Warning: This post may be triggering. It speaks of suicide, death, and depression. Also, it may not make a lot of sense — this post neither has a point nor a conclusion. I have no message to give out. These are loose ends that, I hope, one day I will learn how to tie. Until then, this is in loving memory of the boy who lived.
Everything was different one year ago. When this is taken out of context, one would say that that is how years roll by; that things rarely stay the same. That time snatches and gives, that time flows and never halts. And yet… and yet…
Death changes us. Some label this change as trauma while others label it as disillusionment. The essence remains that it changes us — it shakes us. We lost you one year ago and although I had expected time to considerably slow down, it is startling how quickly we are back to this calendar date.
You impacted my life greatly; both when you were with us and when you weren’t. Your presence was tangible — it was impossible to miss you. You were everywhere. You were loved and celebrated. And then you were gone, just like that, and your absence became equally tangible — it was, and is, impossible not to miss you. You are everywhere. You are loved… and celebrated.
For me, life completely changed one year ago. The people around me changed; relationships and power dynamics changed. At points I found myself in places where I thought I could catch a glimpse, a faint glimpse, of how you may have felt — I went through depression, through intolerable days, overwhelming emotions, and all throughout, I thought of you. Had you felt the same way?
So many questions continue to remain unanswered for me. In one year I have seen the lines between right and wrong quickly blur. Grey has become the predominant colour, and emotion — morality being grey, the sky being grey, the emptiness being grey. You have had an unprecedented ideological impact on me; I view the world much, much different now. For the first time, the change that I have gone through as a person is visible; almost like I can reach into my insides and touch the growth.
We were never what they would call ‘close’ — for me, you were a mentor. I saw you as someone that inspired me. Your faith in me and my capabilities was astonishing. You were the sunshine and when you left, the light went out of our lives and there was darkness everywhere. It was impossible to believe that someone, who was so dearly loved, so dearly cherished, found nothing worth holding onto. It scared me, it continues to scare me. As I replay memories, I tightly try to hold onto whatever little I have of you — hoping to bottle it all up and cork it before all these memories become hazy moments that I struggle to recall.
After your death, I saw hundreds of people from all across the country coming forward and talking about you. I saw them grieve; the grief of your loss united people who knew you little and loved you a lot, alike. I saw you on national news, in court proceedings, and in heartbroken messages. The night I heard about your death, I wept and thought that this would be a silent grief I will learn to come to terms with alone. However, what followed was much beyond my grasp — it was out of control. People chanted your name, they protested, there was anger, and there was endless pain. The chants continue to haunt me to this day. They are loud as ever. The anger, the pain, and the small victories we won for you in the last one year are loud as ever.
I have met lots of people in my life, Sushant, and they have touched me. You, however, have impacted me in ways more than you could have comprehended. Your presence was a guiding force and your absence is a void that I have embraced. Your absence reminds me, every day, of the inadequacies in my existence. In your decision, I have found my strength and my weakness. In your choice, I have found questions and answers. You are a light that I keep in my heart — a light that I resort to when I see mine extinguishing.
So thank you, and sorry. I am sorry that there were words left unsaid. I am sorry that I decided to wait for your response on WhatsApp, one that never came. I am sorry that I did not rush to you and tell you that you are loved and everything but a failure. I am sorry that I never built the bridges that would give me the opportunity of doing so.
But thank you, thank you for being both, the reason I found myself devastated and the remedy that helped me embrace my brokenness. Thank you for teaching me about death, and in that manner, about life. Thank you for the laughter and the guidance. Thank you for being a memory that I have carefully folded and leafed in an old book that I like to pick out every now and then. Thank you… for being who you were.
The boy who lived.
One year has passed by, and I thought of you every day.