How do you coping with the death of a friend? One that you knew for years, did not meet or chit chat often, but you knew was around and you had a special connection.

How do you cope with the death of a friend, especially one that was so sudden & unexpected?

How can you cope with the overwhelming grief that just takes over your entire system?

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Psychiatrist

It has been a week, and I am still rattled by what happened. Last Monday morning we got a message in our whatsapp group that R had passed away. The message was from R’s phone, but it had a note explaining how it was R’s broinlaw sending us the message. I read it, re-read and actually replied “Err, what.. when.. what happened?”. The poor broinlaw had to send a bunch of messages before it sunk in that this was for real and not some prank R was pulling on us. Took a few deep breathes, had water, but couldnt stop the shaking. Had to talk to someone, and so called this friend from the group. Poor thing, she did not know and I kinda broke the news to her…

Soon after, we all did a group call where 2 other friends [couple] said they had spoken to R’s wife and sister [who were shattered]… I did not have the guts, infact I still dont to call and speak to R’s wife.. Since then, we have created another temporary group and are chatting there sporadically..

A short note on R

He was a fairly quiet guy, but with a wicked sense of humour. We have had quite a few conversations about freelancing, and bouncing ideas off each other. He would even hunt down and share links to projects abroad saying I should give it a shot. Whenever the group met, he would come all the way from porur [when he lived in chennai] and many a times gone out of his way to drop me home.. One of those unassuming guys, who unfortunately had bad lifestyle and eating habits- untimely eating, smoking etc that led to his gall bladder collapsing. He had surgery sometime back, and subsequently also quit smoking.. We were all so thrilled.

About a year back [or few months, I dont remember exact details, dont remember why he chose to move either] he moved to Hosur, and had just completed getting admission for his daughter when the lockdown began. When there was a short gap in lockdown rules, he managed to get a cab to take his parents from chennai to hosur…  On monday when we came to know of his passing, and the reason given was cardiac arrest- we all wondered what had happened. Apparently he had been complaining of pain, and difficulty breathing, and was hospitalised when the doctor discovered infection had spread, and got to his lungs which led to his death.. Sigh… I am so angry he did not take better care of his health.. and more so cos we couldnt drive down to hosur to see him/his family… Sigh…

Today, when I woke up, and decided I will resume my Monday posts but couldnt complete it [as thought of R came flooding in.. he used to comment I was the only chirpy person on Mondays, putting up a post inspiring/motivating others] ..

His death has brought about plenty of questions in my head. He was a loner, we were wondering if his wife knew of his work/clients, finances, etc… If he had given her access to bank accounts, passwords and other documents. They have a 4yr old daughter who is just starting school.. I have had thoughts about what happens when we pass away, how long do people grieve, how much does our life matters to those around us and so on…

While it helps to vent and share with others, nothing prepares you for the death of a friend. Death of a family member is equally crazy, but friend is just something else -atleast for me…  Similarly, death of a dog/other animals or birds gets me down and takes me a while to rise from that sorrow.. Am not someone who breaks down at the drop of a hat or cries easy…

These moments are a wake up call-  to take care of our health, to be more affectionate to those who care, and to show people how much they matter.. Sigh… This Monday, I have decided that I shall write, continue my posts, and so leaving you with some positive thoughts…