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30 and Learning…

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death

The Weight of a What-if

Sunny’s death is something I couldn’t have averted but I could have loved him better…

Everyone who sees my grief tells me the same thing – that I did the best I could, that I did way more than what anyone else would have done for him. But I am not anyone else, I am me, and I know I didn’t give him my best. Love hurts, yes. But what hurts more is the knowledge that I could have loved more, and I didn’t. Caring hurts. But to know that I could have cared better, that I wanted to care better, is something I am unable to cope with.

I am an empath; I am capable of loving and caring a lot more than most people do, and I do it without any expectations. That is the detachment I wrote about few days ago. I didn’t expect Sunny to live just because he was with me. He had to go if his time came. I accept that. I didn’t expect him to stay with me had he recovered. I would have happily rehabilitated him. My love wasn’t based on these conditions. My love is unconditional and boundless but in Sunny’s case, my love reached a limit, at least that is how I see it, although it’s not true.

I keep thinking what if I had stayed with him. The vet said that he died of pain. He was too small for any medical intervention. I couldn’t have taken away his pain. But I could have been there and comforted him through the pain. Maybe he felt lonely and scared, I could have made him feel loved and safe. I cannot stop apologizing to his dead body but I will never get the forgiveness that I am seeking. The weight of this what-if, and a forgiveness that I’ll never find, how to move on from that?

I wish he’d come back to life, just for a moment, and tell me that he forgives me. I wish someone could give me this forgiveness! We are humans, we are bound to make mistakes. Mistakes don’t define our character, it’s how we deal with them. But how can I deal with this mistake? How can I do right by him? He is gone. I can only learn- there is a lesson to be learned from every mistake we make. Sunny has re-taught me the meaning of responsibility and life. Life is fragile and our days are numbered. We don’t know if there will be a tomorrow. So we must make the most of today, give it our very best so that in case tomorrow doesn’t come we may lie in peace knowing that we didn’t leave any unfinished business for tomorrow. And love like there is no tomorrow. Because sometimes it’s too late to tell someone that you love them and living with regrets is the worst kind of pain. There is no comfort, only penance.

I am going through that pain right now. And I must go through it alone, like Sunny did. Maybe that is my penance.

Sunny, wherever you are, know that I loved you and I didn’t mean to leave you alone. I hope you will forgive me

Destiny

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Just two days ago I wrote about detachment, and here I am crying over the death of a bird I found on the street just yesterday…

Sunny, as I had started calling him fondly, was a purple rumped sunbird, and hence the name. I found him by chance, on a street with a broken wing. I picked him up, took him to a vet, brought him home and tried to care for him as best as I could. But earlier today he took his last breath in my hands. I held him gently, yelling at him in despair to keep fighting, to not give up, to stay with me. But with each passing minute I could feel life slipping away from his tiny, brilliantly colored body, until all that was left was a dead bird in my hands. I cried and cried until I could cry no more. The sadness hadn’t subdued but I think my tear glands couldn’t produce any more tears. My heart is still crying, and that’s why I am here.

Sunny was a spritely little fella. Even with a broken wing he was constantly hopping around. He’d hop from my hand to my chest, to the shoulder and finally to my head, where he’d stay perched until I picked him up and put him down. He was truly a ray of sunshine, lighting up my life even if just for a day. Thinking about him still puts a smile on my face!

Then why am I sad? It’s not his death that I am mourning, it’s a feeling of guilt that’s weighing on me. When I woke up today I had decided to cancel all my plans for the day and stay home to watch him. Then he went to sleep, and I thought I could step out. He seemed cozy. He had been napping on my hand on and off all morning so I thought he can use some rest and I some time out with friends. Even as my friends were coming to pick me up I had a voice in the back of my head telling me to stay. But I didn’t. When I came back Sunny was still sleeping. I tried waking him up but he fluttered his wings and remained in his hideout. So I went about my business. Then I went back to check on him and something about him didn’t look right. I picked him instantly, tried to give him some water and nectar but he didn’t take either. It was the beginning of the end.

As I watched him go slowly I couldn’t help but be mad at myself for leaving him. I should have listened to the voice in my head, I should have been there with him! I don’t know if I could have made any difference but I wouldn’t be living with this guilt that I have now. But should this be about me? Is anything about me, about any of us?

Like a friend rightly said to me, in an attempt to console me, “…we all play a part and in this story, (I) played (mine)”. I played my part. And maybe that is how my part was supposed to be. I could go on wishing for time to turn around so I may undo what’s been done. But the truth is that I cannot change what has happened. I can only take solace in knowing that I tried. I wish I could say that I tried my best. But maybe, just maybe, my friend is right. And maybe this is how my part in little Sunny’s life was meant to play out. I do believe in destiny, and I have come to believe that there’s a plan for all of us. So maybe this was part of the plan; just a role that I had to play, a rather difficult one. To cry over it would only mean that I think I had any control over what happened. I relinquished control over my own life a long time ago, then how can I be presumptuous to think that I had any control over Sunny’s life. It was destiny, both his and mine, that brought us together and it was destiny that decided when our time was up. To think that I had the power to change that is sheer ignorance, and perhaps arrogance too.

So once again, I admit defeat to fate… tell myself that this is how it was meant to be… And hold on to the lovely moments little Sunny and I shared.

RIP Sunny, you lit up my world!

Died May 1, 2018

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Pieces of My Heart

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Two days and I’m back here again… Something must be the matter!

Writing liberates me. I don’t write for money, or likes, or recognition. I think that if I did that my words would lose the soul they now have. I write to get in touch with myself. It’s just another way I meditate, but with my eyes open. Sometimes I meditate, in the traditional sense of the word, to ease a restless mind. But when the heart is brimming, it needs to be emptied. So I pour it out in words here, in my ironically private space.

So yes, my heart is brimming. It’s teeming with all sorts of emotions, but mostly with love and pain. The two generally go hand in hand anyway. I said two days ago that someone is taking away a piece of my heart with him. But in order to give someone a piece, you have to break your heart first, and it hurts when the heart breaks. So there’s love, and there’s pain. Now, I’m not talking about a breakup or any other romantic affliction. This someone is not a flame or a lover but just a soul that connected with mine and filled it with love.

Last few years of my life have been so rich with experiences. I have seen a lot of hurt and sadness, but even more love and joy. It amazes me just how many ways love has found its way into my life. I have met and loved the most unlikely people, in the most unlikely way; experienced love that is truly unconditional and transcends all kinds of stereotypes. Love that is so pure it doesn’t demand any words or proof, it can simply be felt. So I look forward to each new day with childlike wonder in my eyes because I know it might bring me something beautiful that I didn’t even know existed.

It’s not that life wasn’t rich before these last few years. But my heart was closed. I don’t think I allowed myself to love as freely and easily as I do now. What has, in fact, changed in the last few years is my attitude towards life. I have connected with my soul, and the soul only knows love. It feeds on love, and so it seeks love. I hold no judgements, have no expectations of others. I just want to connect with their soul, and if I find it then love just follows. In a way, my life is full of many a soul mate.

Somedays when I wake up, the first thing on my mind is death, like “one day I will not wake up at all”. It’s not a dark, depressing thought. Death is an inevitable truth so I don’t see it as a macabre subject. I see it as objectively as I see the sun rising and setting each day, it’s the law of nature. At least for now. But until my time is up, I want to keep finding love, in all the unexpected places, in all the unexpected people, in all the unexpected ways. I want to break my heart into a thousand little pieces and spread it all over. Because with each piece I give away, I collect love in return. And when I die, I don’t want a whole but empty heart, in its place I want a soul full of love. That way I’d know I lived a full life.

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