Irony can hit you hard sometimes, and God how I wish it would not have to unfortunately be me this time around
The last post I had written was about feeling comfortable not being in control. At that point my confidence was so high that I didn’t see how I could meet a situation which I wouldn’t be able to develop coping mechanisms around and train myself to go through any storm where things were not in my control. Little was I to know that God was going to push me further.
Without beating around the bush any further, let me tell you that I lost a part of me in December. I — no, we lost our second to-be child in the most heart-breaking of circumstances. I will not “move on” but carry my pain and this void forward as I should. I can just share with you that the way I channel that pain, anger, and frustration will determine the fate of my future just because it meant so much to me.
Dealing with my anguish was a mix of weeping, letting out screams, being depressed and suicidal thoughts as well. I live somewhere where there is extreme cold at times and snow. I contemplated just sitting in heavy snow without my winter jacket on one morning till I froze to death. Another time while warming food on the gas, I wanted to just put my hand on the scalding hot cooktop. At each of these times I was reminded of one miracle that we had already been blessed with in our first child. And the sense I know her little brother would have had to scoff at my ludicrous intentions while providing me with more sense in the decisions I made. The irony in all this wasn’t lost on me — I realised that I was mourning a life that was not to be while giving rise to thoughts that would end one that actually has possibilities to be more than it has been. Thus, wherever I reach in life from hereon will be at least in good part because of this loss and renewed perspective gained from it.
While writing this post a part of me said to myself, — but Shubbankar, isn’t that contrary to what you want for your brothers and sisters affected by depression and those dealing with suicidal tendencies? Don’t you want them to have happy thoughts and leave their sorrows behind to have and facilitate a more constructive mindset? To which I want to say two things. One, please never be shy in changing your mind about something and I go by the same principle. And secondly, I don’t think I have intended for people to hide from their feelings and not express their emotions. Doing so is not only acknowledgement of your inner systems that allow for better healing as the problem gets defined better, but it is also liberating to say the least.
Let me share my own example through this episode. I don’t think I have cried as much in my life across a month. This was the most pain I have ever felt in three decades and some. However, only after acknowledging this pain was I able to grow and reach a place where I can talk about my loss with so much perspective while not being vulnerable to shedding tears. My wife and I didn’t console one another at all. Rather, we gave each other permission to cry as much as we wanted while being on phone and in two separate continents — since she had gone back home to visit family.
I almost feel like apologising for dampening the mood in my first post back from a hiatus. A lot of people have lost loved ones since the pandemic started in scenarios they wouldn’t have otherwise envisioned. And my loss on the surface may not compare. But this is not a competition and each detail not shared might be something that tilts your opinions incrementally. Just like the depression of a billionaire’s son is still depression.
What I am trying to get at is that I just wanted to share this because I almost gave up writing because of this — I was hit that hard. My deceased little one just said to me — “Dad, that is just one piece too many.” Saying it like that does seem creepy, I will admit. But let no one ever tell you what your coping mechanism should be no matter how weird it sounds or seems. If it works for you and doesn’t harm anyone else, then that is all you need to care about. In this case, even though I miss “numero Dos” (as one of my previous colleagues put it, and it stuck with me), I can’t let my affection for that loss go overboard that it hampers my wife or my toddler daughter.
I will always remember numero Dos in fond memories and what happiness he had brought to the entire family even while still in the womb. I often think about what he would say about my behaviour in various circumstances. This helps me become a better person and calm myself down. I also am very focused on how I am channeling my helplessness and anger that accompanied the loss in the pursuit of building something that outlasts this era and is dedicated to everyone as much as it is to “Kiano”, the name I had thought for him. Take care little one, and be a joy wherever you go; I shall take a leaf from your book too.
My sincere sorry to anyone who may have been hurt by this post in any way. My intention will never be that for any of my posts, and whatever came through did so spontaneously. I am very jittery and I don’t even know if I should continue to write. My confidence has been smashed again and I am using my loss as fuel to snatch that back. I wish the same for all those around the world who might be in a similar boat even if not via this very trajectory.