Aug 12, 2009

A strange kind of immunity

I just attended a funeral today. Of someone quite close to me. And that had me think about death.

Well, you know how our body becomes immune to many things with the course of time? I realised I have become immune to crying at funerals. I may shed a silent tear, but just a drop. I cannot sob, wail or express any sort of emotion on the outside. It is a straight face that walks about handling responsibilities, chores, calming people and taking care that nothing else goes wrong.

How? I guess it is the fact that I have seen way too many deaths when I was young. Being the eldest in the family, I was close to even the distant relatives. And be it my granduncles, by great-grandmother, my grandmother and grandfather and eventually my own father - it was a surge of deaths before I was even 12. At my father's death the immunity took over. I haven't cried at a funeral since.

I have seen some acquaintances and some close friends pass away. Still no tears. It pulled at my heart, but it was dry sorrow.

There is another thing I cannot do. I cannot touch a dead body. I just can't go too close to it. It's not like I am afraid, neither am I overcome by grief. I just can't. The feet do freak me out, frozen and pale. But something else in me, I don't know what, keeps me away, like an invisible shield. Who knows?

And somehow I prefer it. I prefer not publicly showing your sorrow, not wailing out loud in front of people. I always have. It just attracts unnecessary sympathy, it just makes you the centre of attention.

Isn't it better to just let your grief phase out on its own? To let your mind understand the sorrow and learn to deal with it? If it is sorrow due to death, I believe it's a silent and more strong respect to the one who is no more. And if it is any other reason, it just keeps your life where it should stay- with you.

4 comments:

Divyesh. said...

strangely, i believe in this...Grief phased out slowly is the only way i've ever shown grief, even when people closest to me passed away. I'm lucky I've not attended a lot of funerals...but whenever I have...there's a different feeling in me...I try to distract myself from the point at hand...maybe its a defensive mechanism, and I'm weak inside...perhaps...but that's how some people also deal with it. To each his or her own.

Anonymous said...

Hi. You may not want to cry at a funeral but it might be a relief to cry by yourself or in private wit a close friend. The body needs some sort of release after an intense loss, aand the more u postpone it, the harder it gets. After the first few outbursts, you feel lighter. Losing a loved one is something you may never forget, but it doesn't have to be this thing that defines you and your experiences with death and with life.

Archana

Anonymous said...

As rightly pointed when we attend funerals,we undergo a strange feeling,it's nothing bt 'SMASHAN VAIRAGYAM'....
Bt as time passes by this intense feeling of Smashan vairagyam fizzles out...
We may interpret as grief passing away.....

Anonymous said...

As rightly pointed when we attend funerals,we undergo a strange feeling,it's nothing bt 'SMASHAN VAIRAGYAM'....
Bt as time passes by this intense feeling of Smashan vairagyam fizzles out...
We may interpret as grief passing away.....

Cheers-Dharmesh Sampat
(dharmesh.a.sampat@gmail.com)
(dharmeshsampat.blogspot.com)