Just a Letter ~Anushree Srivastava 

As a writer, this is one of those times when I am not sure how best to articulate what I have felt over the last few days. If, like me, you too found the loss of a young actor dying by suicide strangely personal, this post is for you. For those of us who got rattled by the news and could not understand why it evoked such a strong reaction somewhere deep within us, I sincerely hope that this post tells you that you are not alone in feeling utterly confused about a lot of things right now. In these last few days, I have read a lot about possible reasons for why this young man took the final step and under every such post, I have read comments from people who are worried, concerned, confused, grieving, and looking for answers. A lot of us tend to feel others’ pain just as easily as our own and this empathy often manifests in the form of a haunting melancholia. Mental health is something that is not as easily understood as physical health. We must work towards creating a world where people need not be afraid to be broken. It is only when we let ourselves break that we get to build ourselves into what we are destined to be. I hope the next few lines remind you that it is okay to grieve the loss of something that you never had. It is okay to just be.

It has been close to a fortnight

And I still wake up with a shudder

Would the questions in my mind linger

If you’d just left me a letter?

There’s so much that we grow to learn

As we walk through life’s miles

Yet I don’t remember when we learnt

To hide our pain behind a smile.

Right from that fateful morning

When you took that final step

This heart has felt unsettled

As I thought of you and wept.

The pain I feel for you is strange

For we hadn’t even met

I’m not sure why I’m grieving

Yet your face I can’t forget.

I wonder why you thought it right

What could have crossed your mind

Could someone else have stopped you

From leaving us all behind?

I heard them term it cowardly

I know they called you weak

I hope you heard and laughed it off

For no validation you did seek

I know how dark it can get

How hopes start to drain away

Our minds are far too dangerous

Towards death as they begin to sway.

Did you call out for help

Did you doubt those last few moments

Did we miss your cries to free you

When you’d become your own opponent?

You left me with these questions

I often wonder why

Did I not deserve a reason?

If nothing then just a lie?

And now I’ll keep searching

In every word I read

I’ll try to find some closure

For that is what I need.

I may never find out

What truly made you grieve

I wish you’d come back just once

And never again to leave.

It has been close to a fortnight

And I still wake up with a shudder

Would the questions in my mind linger

If you’d just left me a letter?