Grieving is a peculiar thing – you thought it would be the same terrain that you went through before and then discovered that it was similar and yet different altogether. When my younger brother passed away in 2008, I pretty much lived on adrenalin the day after I heard the news. I stopped by the office to tell my boss about my sudden trip and then travelled all the way to Bandung to face the eye of the emotional storm. I grieved together with my siblings and my parents then, although they started before me – having been there when it all happened.
Now, I’m the one cocooned by my life here in Adelaide, coping in a manner that I know how while the rest of the family are going through the cycle of grieving together. In my case, grief wiped away my appetite for most of the day until my stomach demanded to be fed at about sundown for the last couple of days. I still can’t front anybody who would offer their condolences in person – I’m afraid it would only make me upset. Going to the university today to teach my Tuesday tutorial class means that I had to at least meet some of my colleagues who conveyed their condolences. I thanked their support and tried to quickly change the subject as my way of coping with the situation. Death is such an awkward thing to talk about – it’s uncomfortable, it’s like a dark cloak that shadows your environment. I wouldn’t want to affect any of my friends with this negativity. I applaud you for reading this blog entry, even. Some would be reading this out of morbid curiousity, some would be reading out of concern. Some would quickly skip my blog entry notification in Facebook – not wanting to be affected by the doom and gloom and the depth of sadness. I don’t blame them really. I would rather read happy or funny posts rather than reading about a grieving process.
I also had flashes of memories of Dad and I as I drove to the uni and back – realising that he won’t be there anymore when I head back to Indonesia in the future. All that is left of him when I arrive tomorrow night would be a dark brown coffin, surrounded by my siblings and relatives, curious to see what my reactions would be. They have moved on with their grieving process while I am the one insulated, grieving through a different pace. I am dreading being back in Indonesia tomorrow – don’t get me wrong, I want to be there to be with my family and to support my mum emotionally, but I’m dreading having to sink lower emotionally.
Before I close my blog entry, I would like to thank everyone who has passed their messages of support through Facebook, emails or text messages. They are much appreciated – and whilst I can’t answer each one of you, you have no idea how you have propelled me emotionally. Had those messages been delivered in person, undoubtedly I would have been on a continuous cycle of thanking and crying. I am also thankful for the pictures that my fifth sister posted on her Facebook page – I could see the wake and my Dad’s smiling picture in front of the coffin, as well as the number of flowers and wreaths that have been delivered. Dad would’ve loved it – it’s the kind of thing that he loved. He loved being appreciated.
So, hit me up emotionally, Grief – I’m ready to meet you tomorrow.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)