I used to wish James and I weren’t so close. I used to wish I didn’t call him my best friend, and I wished we didn’t have so much in common. I naively wished these things away, in the hope I could numb the pain of his absence. Losing someone to suicide is so complex. I ran on adrenalin and beef mince pies for the first couple of weeks, not knowing which way was up. The first year was undoubtedly the hardest. I spent mornings on the cold kitchen floor, in a pool of tears, struck down by grief. I was only 22 years old, and nothing so tragic had happened to me, nor to anyone around me. I was paving this path myself. I had no example to follow and having become an only child overnight, I had never felt so alone. It goes without saying that life after losing a loved one requires some intense adjustment. Continuing without them is unfathomable, until they aren’t there — then you have no choice. I will always fight a pang of envy when someone speaks of their sibling. I will always run out of a store when a song from his funeral plays, and I will think of him every single day, even when some days I just want to forget. Thankfully, coping mechanisms for my grief have developed over the past five years. The most life changing has been my discovery of poetry. Poetry came into my life a mere six months ago when a friend read me some of Rupi Kaur’s work. I resonated with her words and decided to give it a go. Five years of pain spilled out of me, and it keeps on coming. It has been the most cathartic release for me, and my grief episodes have become less severe and less common. Poetry has become my friend, the friend who always listens, asks questions, without judgment and with an insurmountable amount of love and compassion. I hope loss and light can be that friend for many others, too.
When your pain stopped
Some days you come alive
through my voice
and the warmth in my eyes
my soul is so tired
it fools itself into believing
you never existed
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