Monday 16 April 2018

Thought Picnic: The private grief we've had

The private grief we've had,
As close friends passed away,
Our silent mourning souls,
Couldn't share what made us sad,
In closets, we all wept,
As kith and kin ignored,
The truth of who we were,
The secrets of our lives,
The burdens we still bore,
Of friends that mattered more.
The secrets of our grief
I wrote the poem above in a tweet just a week ago when a friend who I had just learnt had terminal cancer passed away. The realisation that I was sorrowful and yet without those with whom to share that feeling of loss just dawned on me.
It was not the first time that I have shared the demise of a friend and within the compartmentalisation of my affairs, there are relationships that are as public as they can be and others that are private, discreet, secret and not open to scrutiny.
For those who knew every aspect of my life, to whom I have had the freedom to share my thoughts, feelings and secrets, much can be said about grief, not only of the loss but the fondness and memories that made the person significant, to others whose knowledge of my more private truths are not that obvious, you’re left second-guessing how they would react to being let into the privy of a life.
The love I lost
When I lost my lover just a few days after being discharged from the hospital, I was dealing with a major crisis in my health and other issues that got compounded with the death of a partner. The continuous badgering to get married which could easily have been met with the great disapproval of my choices in life meant announcing my grief and the depth of it would not be understood.
There are many I have met in my social circle, which is varied, diverse, alternative and different that have been of some great significance in my life, friends, lovers, acquaintances, buddies of all kinds that would put the faces of polite society to full blush, we all have our kind of company and those who various kinds of fulfilment to the joy of living and the pursuit of happiness.
For them, there was always a tear, a sense of loss, the heartbroken feeling of the end, with all that is left is memories, thoughts, reminiscences and dreams. They occupy a portion of life that cannot be denied or taken away, whether or not they are acknowledged by others.
We all have our normal
Maybe, it would have been easier to lose someone that fits some norm, the fact is we all lose many that do not fit any easy norm without the need for extraneous explanation that would leave the listener more confused and open you to the negatives of disavowal, disapproval, disdain, disgust and consequent distress or disgrace, all of which is unnecessary in the scheme of things.
You can be a man and lose your boyfriend or husband, be a woman and lose your girlfriend or wife, none of which is insignificant to the heteronormative. We would not be denied the feelings we have for the living and grief we have when they are departed, even if we are denied the opportunity to pay our last respects to them.
We are always the truth of who we are, even in the secrets of our exciting and sometimes turbulent lives, for we bear the burdens of those dear and loving friends over the times we had the pleasure and privilege of knowing them, to the truth that they did matter more than anyone else would ever know.

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