Moving Towards The Pain

Loss, Bereavement, Quietus. Whatever you call it, it ain’t easy (btw I definitely googled that word). For some it is difficult for many different reasons, either no longer having that important someone who meant a lot to you around, or being witness to someone you love losing their important person. It can stop a life in its tracks, the world’s rotation on its axis, it can be detrimental or eye-opening but it will always have an effect.

Now me, I never used to go to funerals, which if you’re West Indian doesn’t make sense. If you don’t know, West Indians go to funerals like it is a contractual obligation. You know the woman only from passing her in the supermarket every Saturday afternoon, you attend their funeral. You never even met the man but know his family, you attend their funeral. The person just happens to live in your town (or neighbouring town) and possibly, may or may not have been from the West Indies, you attend their funeral.

This is something that I just did not understand for the longest. Why are you volunteering to put yourself in a depressing, sad, sorrowful environment for someone you barely knew. But with age come experience an understanding and I get it now. It’s about showing respect, about honouring what that person symbolises, it’s about recognising the broader community that you are apart of, the stories that you share, experiences that are mutual and celebrating that through this person’s life.

I would avoid funerals like the plague when I was younger up until the point where the person meant enough to my life or the life of someone who I love that me not going wasn’t an option. And boy did I cry, seeing someone I love mourning evoked such a visceral reaction in my emotionless self not only was I surprised but so was my mother, father and other family members. And so it has continued. I hear stories other person’s life and what they mean to others and I will cry like a baby and I have no problem with that.

Something that I’ve thought about from time to time is why do I have this reaction, why someone who doesn’t necessarily mean a significant amount to me personally can cause such a rise in emotions from someone who does not usually show them. And it wasn’t until a cousin gave a moving and inspired tribute that I finally had the words that articulated perfectly my emotions.

Moving towards the pain

Funerals have become that cathartic process that I need to get over it, to get on with my life. it’s the opportunity to step up to the plate and meet the pain and hardship face on and deal with it. To say this hurts, this is going to continue hurting and I’m OK with it. To hear the stories of the life of someone who you love, to feel the emotion travel from your gut into your chest and sit lodged in the back of your throat, immovable, almost choking. It is a chance to say I have loved and been loved and I am grateful for having been able to experience that. To say I will continue to love in the knowledge that it may at some point cause hurt. To allow yourself the space to break down so that you do not become broken. To rejoice to the world the weight that this person’s life carried, the meaning their spirit embodied, the everlasting effect their soul will have on you and this world.

I have become a true West Indian, I move towards the pain, I no longer hide in the shadows refusing to feel sorrow, to let in sadness. I allow myself to be comforted by the beauty of a life lived.

Ode to Bebe

For all of you that do not know me, I am King.
I am the second son of a Queen.
I am The fifth grandchild of a Queen’s Mother.
And when I think of my grandmother I think of hard work & sacrifice.

I think of the hard work & sacrifice that has privileged me the life I have as well as the lives that my brother and fellow cousins have.
When I sit back and marvel at the accomplishments within this generation of our family, the accomplishments that this generation has yet to achieve, I think of grandma.
We are a family of Dentists, Pharmacists, Psychologists, & Graphic Designers. A family of Forensic Investigation students, Oxford University Economics students, Music producers, & Football prodigies.
We are the embodiment and the representation of the hard work & sacrifice that my grandmother made.
It is on her shoulders as well as the shoulders of our parents that we stand and without grandma’s hard work & sacrifice, without our parent’s hard work & sacrifice, for the bettering of our lives we would not be able;
To Dream as big as we dream; To achieve as high as we achieve; To conceive of ideas beyond of what would have been written for us otherwise.

So, hi.
For all of you that do not know me, I am King.
I am the second son of a Queen.
I am The fifth grandchild of a Queen’s Mother.
When I think of my grandmother I think of hard work & sacrifice.
And I am Grateful.


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One Comment Add yours

  1. Full time says:

    That took a lot of courage to confront those emotions and to share them. I am extremely proud of you.
    Love you


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