And on some mornings, I woke up in thought. I do not have it in me to grieve the loss of a thousand promises. I do not know how to go about it. I shall go back to sleep. And that is what I did. When I woke up again, it was alright. I would get out of bed and brew myself a cup of coffee. The grieving was not pushed to some later date or under the pile of dirty laundry and other banal but essential things a man must do to live. This is how some of us grieved—we kept going forward; we got out of bed and made coffee. Many a friend would tell me I best deal with things head-on, that I must continually talk about them. All of that was in good intention, naturally, but it did not occur to them to ask: where is all your pain? And if they had asked, I would tell them: it is right here on my skin, and in my eyes, and in my cups of coffee, can’t you see it? I take long walks with my grief to nowhere in particular; I stop to rest at a bench under a tree decorated with bunches of freshly sprouted lychee; I forget the grief on the bench like we often forget a book with all its annotations or a handkerchief with an ancient, permanent spot of blood on it.
Little by little, I do this, and slowly but steadily, I find my footing again. I must keep walking to find it. I pulled the blanket over my face for a few more hours, if needed, but when I was in the world, I was of the world, in all my faculties. I was coming of age when a lesson was inadvertently hammered into my mind by myself: time goes forward regardless. I have never been able to change it. I have known for years this is how it will be until I die. I have always accepted my time is limited. Strictly for that reason, I could not allow myself to live my life in the name of things that have happened. I was not a shrine to days past. I was the celebration of the ever-glorious now. I must find it in me to laugh, not as a facade, but as a genuine celebration of time. I must carry the ashes of how I thought things to be, spread them here, there, and everywhere I go. To grieve was to honour the death of who we would have become had things gone differently. To heal was to become something regardless.