It was New Year’s Eve. One of the worst days to have a long term relationship come to an end, I thought then. Although I had made that decision a few months prior, the rendezvous was that cold evening of December 31st a few years ago. As I walked back North Main Road, I was in tears. Beyond a relationship, it is terrible to lose a friend. For years even though I started untangling the issues that made me take that decision, I would wonder what had happened to this friend. Though the self work was happening and I was ‘unhooking’ the idea of attachment from love, something always felt incomplete.
A few months ago I started noticing in an empty space of my mind the subtleties that were left behind. Through my mundane tasks, suddenly a vision of him boarding a train would flash in my mind. Sometimes I would just unconsciously be drawn to someone with a red jacket, thinking it was him. At other places I would just expect him to be there. As I started noticing all of these, I asked Mauli (my mentor) what was happening. Am I not over him as yet? After all these years am I still waiting for him?
As I asked her, some answers began to rise that caught in my throat. A part of me was always with him, came the whispers of my heart. I couldn’t take them back and I didn’t feel complete. She smiled and told me that it is all oneness. Enjoy the pain of oneness. But, I cried, it is painful. I don’t want to let him go! She asked me to write to him all that I felt. And I told her I had consciously broken off contact since he had married soon after. Well, she said, it is time you got back in touch. I was dumbfounded. I felt guilty just having this conversation about him. She asked me then what is your intention behind writing to him? Is it to get him back? Then that is making you feel guilty. And I realised I have to come to terms to. Just write without expectation of him even reading it, she said.
The conversation lingered on in my heart. Somewhere I did not want to let him go. His memories were precious. Inspite of having deleted all his pictures, having deleted all our past mails and having given away even the wedding trousseau I had bought to get married to him, I was still holding on.
Until a few weeks back when I opened a Hay House mailer (shared below) and it gave my heart that final tug that was needed to open the chute:
As I read through this simple, straightforward proposition of love from the heart, I had found the courage to do it. I woke up to the fact that I can keep waiting a hundred years for the memory reel “to end”. But it won’t. Simply because that would defeat the whole purpose of having that memory – to remind me of the sweetness of love that existed. It also pointed me to simply realising that I deserved this memory, I deserved to still keep loving.
I started writing a long mail to this friend after looking up his email id. It took a while to put feelings down into words because I was so used to covering them up. As simple as I could, I put it all down, in the process of which I realised that love takes time, friendship takes time. Maybe decisions can be made and communication lines can be broken in a day but the heart is not a fencing ground. After 3 years there were more things about that friendship that came to light which I didn’t have the awareness to notice at that time. The mail ended with gratitude for all the moments treasured. Strange…the things that time cannot take away from us are the very things given to us by time.
I sat back and felt the mail, as if I was holding a handwritten letter close to my heart before I could send it. Yes. There was a sense of completion. The burden of leaving things unsaid was no longer present. And so the mail was sent.
Over the next few days, I started ‘completing’ things – which for me was speaking my true feelings to people. My boss, friends across the world, family, my old house, writing even for someone I loved but couldn’t express my feelings to in the form of poems.
The emptiness has since been sinking in. The mental chatter is over and the silence feels real. A part of us is always listening.
Yesterday I saw the sun shinin’,
And the leaves were fallin’ down softly,
My cold hands needed a warm, warm touch,
And I was thinkin’ about you.
Here I am lookin’ for signs of leaving,
You hold my hand, but do you really need me?
I guess it’s time for me to let you go,
And I’ve been thinkin’ about you,
I’ve been thinkin’ about you.
When you sail across the ocean waters,
And you reach the other side safely,
Could you smile a little smile for me?
’cause I’ll be thinkin’ about you,
I’ll be thinkin’ about you,
I’ll be thinkin’ about you,
I’ll be thinkin’ about you.