My 2020 Good News: Learned To Express Grief Through Creativity

Swati Vaidya from Mumbai shares what made her year worthwhile.

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Good News
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Swati Vaidya from Mumbai shares what made her year worthwhile.
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(2020 has been tough on us all. Through2020 Good News’, we wish to focus on events or moments that have offered a glimmer of hope in these unusual times. Swati Vaidya from Mumbai shares what made her year worthwhile.)

Year 2020 takes me down a memory lane that is strange. I have lived in Mumbai without boarding a local train in the past nine months! I wonder if that is good or bad news.

This year took away my father from me. We lost him on 30 June 2020. I took a decent time to get over the grief and came to terms with his loss. Though it was not the best year, I consider 2020 a memorable year because I wrote over 41 poems – 34 in English and 7 in Marathi – my mother tongue.

It felt like a great gift as it rained poems from my heart and mind. Though it was a painful process of creative expression of my huge loss, it was as if my feelings were being woven into the poems I wrote.

That process, though painful, is worth every bit of it. The feeling of pure joy and being able to express creatively is incomparable to anything else.

After my father's death, I was not able to express myself creatively. I took a small break from writing poems. But on the 60th day, after his passing, I wrote a poem about his death that celebrated my relationship with him. I have never felt so close to my father's attitude before. That was a pure joy borne out of pain.

So, with three more days left to bid adieu to 2020, I think all I would probably remember in 2050 about year 2020 is that it rained poems from my heart.

Certainly a good thing, a great thing, a feeling of benevolence in the randomness of this universe.

The Poem

Dear Dad,

60 days ago,
Saw you lifeless,
It felt as if something robbed off me,
No where to go
To find what is lost.
You let us take your presence for granted,
When you would sing me a song,
Or narrate a poem,
Or when you made me tea.
Whether I would study burning midnight oil,
Or in fever, cold or pain,
You would be there to assure,
A sense of being looked after.
Your peaceful demeanor,
In hard times or in arguments,
Kept us together at home.
Your ability to find music and humor
Behind dark shadows of the day
Ignited the spirits
To not give up
Now you are gone
Leaving me in an empty vacuum,
Like never before.
A strong sense of grief
Borne out of eternal love
Occupies the mind, body and soul.
A sense of me being born again
Caused by your death.

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