I didn’t think I deserved love. Imagined myself a burden, the friend who was dealing with so much misfortunes. I had learnt how to tell, that I was hurting, needed a little help. It turns out, I was keeping catalogue of the times I stripped bare and vulnerable; reaching out. They were times, the universe showed me kindness, and it felt light, seeing the abundance at my times of dire deprivation.
But my life was in constant and perpetual state of uncertainty and fragility. Overwhelmed, countless times, I deeply longed to die. I wanted an end to anything that keeps me alive only to chisel me slowly but agonizingly. I feared the future for its only certain fate was:
I was always going to be in ugly pain.
Shame returned with guilt, grief and silence with which it took my truth — the one thing people saw, admired and were inspired by.
It would be untrue to say I didn’t witness it. I remember how it felt. Each day to waste away into my own oblivion. Chipped, little by little, from friendships, family and the support system that had warmly set their grade upon me. It wouldn’t leave me, the stain of condemnation that closeted in my life.
I wanted to tell.
I tried. But poetry and music and writings and my vague smile disguised me in a foggy performance. I hid behind the veil of strength and resilience. I don’t suppose it was possible to notice how I struggled right beneath your very own eyes.
Everyone has their burdens. I justified. I can’t open up, it’s ugly in there for me.
I felt I had exhausted my love quotas. As though friendships are an alchemy of measured love. I know humans wear out, their fabric tear and their hearts become fully deplete to keep giving.
In retrospect, I see that I felt I was only just receiving from you. From us. Without replenishing. Without returning my hands.
I come to the acceptance that while the cancer has been an incredibly disheartening experience for me, I have many fates that haunt me unsparingly. They are the parts I have not quite learnt how to speak about, hopeful that I may as well carry them with me to death.
So I withered and pushed people away.
I wanted to be part of that beautiful story, a remark of what is possible among survivors who’ve treaded the difficult paths of illness. Our language shared meant an understanding that completes than critique, embrace than discard, inspire than dreads. I focused on all I lacked. I lost on a lot that were already in me, with me.
I craved belonging. Visiting, I’d see how your family rose beyond possible infractions and flaws. I admired that. I realize that it pushed me into great awareness of my own lacking and further cemented the idea I had in my head that I was worthy of such.
It is unbelievable to me how my many unspoken near death encounters didn’t kill me as I dearly wished. For me, that would have unburdened me from the yoke of my existence, from my personal flaws, from the sorrows of my life — from struggling to make amends.
I didn’t die.
I’m writing this, so I didn’t die.
I’ve died painful deaths, premonitions to the inevitable endings. It is not at fault, a pity. No. It is a tragic ruminating of how I keep circling the flower, aware of its beauty, certain of its frailty but greatly afflicted as to not be able to undo my most impressive works:
Throughout these times, I continue to be awakened to how wealthy one is when their survival complements and is completed by love, joy and grace — things that the nobility of friendships offer without the spite of keeping tabs and count.
I’m skeptical and guarded, for I fear the uncertainty of bonds created. It’s an abandonment bug that eats me silently and I dislike making a confession of it. I fear being left, in the bleakness of silence and pain. I dread all the beautiful love that should flourish and yet dandelions away like some feather of weed. I crave that which I dread the most:
Belonging, acceptance and visibility.
I admit to many failures of friendships for which I fault the experiences I had to endure to get here. I tell myself, the distance and silence was caused by what I am going through either because I couldn’t articulate it to find anchor or the recurring darkness has a way of destroying support system in a world where everyone is recovering from something. Towering this, is a corruption of my worth, the idea that I am less deserving.
I mourn a few friendships I have lost that were important to me. I clutch desperately at the straw of possibly forging others; a return to empathy for which I seem a lot void of. I begin forgiveness and healing with my family, especially on places I feel greatly traumatized and afflicted. Yet, everytime it retrogrades leaving me in limbo as I watch things slip through my fingers like an astronaut experiencing the adversities of a dying gravity.
I think about my life, as an entity and extension. As an entity, I grieve my existence that I have a nunvef of times thought glitched. I wasn’t supposed to be born. I shouldn’t have survived this far. I wrestle at the odds which I think are a fatal mockery of meaning. As an extension, I feel conflicted that my life is not only my own. I am rarely selfish, and I have made attempts of detachment, to undo myself from the collective consciousness and responsibility of my life. I understand that it belongs to many now just as much as it is my own discretion. The dilemma that unifies these stretches are some of the irreparable damages I have suffered, mostly in my reservations and solitude.
At the time of this letter, I wish upon only love, joy and grace to surround me.
Thoughtful of everyone who has ever touched me into sprouting. To shed the metaphors, everyone who has been part of what has made my journey less tragic, the ones who have added color to the canvas of me.
I thank you.
If this reaches the few friends who are without me, I imply remorse upon my wrongful contributions to the separation that became of us. I cherish and adore— will always — you.
This is for all whom I am missing from, an endearment of love.
A river lays on its own water. Off it journeys, only the seas have the destiny of reuniting waters.
I flow on.
I send my love.
To those who are here, now. To all who have become a part of a home we call water, that walks home. To they who are near and far. To those in memory as the impermanence of this brief darting of the arrows aimed at each eye. This is the eye of my universe and I share my awareness as I witness of it.
Just in case, it was doubtful that I took for granted every part of it, I want known that the journey is beautiful and I couldn’t do it without you — all by self.
This should be a reach to many endings. Grateful for which even many beginnings are further borne. This is how not to outdo remorse or beat odds or thrive at source. But this is a simple unmasking of the soul for a little boy who endures resiliently and attempts a thriving at raw harness of the whole journey as a sum and parts of the whole.
— Epilogue: Survivor’s Remorse