One has experienced the loss of a loved one or a most prized possession or the time that was exuberantly spent. One has also probably suffered the loss in terms of losing faith in something one has believed in.
It is relatively easy to cope with the loss of personal effects, like money, jewellery or even a precious gift. It is also not so difficult to get over the loss of faith in belief because there is a plethora of beliefs to choose from. It is merely a matter of reorienting oneself to the new system that brings with it a new hope. But the loss of a loved one – this is not so easily forgotten, not so easily overcome, if at all.
This is the subject of my novella Magnificent Loss. I explored this idea a great deal. As I worked on the story, several aspects of this loss revealed themselves to me. The sorrow that the protagonist feels is not just the vacuum left by the loved one, but the many ways in which the loss manages to torment the one who has experienced the loss.
Several things became apparent as I grappled with this one most common, ubiquitous experience. The mind being incapable of handling something so terminal and irreconcilable begins to explore ways to escape from the fact.
– Time heals, we are told.
– Move, relocate.
– Turn to other things, say the psychologists, become involved with another.
– Exorcise the mind of the thoughts of the lost person. Let priests do the job.
– Accept the fate. Maybe you are not destined to be together.
– Develop new habits. Travel.
– Dreams and hallucinations are normal. Ignore them.
– Immerse yourself in work
These are some of the things that I explored in the book. I wish I had gone into it more deeply. I worked on the story for over two years, but tried to keep the story just over a hundred pages. This is the internet age, the age of the ebook, the fast-paced life that wants to read quickly. So I tried to capture the essence of the story while keeping the verbiage to the minimum. Folks at Indireads supported me with editorial assistance and long discussions.
It has been a year since the book was published. While I am working on other themes now, other books of long and short stories, this one book Magnificent Loss will always remain my serious attempt to unravel one of our many aspects of living.
Even if we have learnt to cope with a loss, there is still the nagging fear of another loss. There is no word in the language for ‘fear of loss’, which is what I have tried to convey in my story.