Thursday, October 11, 2012


Arun Mathew Shajan (1990-2012)

I doubt words can actually encapsulate the grief that accompanies the death of a loved one. Just so many disconnected thoughts reminiscing the happiest times and experiences with that person, yet underscored by an overpowering macabre sadness.

Even if I am not really going to see every person I've ever met again in the future, death is really something different - the finality it tenders is brutal. Brings me to the cold reality that life - what we take so naturally for granted as normal or routine - is anything but, and is instead purposeless, it cares for nothing and answers to no one.

It's somewhat like reading a story; life unfurls itself to me as I experience each moment and venture into the next, and yet what makes it different is that I'm part of it. As the world continues on by the laws of physics in all its deterministic glory like infinitely wound up clockwork, I'm merely experiencing and observing what it doles out, as though I'm wading through a pool of ink black unknown, leaving the trail of the revealed past behind me as I'm being pushed forward helplessly one uncertain step at a time, deeper into the darkness of the future, with just the hope that the next step is not a bottomless chasm.

Times like these invert my worldview. It's hard to come to terms that there was a time when today's tragic present was once a mysterious opaquely-cloaked future. The knowledge of his death changes those shared experiences of the past, even the ordinary casual interactions now seem so precious, let alone the best of those times. Every laughing photograph seems like a pristine unsullied world apart. I keep wondering about how he feels about his own death (I assume he's sad and wistful, twiddling his thumbs, saying stuff like "Sorry guys, carry on, something's up"), or that he left somewhere, even though I know there just isn't a he anymore. It's hard to come to terms with cessation of existence. Each time I look at a photograph I'm overwhelmed by what was, and what now isn't. Nothing else seems to matter.

The connection between the high and low level-abstractions of life - a fellow living conscious human being and the cells and organs that make up his body is intuitively unfathomable, it's so much more natural to assume they are 2 independent unrelated systems. The fact that the collapse of the lower level wrenches the highest level out of existence just leaves me floundering.

But all these high-level meta-emotions mean nothing. A friend is dead. Let the tears fall.



Anonymous said...

I read 'Grief'. And then I was reminded of this.

And the tears fell.

Mind-pen said...

Very profound.. I don't know who he he is, but the tears still fell..