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Cover Image for Grief.
Arthur Sens
Arthur Sens

I can live normally again, I am eating, sleeping, working... things I used to do when Killua was around. I also don't cry anymore when the subject "Killua" arises, nor when I remember how this house was so full of energy and noise a few weeks ago. And yet, something feels wrong... and I don't know what it is...

Two weeks ago, if someone asked me "How are you?" I would just give the silence treatment. I was obviously not ok, I couldn't do shit by myself and I would have stayed in bed for a week if it wasn't for my best friend checking up on me all the time. But what about now? Am I ok? I'm doing all the things I used to do before, that's a good sign! I can't shake off this feeling that something is wrong though.

- Identity -

What is grief to you? Is it an emotion? Maybe a state of mind? For me, it's the death of an Identity.

Throughout life, we create several identities for ourselves. My mom, for example, worked for the same Cardiology Clinic for more than 40 years. Last year she almost died due to cancer and was forced to retire, and that was the death of "Ivete, Catarinense Cardiology Center's administrator". Although there wasn't a "real death", the grief she felt (and is still feeling) was worse than when some relatives passed away.

The self-definition of one being could be seen as how one perceives how one is perceived by others. If my mom is not the Catarinense Cardiology Center's administrator, then, in her mind, what is she? With the death of identity comes this confusion and disorientation of how we perceive ourselves. To me, this is Grief.

Just like my mom, and everybody else, I've been through the grief process several times. Sometimes for identities that I wanted to keep, others for identities I wasn't proud of, but nonetheless, they represented how I perceive myself. Even for those shameful identities, it can be very painful to accept the death of it... it all depends on how strong is your connection with that identity.

- Time -

What about time? In physics, time is defined as the measure or magnitude used to quantify the duration of events.

It is also the unforgiving Identity Killer. No matter how much money you have, what religion you preach, how you treat others, or how much you want to keep your identities. Time will come for everyone and kill all our identities one by one. Sometimes subtle, slowly eroding an old definition of ourselves, and other times traumatically, without giving us the chance to say farewell to our old selves.

Time is not the villain though, it not only takes but also gives us opportunities to discover ourselves in different ways. As time passes, experiences, relationships, and personal growth contribute to changes in how individuals see themselves. Traumatic events, significant achievements, and everyday life changes can gradually shift one's identity. Time allows for healing and adaptation, making it possible for new identities to emerge from the leftovers of old ones. Thus, time plays an important role in the evolving nature of personal identity.

Through my experiences in life, I could see time as a friend and as an enemy. I've had huge fights with all the people that I care about the most in my life. I really thought I'd never rebuild those relationships and, hell, sometimes I was convinced I'd never even want to rebuild them. Emotional maturity, created with time, allowed me to rethink my place in those relationships and I'm grateful that it did. At the same time, relationships were taken from me without notice and it doesn't matter how much I ask for time to go back, it just refuses to listen.

- Death -

Death is so terrifying, isn't it? I can't say I don't fear dying, but I fear a lot more the death of my loved ones. If I die, well... I won't be here to grieve it, but if one of my loved ones is gone, how would this event change me? Will I be ok?

I don't know about you, but I usually fear things that I don't know. I believe that it's human nature to seek stability, or at least the feeling that we're in control. The fact is that we don't have full control of our lives, but we like to pretend that we do and, if we pretend well enough, it eliminates anxiety and the feeling of helplessness.

Death comes to all of us, it's not for us to decide if it was too early but we can't help but to judge it sometimes. The death of a child is a lot more shocking than an old person. Sometimes we even think of death as something beautiful! "So-and-so died of Old Age!", marvelous! It was not a heart failure! Cause of death: Old Age. I've never seen someone say that a child had a beautiful death. They were supposed to have more time, and we have a hard time accepting that they didn't.

Regardless of age, what happens after death? Reincarnation? Heaven? Hell? Void? I envy those who have so much faith in a certain religion that they let go of the desire for control. My human instincts are too present. I need to understand things to believe them, and I don't understand death. Will time work as my friend or as my enemy here? I'm not sure if there will be a point in time when I let go of the desire for control, and therefore I'm bound to always fear death.

- Hi, nice to meet you! -

For those who've read until here, I'm Arthur 👋. Between my many identities, I used to identify myself as Killua's whole world.

I've never identified myself as a "Pet Parent", as many of my friends do. Killua was not my child... I didn't make her. She was my company when I was sad, she was my company when I was happy, she was that tiny little thing that was always fighting Gon for the best "cuddle spot" between my legs. That was our contract. She keeps me company and I keep her well, healthy, and happy.

It's hard to not see myself as a failure now... The net was over 30 years old, and I thought of replacing it so many times. "Nah... nothing will happen, I'll take care of it later", but it happened.

As much as I ask, time won't go back. I can't replace the net before Killua jumps through it anymore, it's done. In a matter of minutes, the Identity "Killua's whole world" is gone, and I'm stuck with this unpleasant new Identity that brings me shame and regret.

Hi, I'm Arthur, the irresponsible guy who let Killua kill herself.