Something very tragic happened to me, and it completely turned my world upside down.
I had a good start to 2020, as I had set myself new goals. I started hitting all of my targets at work, ate healthier, started doing yoga and moved into a new flat with a sea view.
Everything was going well, until my ex-boyfriend died in a motorbike accident.
My body is still responding to the shock, but it was impossible to fall asleep when you deal with such grief. My body swelled up and the bags around my eyes went darker. The death of a loved one is just a reminder of how fragile our lives are, and can vanish within seconds — just like flicking off a switch. That’s why it’s so important to live every day as if it were your last and appreciate every moment with your loved ones.
My ex and I had broken up in early November, for different circumstances, but we still kept in touch after he left. So when January came around, I was alone again, after having fallen head over heels in love with someone who took my breath away.
In January, I was grieving the death of our relationship, and in March, I was grieving the death of a man I had loved deeply.
We had called each other a week before the accident, just to check in on how we were doing, and he asked about my new apartment. I remember he said how lucky I was to have found such a lovely place with a sea view. His voice sounded cheery, caring and most loving. But it was difficult accepting that I would never hear it again.
I turned ice-cold. My naivety disappeared. Suddenly, all of these repressed emotions started to show in unexpected places. I paid more attention to how I dress, I cleaned a bit more around my flat, drank more alcohol and stopped responding to text messages.
Suddenly, being a true adult made sense. People are very good at hiding the tragedies they have gone through, but the truth is that everyone is trying their best to survive and carry on with their lives. The hardest thing was to show up on time everyday to work with a big smile on my face.
The human condition is to suffer. We all suffer in some way or another. But people don’t talk about their problems, and would rather escape from their pain in a variety of ways.
Every time I wanted to escape, it was harder to bring myself back. I wanted to self-destruct. For the longest time, I was looking for a sense of belonging or home outside of myself, but I was unable to find it. When I was with him, he showed me what that feeling meant.
‘We think that we can know and possess our lives, our loves, our identities, and even our possessions. We can’t.’ — Norman Fischer
Just like the Buddha had said, suffering comes from attachment, holding onto temporary things and people.
We make the mistake to think that eternal happiness is obtained through things that are ephemeral and transient. These things can be our loved ones, our possessions or identities, whereas it is this lack of permanence or loss that gives rise to tremendous unhappiness and pain.
Once we accept that everything in life is temporary, we start to accept, let go and become happier.
Grief is a tough and unpleasant thing to go through.
Little by little, you try and find healthy ways as an outlet for your anger and pain. You learn that tomorrow is another day. I have learned to forgive those circumstances, and allow myself to accept the loss and look back fondly at the great memories we shared.
Originally published at https://www.chloelingmason.com on March 8, 2020.