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Quantifying grief

When you don't know how to cope up with grief, you innovate to take your mind off it. Death is an entirely new sort of shock to my system. I did not know how to react to it. I cried. It came naturally. But I did not cry for the gone one but for those whom he left behind.

I tried quantities when his voice rang in my ears.
I counted the people who came.
Then I counted those who wailed louder.
Then those who sniffled.
Then the ones who repeatedly wiped their dry eyes.
Then those who averted their gaze.
Then the few who had words to offer and those who did not pretend to empathise.
Then the ones who were well-versed with the hollowness that death of a son leaves in its wake.
I counted the ones who caught up with friends, exchanged news, had their tea and went their way.

I counted the number of paper cups we disposed off.
I counted the number of meals we consumed.
I counted the trips I made to the market.
I counted the number of faces that instantly aged.
I counted the hearts that were pierced.

I counted many more things these past few days but I could not count the tears his father did not shed and the number of times his mother repeated his name in vain.

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