The weather is too beautiful not to be missing her. When a cool orange glow lights up the evening sky and bounces off window panes, I find myself sipping on tea and lost in thoughts of her. Tea-drinking was ceremonious to Marie. Even on her busiest day, she would always make time for a leisurely cup of tea. Sitting on her couch, squinting at nothing in particular, lining up the thoughts in her head…that’s how I remember her. There was so much she wanted from life and so much she wanted to give back. Marie was my mirror, my reflection; a strong, warm soul with a highly raucous laugh. Now there are only memories, empty spaces and echoes.
People come and go. But soul-sisters are a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Marie and I met as most people do, in accordance with destiny’s plans. It seemed like an ordinary friendship at first. But when we started completing each other’s thoughts and understanding the in-between silences, that’s when it got eerie. That’s when we realised that our connection ran deep.
There was this one time, when I needed to travel on my own. I was young and naïve. I tried putting it off because I had never travelled alone or lived apart from my husband. She just said one thing to me: “You need to do this, Ren; not because you have to go, but because you choose to”. That was my one way trip to emotional independence. She was always trying to pull me through.
When I lost Marie to a terminal illness, the tears did not come as expected. They came a good two years later. Out of nowhere and without any warning. It was late evening; the lights were dimmed, there was music playing and I was nestling a drink. That was how we rolled back in those days too. That was how we defined leisure and camaraderie. And just like that, I broke in half. The sobs came hard and left me exhausted. But strangely enough, they healed me too.
That night, it was as if Marie came and gently removed the bookmark from our chapter and urged me to move on. She was big on finishing what you started. Like always, even though a hallucination, she took my hand and led me to myself.
At about that time, I wrote a few lines but never dared to share it. I’m doing it now because someone somewhere might need a connection. Someone might need hope and courage; because losing a loved one can mess up your mind in a big way.
They say there are six stages of grief – denial, anger, fear, guilt, depression and lastly, acceptance. Different people might deal with it in different ways. But closure is important. And acceptance is key.
STAGES OF GRIEF
I ain’t devout, prayed very rare
Went to church once, found my angel there
She left too soon, I wasn’t ready
It left me hurt and all unsteady
I refused to believe that it was final
What it was, is pure DENIAL
Saw her lifeless, no smile no more
My tears were dried, my heart was sore
Her daughter stood by, just a teenager
All I could feel was rage and ANGER
Then they put her six feet under
The candles were lit, it seemed like a blunder
How could I live without you dear?
My heart was gripped with chilling FEAR
I brooded for months over what went wrong
Could have supported more, could have been strong
My mind was boggled with a lot of filth
What I felt was searing GUILT
The skies got cloudy, the birds didn’t sing
My moods were morose, I’d lost my wings
Got all worked up, felt frustration
Sank into pits of dark DEPRESSION
One night then, I dreamt of her
She smiled at me, and smiled some more
Are you fine love, I asked her then
She nodded her head and held out her hand
I hugged her close, she wasn’t in pain
Her heart was strong, her face radiant
She made me promise, I’ll move on then
Finally there came ACCEPTANCE
© Renica Rego