#StartANewLife After The Unknown Darkness

on March 10, 2015 / by

#StartANewLife After The Unknown Darkness

On October 24th 1996, Radhieka Mehta committed suicide. She was my best friend.

Every time I think about her even today, I remember her as being one of the most beautiful souls who was troubled because of the weight of expectations. An excellent poet and dancer she always spoke to me about how she wanted to study literature when she grows up. Unfortunately for her, her parents had already made plans for her. Not that she was a bad student; she was excellent always in the top three. But her interests were elsewhere. 

She told me about how much she loved her parents and her little brother but she just didn’t like the way life was shaping up. She kept a book where she wrote letters to her parents; drew beautiful paintings and penned down some heart-wrenching poetry of unaccomplished dreams. She did at times speak about running away and disappearing into the dark, but never in my dreams would I have assumed she wanted to kill herself. As a 14 year naïve girl, I never gave it much attention. 

But I should have, I was the only one who would have understood and made that difference. But I didn’t

The day my parents told me about what had happened, I feel into the guilt trap. One thought kept occurring to me that I should have been with her, in life or in death. If she couldn’t be here with me, I should go there and be with her. That’s what friends are for. 

But before that I wanted to meet her parents and tell them how they took away my friend from me. 
I remember that day clearly, it took great courage to walk into that building without her holding my hand, without giggling away, without my twin soul with me. I was disastrous. I cried all the way to her house, as soon as I walked in I headed straight to her room to curl up and cry. It was wonderful of her parents to let me be, cause I think they understood my pain. 

As her mom came in after some time I wanted to shout, to scream and yell but I saw what the grief had done to her. She wasn’t the confident woman I once knew. Her father wasn’t the strong man; my friend claimed he was. Taking a book of her writing from her school bag I gave it to her parents. As they sat reading, I could see the array of emotions on their faces through my tear-filled eyes.

I knew that minute, however bad the situation becomes I would never want any of my loved ones to go through that pain and grief. I felt their love become a seed being forced into the ground that helps painful experience split apart and become something entirely different inside my being. 

I, like a seed felt the darkness of the unknown, the claustrophobia of being in a space I did not understand, the anxiety of being in a place I had not chosen. Just about to die my own death when sunlight shone on me through the love of the ones who had lost their life, my friend. My heart cracked open like the seed to #StartANewLife which was not only for myself but for my dear friend as well. 

That was a moment I took a bold step to hug Radhieka’s parents and tell them how much she loved them, how much she wanted to be the person they wanted her to be. How much she was me. 

I am living two lives today, one that is my friend's and one that is mine. I gave suicide a miss and embraced her parents as my own who have found a bit of Radhieka in me. I could have been want I wanted to be (dead), but I let go to become what I could have (daughter, friend, mother and more). 

Look Ahead, Look Up, #StartANewLife
~ Heena

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