the loveliness of loss.

This week, I bid farewell to two of my most beloved possessions. It was surprisingly the most exhilirating thing to happen to me in months.

1) My cigarettes. My last UK carton with my beautiful Gauloises nestled inside – gone. The S.O and I sat on his couch one sunny afternoon, and mournfully serenaded the last cigarette. We thanked it for being a part of our lives, loyal and faithful for so many months. As the S.O scribbled the date on its tiny remnants, I remembered how my Gauloises were an essential part of our relationship – and how it helped in making us. Where would all those all-night long conversations be without them? That first night where he&I sat at my kitchen table till the sun rose – just conversation, caffeine and cigarettes. I used to control my breathing and my sweaty palms with every drag, each puff reminding me that he was just a boy-man, a normal someone who just happened to be alarmingly good at making my heart skip beats.

Now we roll our cigarettes. The act of lovingly separating tobacco with bare fingers and licking paper makes smoking a more intimate and personal experience than it was before. That aside, from a practical and health standpoint, since it’s almost impossible to roll cigarettes amidst gusty spring breezes, you realise you smoke much much less than you ever did before. Most days now, I forget to smoke. It’s a habit that seems to dwindling away into nothingness.

2) One of the painfully rare compliments the S.O ever paid me was to say “I love your hair. I dont know why. But I do. Its the way hair SHOULD be”. Grown to keep me warm in London winters, it went beyond my shoulders. A mass of messy curls, that were the most beautiful burden I’d ever known. In unconscious moments of concentration, I’d lift up a pile and twist it at the top of my head; exhaling in relief that it wasnt tumbling down my neck anymore. When my skin started burning in the sun, my hair (seeking attention again) decided to grow longer and heavier, almost unbearable to carry. And so, one sunny (painfully early) morning, I kissed the S.O awake and said, “Bye-bye curls today, wish them well and whatnot”. He mumbled something about pretty curls that tickled his nose and being unsure if this was good or bad. I left him to figure it out, and returned with a shorn head, that feels lighter than air.

The night before, while I mournfully caressed ringlets, the S.O told me to see this as a sign. Of change – the good kind. The kind that would be symbolic in lifting my heavier and more intimidating burdens. Ive tortured him this past month. Panic attacks, lashing out, silent and shaking sobs in the night. His “You’ll feel better” prophecy came true. As I returned with my shorn head, despite a long tiring day, I managed to find calm and smiley-ness. I could curl up in his arms and indulge in my first worry-free sleep since I turned a year older.

They say loss is something that should be mourned. Grieved over. Preserved in journals and memories. 

I dont mourn my losses. I rejoice over them.

They make me feel alive and sane again.


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