Grief is a thing with fetters

It’s one day ahead in the calendar, but it was Wednesday last year when I had this weird feeling that I needed to hug my friend when I waved her goodbye as she got on the bus. I don’t usually hug. Not that I don’t like it, it’s just not in my habit. So, anyway, I never hugged my friend.

Also, I never go on my way casually. I’m always awkward, cutting myself off in half a sentence, mumbling something, and then hurrying away. That day, as I turned around to go, I thought to myself, ha, this wasn’t awkward. I felt this brief moment of peace. Of course, like any other gut feeling I ever had, I brushed it off and went about my day.

The following morning, on Thursday, I was supposed to see my friend at uni, but we missed each other by 10 minutes. My classes ended, and hers were about to start. I went home and texted her about some documents we needed, and saw her message from before saying she needed to tell me something about this movie. What was it?

Thursday afternoon, I couldn’t shake the feeling I had forgotten something. It was like I had to do something, but I couldn’t remember what, or I needed to go somewhere. Something’s happening, and I don’t know what. I got myself ready for the following day. No texts, and I went to bed. On Friday, I went to uni and returned to my apartment by 1 p.m., connected to my home wi-fi, checked my messages, and almost missed that one.

It was just a regular, chill, it’s-finally-weekend kind of Friday. I put my clothes to wash before I left for class and forgot about it until later that night. It was around 10 p.m. when an earthquake hit my city. I don’t remember how I got to my washing machine, but I was taking my clothes out when it hit. Between 1 p.m. and the earthquake, I don’t remember anything. I don’t know who I talked to. I don’t know who I texted in panic, trying to find out if it was true.

An earthquake of that magnitude, for which my city isn’t the best prepared, would’ve scared me, but all I could think about was: please, no more. I just lost my friend, and I am alone in my apartment. It’s already too much.

Saturday doesn’t even exist in my memory, and Sunday is a spot of memories, all in slow motion. It was sunny, and it was raining at the same time. I remember the funeral, but like a silent movie – no sound, not even the wind, that was blowing on that hill.

What comes next is replaying every moment, word, and plan we ever had, seeing new meanings in that now. There are a lot of regrets. I’m scared of making plans. I want to talk about my friend. I want to talk to her. I want to lay in bed and have a good cry. I want to turn back time. I want to let her know how much I appreciate her and how she influenced me. I don’t know what I want. But a year has passed.

To this day, I don’t know what happened exactly or when. I saw a picture of a car. Still makes no sense. She used to tell me she didn’t take pain well, and I hope she wasn’t aware of it then.

So, yes, grief is a thing with fetters and my steps are too heavy. I’m dragging my feet into the next day, but there’s something broken. I don’t know that it ever gets easier with time, because the pain gets you at random moments. This was the first time in my life I was faced with a loss that was so abrupt. It moved the thoughts of death and loss from the back of my head to the lump in my throat. It became something I constantly think about.

I decided to talk about it here because I think it helps to talk about it. If I leave it to quiet, it’s so overwhelming, like a wave crashing over me. All the emotions come suddenly. I’ll burst into tears because I let that bubble grow and tried to keep it in. And also, my friend deserves to be talked about. She is probably the most authentic and true person I’ve ever met. Such a rich and kind soul. Kind. She’s the kindest person ever.

She used to take me aback with her way of thinking and her questions, the kind of conversations I never had with anyone else. She made me think of the things I otherwise completely overlooked. She had an understanding and empathy only rare people have.

I miss her.

“Nemoj budit odsanjane snove, nek miruje ono čega ne bi.”

Sergej Jesenjin

4 thoughts on “Grief is a thing with fetters

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss! I can relate with your grief. I lost my grandfather to cancer a few months back and as much as life goes on, I feel like I’m not able to get rid of the grief in my heart. It’s not just that he passed it was also how he passed, the pain of it all. Sometimes it just washes over me and I’m just filled with so much pain. But know that you aren’t alone and…time will heal us. ❤️

    1. Thank you <3 I'm sorry for your loss, too. The grief is suffocating sometimes, but on the other hand, we also have to remind ourselves that their pain is gone now. If you ever need a talk, or anything, I'm here :)

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