“To love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it, and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it. When grief sits with you its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs; when grief weighs you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief, you think how can a body withstand this? Then you hold life, like a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, i will take you, i will love you again” (Ellen Bass)
Life is but a vapor, how quickly it vanishes. I can still remember my grandparents. Grandpa in the Garden, young and strong. Grandma (Big bad mamma my brother would call her) in the kitchen making hominy corn porridge, potato pudding,Dahl and Roti with curried Goat. I still remember her calling him John and him calling her Maislyn. I can recall his eyes beaming with passion when he spoke about his youth, playing cricket, catching Janga in the river. He made sure to tell that Janga was the Hindi word for shrimp. As he spoke I would often times imagine how handsome he was and would think to myself he must have been the most handsome Gardner who ever worked at Kings House located in Jamaica. I remember when my aunt would make him papaya shake and I would anxiously await the portion he would leave for my brother and I.
I can never erase from memory summers in Linstead with my Aunty Rosa, short for Rosalyn. Like grandma she was queen of the kitchen. Even though it has been Sixteen years since she died of pneumonia I can still hear British accent echoing in the yard as she would call out for Ashley to refrain from whatever mischief he was ready to inflict on me his summer prey.
I feel such sadness sometimes when I think about the pool of memories they have left behind. Knowing that they are not present to make current memories. I miss the sound of their voices, I miss the simple things like doing plaits in my Grandmothers hair, and using the scissors to cut the straight Indian grey’s on Daddy’s head. The family tree said he was my Grandfather but to me he was Daddy and I called him so.
It’s never easy to lose someone you care about. It doesn’t matter how u lost them, whether distance, sickness, or if they died naturally or they were killed. Every single day as we breathe someone dies, and that someone has friends and family that hurt and grieve over their loss. Just last year a friend of mine lost her mom, a month ago a coworker died of Cancer, and just recently another friend of mine heard the sad news that his friend was killed by gunshot. When a husband loses a wife, a child his mother or father, a sister her sibling, or a friend his confidant it’s like life is shattered. You move from sunny skies to darkened clouds and life becomes more of a burden than a privilege.
Society tells us to shake it off and move on. We are expected to go through the grieving process as quickly as the pop corn pops in the microwave. When we by pass this process People try to cope in all sorts of ways. Some become silent, because they have hidden the pain, some live in denial to what happened, some become bitter and others just quit living. Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm quotes “to spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.”
Let us remember our loved ones, let us smile and laugh at the good things they contributed to our lives, let us cry when we miss them, let us say that we miss them when we do, let us keep the love we had for them alive and let us live , love and laugh, being grateful that we had them for the time we did, even though it seems they have gone too soon.