One of the hardest emotions is to let go. I have written about this in 2016, a year after my mother passed. It has been over 7 years since she passed and with each day the emptiness is more clear, the pain a little less, the longing at a standstill, the despair numb. With everything we let go, we run our hearts through a machine, where it is stretched, folded, squished, broken, put together, sewn, to leave a scar that we carry for the rest of our life. Some threads take longer to fade. In the fear of going through this process, we can try to avoid engaging, and build walls around us, and pretend that they are impenetrable. We protect everything we have within those walls, yet some of those, we have no control over, rather all of them cannot be controlled. So they slip out through the crevices when it is their time to leave.
My father slipped out this year, so gently, with a week’s notice for me to prepare. It was not just my heart, but my body went into shock. I was drained of all emotions for a while. That was when the sewing was going on. There are just so many pieces, that each time the needle goes through a piece, the next piece goes missing. This one is going to take a long time to sew. In 2011 during a mental health coping session, the instructor asked the group to close our eyes and think of a person who radiates positive energy into us. When I closed my eyes, I saw only one face, my father’s. Since then I have held on to him for dear life. 11 years later, he decided to slip away. Losing that one constant in your life leaves you untethered, wandering in the sea, maybe you will sink, maybe you will make it back to the shore. The last moment as I held his hand and he stopped breathing, staring into space, my first words were, he’s gone. I had never seen death so close. My anchor has just sunk. I can relive that moment, if I close my eyes, but going to that dark place is so painful.
Letting go is not always about someone dying. My flesh and blood, left home to start college four states away. The distance between us is unimaginable to me. I was never and will never be irritate prepared enough for this current phase of my life where I get to hold him once in a while. It is painful, the heart is stretched again, and again it does its sewing business. That moment when I left the campus, got into the car, and drive away felt like someone was ripping my heart. It is not that moment that it was grieving, but the rest of the years when that being I’ve raised from a tiny being, who followed me everywhere has started on his own path. That is the moment I was truly glad that I have another child. As I think of the day when the senior sign will go up in my yard and then it will be the day to drop this one as well, my heart says to me, slow down, let me mend.
The most magical organ of our body, I believe, is our heart, which has the ability to mend no matter what. You only need to give it time. It will find the needle, the correct thread, find all the pieces and see them back one by one. Each pain takes time, but it always mends. You just need to trust it to do its work. They say time heals, it is my belief that that time is what the heart needs to mend. To push away the sadness, the despair and renew hope. After it mends you wake up to see how beautiful life is and it’s limitless possibilities. Each time you are broken and put back you are a new person, richer with experience of hurt and pain.
I love this sentence from the book Life of Pi..
“I SUPPOSE IN THE END, THE WHOLE OF LIFE BECOMES AN ACT OF LETTING GO. But what always hurts the most… is not taking a moment to say goodbye. Life of Pi
This could also mean that by the end of life, we have let go of everything, all our materialistic possessions, our ego, our prejudices, and this whole journey of life is a lesson in letting go and mending and becoming a little stronger emotionally, than we were yesterday.