On Losing A Loved One: My Shoes Are Too Big For Your Feet

Death is the biggest change that others around you will not be able to fathom or comprehend. Here’s what you need to say to all those who feel you’ve changed because you came close to death. I know I do.

To everyone around me, please stop saying ‘I understand’. Because no, you don’t. I would appreciate it if you were trying to, but no you don’t understand what the death of my brother has done or is going to do to me because I don’t understand this myself yet.


If you aren’t here to go through with me and whatever this death has brought with it, I would rather not have you here to tell me to do things as you say. This is new for me. Death is never a thought that crosses our minds when we’re doing all that we are, daily, to survive and so it is the mother of all shocks in this world.

It was not just the death of my brother, it was the death of a part of me that existed only while he breathed. A whole relationship died. A whole family died, and yes, a whole me died. So I’m NOT sorry if you find me changed in my behaviour towards you, in my emotions, in my thoughts, because everything that I believed in until now has also changed. So, why wouldn’t I?

The things that I loved to do are the things that now make me sad, angry at the world and irritated. Even your face and seeing what you’re up to irritates me because all I can think of is “why me”? It is the only question I want an answer to, the only closure I need. WHY ME?

Neither you, nor anyone else can ever give me that answer or the closure, and so I have to spend the rest of my life rebuilding a new ‘normal’, coming to terms with my broken soul. It does not mean that I will never laugh or find happiness again. Yes, of course I will. We all know what is said about time – that it heals everything and that it stops for none. But all my smiles will hurt, all my happiness will ache because I know my brother will never be a part of them again and as the film Into The Wild taught us, “happiness is only real when shared”.

Yes, I will have a lot of people to share my happiness with – my parents, my friends. But I will never be whole in my happiness or joys again, because a part of me is now dead.

So tell me then, is it not justified that I’ve changed? Am I supposed to go on unaffected by a life-changing tragedy like this one? I’m not asking you to be a part of my funeral or share a part of my grievances. I want you to be happy, healthy and do well.

All I’m asking for is to be left to be myself – not as I was before, but as I am now. For this is me now – a changed and a new me.

Accept me gracefully and walk with me if you can. I am not who you knew and I am full of new feelings and emotions, but if you’re a true and dear friend, then so am I. And with time, I will appreciate you having stood strong with me.

But if you’re willing to stand only under an umbrella with me and not get drenched in the storm, then this is your cue to walk away.

I wouldn’t ask you to put yourself in my shoes and imagine this tragic situation and its effects, because you never can.

A size 9 shoe won’t fit a size 8, it’ll be loose and you won’t be able to walk straight.

So don’t tell me you “understand” and ask me to “get over it”, because my size 9 shoe is too big for your size 8 foot.

Just lend me your shoulders for my tears and your ears for my words and with time I’m sure I’ll also hold your hand and let you walk with me on this journey.

But till then be patient and if you can’t, then let this be the end of our relation.