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Because forgetting is so hard

25 Oct

It’s an odd feeling losing a friend. Lord knows I’ve done it too often to forget the feeling. The layers of discomfort that peel away slowly over the years, but never fully get wiped away. Of course there’s different degrees of hurt. Of nostalgia. Of separation. Of that helpless sense of loss. Layers peeling of, never completely healing.

I was at a party last week, and I found myself in an odd spot. There was a large bunch of people I didn’t know. And a couple of people I once did, very intimately. Bound to happen when close relationships have faded away over the months suddenly come to the fore again. It reaches a point where it gets uncomfortable to share a space with the same people again. My gaze was shifty, conversation stilted and I couldn’t stop the memories of what once was, events that had brought us so close, as they loomed large in my mind, making me feel wistful and a tad angry too.

What do you do with that kind of sense of loss? When there hasn’t been an obvious reason to part ways. No fall out, no disagreement to pin a parting on. Just a stale reminder of all the intentions to patch things up, pick up where you left off, intentions that never turned to action.You have no choice but to let go with a sigh and a heavy heart because you know things will never go back to being the way the once were.

Then there’s another kind of helpless loss, when people move away. Physically. I know I felt it when I moved cities, from Bangalore to Goa. I’d have been a fool to tell myself that the distance couldn’t change anything. And when reality dawned and the move inched closer, I was overcome by a sense of panic that constantly bubbled beneath the surface. The move was a test of the foundations of all of my friendships in Bangalore. Most withered away with time. As the weeks whizzed by, my relationships were stripped down to bare minimum. Relying on and staying in touch with only those who made a difference, and who stayed in touch with me. Those with whom my friendship ran deeper than just a few commonalities.

And even then, some have played a game of hide and seek with me. Making me fight for those that I held special. Painfully letting go and coming back together, too many times for my liking. The kind of loss that makes me want to go back in time, shake the person up and say let start over!

There was a wave of losing friendships by virtue of moving apart then. And there seems to one now, again. With a few of my closest friends in Goa packing their bags to move on in life. Of course loss is a heavy word to use in this context, because all is not in fact lost. But that distance is enough to alter, even if very slightly, the nature of the relationship. No more can we land up unannounced at each others homes. No more can we make plans to explore Goa on the weekends. No more can we share music, films and food as closely as we used to.

It’s changed. Something feels lost.

The old makes way for new, sooner or later. But some times the new just doesn’t cut it. Oddly, at the party that night, the opportunity to make new friends was right there in front of me. But something about all those feelings of loss, a tinge of loneliness even amidst a house full of people, and the finality of transformed equations with old friends jogged back that discomfort that hangs around like a cloud, every time you lose a friend. It never really goes away.

I was reminded once again, that everything must go. It’s forgetting that is so hard.

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16 Responses to “Because forgetting is so hard”

  1. Meera Parameswaran October 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Oh my god, Revati! :( How did you post this just NOW? Coz all afternoon I have been remembering my once-upon-a-time-best-friend! :( Sometimes relationships change for no reason at all na? And then its harder to let go coz u r always looking for a reason but never finding.

    I feel ditto on some things you said.

    ” Layers peeling of, never completely healing.” – and it never will, I have realized. :/

    “Relying on and staying in touch with only those who made a difference, and who stayed in touch with me. ” – I have been doing that all my life long, as I have been moving cities every five or six years but now it has reduced to 1 year a place!! :( Its really hard to maintain a relationship, let alone get a new friend :(

    “Painfully letting go and coming back together, too many times for my liking. ” – Has happened a LOT with me and I always have wondered why. Whats the point? Glad to know someone shares the same feelings!

    This post has definitely left me sad coz I have already been dull this afternoon, but also I am much more rest assured now. Thanks. :)

    • Meera Parameswaran October 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      And forgetting, its not hard, its impossible! Ugh!

      • hAAthi October 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

        Haha yes thats what I meant, I think

  2. R October 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    And now I am sad. I hate the sense of finality, that sense of ‘things will change now, no matter how close you’ve been’ that comes with any change/ move.
    Tomorrow, I am meeting with some old friends – some of them, I haven’t met in years. I am both excited and worried for how tomo will leave me feeling. Like you said though, at the end, it always boils down to how much you fought for/ worked at maintaining the relationship and how much the other person wanted it too, no?

    • hAAthi October 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Yeah it does. And once you hae enjoyed a level of comfort and closeness any change from thatfeels abnormal. I had this incomplete post once on how long distance relationships are always spoken about with so much awe and enthusiasm. And how ifeel long distance plain old friendships are actually just as hard to maintain.

  3. mahabore October 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I have pretty much given up all hope of catching up with people who were a little more than good friends with me during my college and early career days. But I can completely relate to this post as some of these friendships have not attained complete closure and probably will never as well.

    Well, what to say, other than life goes on, and so do we!!!

  4. Sig October 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    I hate endings. I really do. And I am probably holding onto things and/or people that I should really let go from my life because – well – we have faded away into shadows of what once was. Partly my fault, partly theirs but it’s hard to pinpoint why or how it all happened.

    But, the thing about life is that we always change, life always changes and people come and go.

    There is a saying (and I’m full of them!) that comes to mind – “People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime”.

    Cherish the memories, because you had some good times, but acknowledge that you are both in different worlds now. The loss is so real though isn’t it, even when we tell ourselves this

    • hAAthi October 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      True true. All true but i still have a hard time making peace. Hmmm

  5. simplegirl October 26, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    happened with one of my friends yesterday.. previously I would be down..not able to let go.. but this time I could let go…. I was amazed at myself….

  6. SA October 30, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    This post resonates with me and I guess with everyone.. We all have lost the closed ones and in the process lost even more internally.

    The aftertaste is bitter and I kind of relate it to the taste that you get after taking an antibiotic pill.. You know the things are happening for good/ good things for your system.. and yet the taste just doesn’t feel right.

    Love the post. Reminds me of my once-upon-a-time friends..

  7. chiqutam November 1, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Hey auntie!!

    It’s me, Trusha [a.k.a Taylor Skarr -the name I am going to use for myself when I’m rich and famous-] and I trust you remember my blog, http://chiqutam.wordpress.com/

    Well, I have recently decided to start two MORE blogs, so do check them out. [Comments, likes and follows will be appreciated -hint,hint-]

    http://woofdiaries.wordpress.com/ -This is the blog I use as my Labrador’s diary. It is said in her own eyes

    and

    http://preteenrebel.wordpress.com/ -The site I use as my own virtual diary

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Taylor
    coco

    • hAAthi November 1, 2013 at 11:13 am #

      Of course I remember you! I will take a look at both :)

      • chiqutam November 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

        Thanks!! :)
        [And maybe I see a couple follows, likes and comments coming my way?? ;) ]

  8. mandrekarkabir November 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    This was so well put Revati

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