She lost her lover in a car accident as i had lost mine, to infidelity, four years back. I could feel shock and disbelief overwhelming her but i forbore to interject with my self righteous rejoinder. 'At least, your loss is not as bad as mine. With me it was loss of faith and trust, worse than any mortal shock' Such were my unconscious communications with her.I retained an outward imperturability which, given the discomfiting memories her own grief were inducing, was onerous. But dissembling or more preferably a putative emotional balance is what people have always prized in me. So, corroborating the agreeable views people were disposed to have of me, i circumspectly kept my own counsel.
Don't get me wrong. I do feel for her. Her sense of shock is conspicuous and heartrending . I sense her pain. But it seems to me that while her circumstances are understandable her situation less dire than mine. I still ruminate plaintively on my own predicament while simultaneously sympathizing with her. And while imputations of self centeredness are inevitable i can only say that mortality is a blow whose unavoidability renders the loss bearable, palliates the initial shock with subsequent acceptance and even a certain valedictory wistfulness. But a betrayal of faith such as my experience attests rends the precarious belief in the human condition which buoys up tenuously at the best of times.
When he left me for another woman i was heartbroken. A paralyzing numbness seized me. Being a pragmatic person i eschewed apportioning blame. Playing the victim is a mentality i abhor and relinquished as fruitless long back. Which is why her response, which seems, despite the irrevocable nature of her loss, so extreme bothers me. Why people make such a fuss about mortality is inconceivable to me. Each infinitesimal betrayal, apostasy, abrogation of decency that human beings enact, practically every moment of their lives, is a compendium of infinitesimal deaths in itself.
I do understand the fusillade, the outpouring of her grief. There is an appropriateness in such demeanour. My own obdurate refusal to spill my guts out earned me the reputation of cold heartedness. But the point surely is that beyond the question of right and wrong, good or bad, the incontrovertibility of destiny predicates itself. Alleviation of self blame or projection of guilt are only partially compensatory. They touch, or rather inhabit, the superfluous integument of our being. But the complex paraphernalia of our selves, tied up with another person, experiences loss much more viscerally. In the face of the enormity of this loss and its attendant debasement and emptiness, the question of responsibility loses its importance, indeed dissolves.
So while her situation draws out in me painful memories of my own i maintain a show of equilibrium. My own apotheosis has been my unsentimental acceptance of harsh, unmitigated reality. As far as the allegations of hard heartedness i alluded to earlier are concerned i view them sanguinely as pragmatism of the most unpretentious kind. Still her emotional pain arouses in me, despite my misgivings about such expressions given my simultaneous empathy with them, a certain undiscerned feeling of love. I vacillate between proffering words of counsel or providing a comforting hug and kiss. I opt for the latter.