27 February, 2014

It's not for me - it's for you

There are times when you don't want to do any work or study or even talk to your friends. There are times you want to laugh and cry and scream and throw yourself on the floor, hammering at it until it breaks beneath you. There are times where you expect the sky to crack apart and a storm to blow the world apart.

But you don't expect it to be perfect. You don't expect the sun to be shining and people smiling.

Not after a baby has died in its mother's arms. Not after the whole family had been waiting 10 years with bated breath for this one miracle to happen... and then bury it, just after 5 days.

You don't want it to be real.

How can a perfectly healthy baby, die while breastfeeding in its mothers arms with no warning?

There was no warning.

One moment, the infant was smiling and happy. The next, blue-grey and without breath.

And this was not the first death near me. There have been others. Friends' friends. Friends' parents. This one, that one. This person, that person. Dust to dust.

How dare the sun shine and the birds sing and people tell me what a great day it is? Don't they know what has happened? I want to shake them and shout and scold and holler until I've no breath.

There are times to smile and times you don't tell anyone what is going on in your life or what is happening, because if you do, it might be real and the world might really fall apart around you. You might suddenly realise that you've been living amongst cardboard cut outs and that everything you knew is gone. You might think that you've been living in a dream world, hiding from the rock bare reality out there. You might see building collapse into dust, trees dry up and birds fall from the sky and turn into skeletons. You might see the grass shrivel up around you and the graves. The graves stretching back as far as the eyes can see. That's why you need to hide amidst the poster paint and dancing cartoon characters. That's why you need to live, waking, in a dream.

But then, I have been living in a dream world ever since I was 12 and seen far more than I bargained for when I was 4 years old.

Sometimes, all I want to do is to heed that soft call - the one that tells you to just lie down and let go. Sleep. Sleep without ending and without waking. Sleep and feel no more.

I have seen all I want to see. I have seen enough and I want it finished. I don't want it any more.

It's hard to say things without actually telling you what has happened. It's hard to explain without making it seem melodramatic, inconsequential or stupid... but then you probably wouldn't believe me anyway. I can barely believe it myself, so why should you? Why should you believe me? I've told you nothing, but that a baby has died and babies do that. People do that. They die.

All I am is print on a screen. Noise in cyberspace. Floating letters. Just another voice nobody hears. Just another person nobody sees. I wish I could become invisible. I could then fade away. Disappear. Nobody would even notice. Nobody would even care. It wouldn't matter. And I'd be pleased. Pleased because that is what I deserve... but that would never happen, because there are people who would be devastated. Lost. They love you and would cry for you just as you would probably do for them (although sometimes you wonder whether you would cry for them). It's torture sometimes. You want to leave, but can't. You're trapped between your needs and the needs of others and you know that their needs will always outweigh yours. Because you love them and can't hurt them any more than you already have.

Trapped is the word for it.

So you sit in the box. You stay in the walls of expectation. You smile, you grin, you bear. You do what is expected of you and say the acceptable things. You act out a story that doesn't quite seem yours. You go about as if you haven't a care in the world. Eating, laughing, playing, working. Be perfect. Show no weakness. Not one crack. Don't let them see what a wreck you've become inside. How you no longer care about whether your papers are straight or your clothes are ironed or whether or not you smell. Don't let them know that your hobbies are joyless tasks and that your laughter is just a recorded echo. Don't let them know that all you want to do is sit on your bed in a corner and rock, listening to the moaning of the wind across the deserted plains in your heart.

Perhaps I do care. It's not that I don't or I'd perform the most selfish act of all. Perhaps I care too much.

This world sees too much death. Too much sickness. Too much hate and anger and selfishness and sadness. I don't want others to experience this. To know how it feels to have lost or be grieving or to have nothing left.

Which is why.

Why I gather my courage before fully opening my eyes in the morning and screw up what strength is left in me to face another day. Why I smile and greet my friends and colleagues all day as if all is well with the world. Why I go home and cook and clean and try to keep the family happy. Why I pray to not wake up again every night before I go to bed.

Love overrides a lot of things. A lot of problems. A lot of feelings. A lot of sins. A lot of sadness.

Love. Love is all you need and everything that is left. You see, love is hope.

You can live on love and know that no matter what comes, what enemies, what dangers, what emotions or things you may face, you know you will have the strength to face it. It's not for you. It was never for you. It was for them. That's how one man in the depth of history, took on the sins and the fate of all the people who will live and be born in time - and died for them.

Because with Love, nothing is impossible.
With Love, you can do all things.
In Love, you are invincible.

So I don't live for me.
I live for you.

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