When it stops hurting, we don’t write a poem about it. At least, not at first. At first, we doubt ourselves. We doubt our ability to heal as if no one has done it before us. But then, we catch ourselves off-guard, basking in the sun without a care in the world. It doesn’t sit well with us, of course. How can it? It doesn’t fit into the story as neatly. Where is the catharsis? We ask ourselves. What about the closure we deserved?
And then, slowly, we start forgetting the sorrow. Of course, not completely. Never completely. But we learn to make room, and that’s when it begins. Happiness finds its way into little corners of our lives, in nooks and crannies of our days. Before we know it, it starts to settle in. It comes with the myna on the balcony, with its two hops and three chirps before it flies away to attend its worldly business.
It’s not always magical, of course. Our lives pretty much stay the same. Our days don’t change as much. We make room regardless. We make room for another houseplant we’ll probably fail to keep alive for longer than a couple of weeks. We make room for a book we might never read. We buy some paint and brushes, and we shove them into a drawer after painting the one masterpiece we’ll talk about for years.
Slowly, however, we make room for more and more until the heaviness pales in comparison. The grief starts to blur. That was the thing about grief and joy—they both expanded, given the room. And without anyone telling us how to, we slowly increase the space in our lives for the tiniest of calms.
And when all is done, we write a few words, and they call it cliché. As if that were a flaw. As if it was supposed to be hard. As if that was not the point after all—that it was easy; that all we had to do was make some room.