A New Year, A New Beginning

Today, millions of people all over the world woke up feeling happy, or at least hopeful. They all started the first day of the new year with a feeling of optimism of what 2011 will bring in the coming months, of the resolutions they have made and sworn to follow, of the old habits they have decided to quit and the new ones they have chosen to adopt. I woke up feeling none of these things, I woke up feeling hollow.

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I would be starting ANY year, let alone this specific one, with one less family member. It’s strange, incomplete, freaky, unreal, and many more words, all of which still wouldn’t be enough to describe this feeling. Last night, people were partying or celebrating, I stayed up trying to find quotes and poems that have death as a prevalent theme. I find words easier to relate to than anything else, and the written form is always better than any other. I’d prefer you send me a story or an anecdote instead of calling me up and saying things you think that might console me. Most of the stuff online is all about how you live to your fullest and not let the thought of death daunt you, but thats useless for me, I don’t think Bhai got a chance to live long enough to live it up as much as possible. Nonetheless, I did manage to find a few things that made sense to me.

Madame de Stael:
We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.

I don’t know who this woman was, but her words ring startlingly true. Before this, I had not bothered to think much about death or how it affected people’s lives. I felt awkward and inadequate whenever I had to address someone who had lost a loved one, I preferred to not think about it at all. It is only now that the death of my brother has affected me so profoundly that I understand what it means. When someone we love dies, it changes us so much. I suddenly feel like all my priorities have changed, like my perspective on so many things has altered, and that things which used to matter to me before now just seem petty and trivial. I feel like I’ve obtained some new sort of identity, one that has been touched by death, and what I was before this was just a semblance of who I will go on to be.

Marcel Proust:
People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.

Once again, so painfully true. It’s been 2 weeks since Bhai died, and for me and my family, time has slowed down to a crawl and we can hardly believe that it’s been 14 days. At the same time, it feels like only a very short period of time has passed by, a few days at most perhaps. It feels like Bhai is not dead, but rather gone away somewhere, and it’s liek he’ll be back any instant and just laugh at us and make fun of us. I can almost hear him, “How could you fall for it, Bazi? I thought you were smart!” He’s still so alive in our minds, and in all our thoughts, that most of the time, it’s impossible to believe and accept that he’s really gone forever.

I don’t know what the new year will bring, but I know my life has changed forever. I know that things will be so strangely different from now on, and that I don’t know what to expect. It’s as if our entire house of cards has crumbled to shreds, and all we can do is watch and try to piece it all back together, slowly, painfully, unwillingly.

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