When I look at the death of other people, I cry. Not because of the death of the departed, but because of the agony of the ones who are left behind. The dead is gone. He does not feel anymore. He does not need my tears or my lamentations. But the family and friends bearing all the sadness of his passing… these are the ones whom my heart aches for. Because they are alive and they can feel the pain of loss and longing. They are hurt, while the dead is not. I yearn to console them with all of my being, but how, that I do not know. I can never master the art of comforting people.
This is even true in case the departed is a loved one, not just someone who I do not know or do not care about. I will cry hysterically and question the universe, question God. I will initially never understand why that person has to be taken away from us; why he has to leave. I will mourn. However, after accepting the fact of death, and after my brain has processed the information, I see my other loved ones grieving. That is when I feel a greater and deeper wound forming inside of me. I feel an obligation to somehow fill in the void that was created by death; to complete the emptiness. However, this will never hold true if my father dies, because he is my life - the very core reason of my existence; my pressure point. He is an exception to everything that I have ever believed in. I have to be strong for others and to go on with life for my remaining loved ones, I have to live for my mother, but what do you do of a dead soul? What do you make of a spiritless human body?
A reflection after reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, after crying yesterday night trying to comfort my cousin who was missing her deceased father, after watching John Watson mourn over Sherlock’s fake death, and other circumstances where too many a times I’ve realized this. I did not cry when Augustus died. I thought that maybe because I was never in love so I cannot imagine losing the great love of my life (which is non-existent). But I cried when Morrie died in Tuesday’s with Morrie even if I had no dying teacher when I read it. I did not cry about Hazel’s reaction, but I was very concerned on how she was doing; how she was coping, and I felt like I had to comfort her in some way. I thought I was going to cry a bucket of tears when reading this book, but the truth was, I was only teary-eyed at some point, but it was only after reading the last part of Augustus’ letter that my tears cascaded.
"You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers". --Augustus Waters, The Fault In Our Stars
The quote strikes me profoundly, because I am hurt. That is a fact that the universe knows. I have scars, but I love the person who hurts me. I don’t just like my choices, I love my choices.
And if I will ever leave a legacy, which are too often scars, the world must know my story that I love my father so deeply and vastly as the universe despite the reality that he is the one and only person who hurts me the most.
I love my mother so deeply and vastly as the universe, but she does not hurt me as much. Her love for me and my siblings is immeasurable and beyond comprehension. But if she dies, my soul will live, because her soul will be there beside my soul, holding it, embracing it, nurturing it, just like what mothers always do. Understand that I may love them differently, but I love them equally.