It’s grey and cold, it’s misty and it’s wet outside. Leaves have fallen off the trees, and the promise of warmth fades off with their demise, at times I want to go deep into the forest and scream away my pain, in the hope that it too will shed off from my body. The temperatures are low, and I know soon, very soon, ice and snow will fill the grounds on which we walk. It must be November in this lonely North.

Everyone around me has their fragile bodies covered in wool and fake fur coats, trying hard to hide the milliards of troubles floating in their minds. Everyone, I imagine, must be just as scared and as cold as the weather outside. I should know better, but I don’t trust my own intentions, and very soon I will start to doubt the intentions of the ones around me. Right now I feel like I am miles away from the ones I hold dear. And in some ways I am. But at the back of my mind, I know I have friends who wish me well, I know they are not as coldhearted as ice, and that they want to reach out to me, to be with and listen to me. And yet I won’t let them in, I shan’t burden their shoulders with the weight of my thoughts. No wonder the loneliness I feel.

So instead, I crawl back in and hide inside my cocoon. I don’t see the sun breaking out, I don’t feel the heat of its rays. It’s spring, it’s summer, it’s autumn, it’s winter, it’s all of it and it’s none of it, because right now nothing matters. To me, all is dark, grey and cold. Everything and everyone is ice cold and my burdens too weighty to let out in the harsh world. It might as well be November in this lonely North.

Dearest, you walked in our shoes tenfold. With courage and strength, you loved and smiled through the pain. You cared to not burden the ones who were already laden. So time and again I ask myself, when you called, did I answer? When you spoke, did I listen? When you laughed, did I laugh with you and when you cried, did I stretch my arms out to you? Or was I too busy to listen, too engrossed in my own to see you. There sure was more I could have done, but I too, was covered in my own troubles, and maybe I kept quiet, not to burden you. Why did I not trust you to listen, where was my faith that you would be there. Was I too, closed up inside my cocoon, waiting for the summer warmth that never came forth?

We live in a society that starts with I and ends with me. These two tiny words leave no space for ‘you’, ‘them’, and ‘us’. We train our eyes to see what we want to see, our ears to listen to the stories we form inside our heads. Dear friend, in your memory, I will reach out to friends and strangers alike. I will smile and wish them a good day. I will give a hug that lasts at least a minute to a friend, and because of you, I will see, I will listen and I will share.

Rest well my friend, rest well till the day we meet.