancée, to do my best to not let something like this happen to our son. I started reading and writing articles on the internet. I am strenuously working on securing my son’s future.
The calming of the storm
This phase, about one and a half months after my loss, I am presently experiencing. I no longer break down all day long, but quite often, little things remind me of my fiancée and I feel tears building in my eyes. Most of the time I can painfully contain it especially when around people.
I still cry sometimes before I go to sleep. I can’t watch movies without breaking down. I still get dreams about my love and may wake up crying. It’s not as intense and prolonged as before, but I do break down spontaneously when alone.
I still find it hard to believe and accept all that has happened and I still blame myself. I am not ready nor do I think I want to let go of these emotions. They drive me forward. I still don’t need to hear people offering me advice especially not from those who don’t know what it feels like.
What’s the moral?
There’s no reason for this account, except probably, to let the world know how it feels. I know many others have suffered the same but I don’t know if their emotional experiences are similar.
Most importantly, for those who don’t know, do not try to console us with advice or clichés. I am not a violent individual, but there are some who won’t hesitate to floor someone for it. Just say sorry and move on.
This is dedicated to the two loves of my life, my dearly departed, Christine Topha, and our handsome baby boy, Caleb Topha Singh. I’ll always cherish you both in that special place in my heart.