Death perhaps is the only constant in life, and an eventuality one cannot evade. In spite of this, it never fails to startle us and give an uncomfortable jolt every time it strikes. Anjali Pinto, who recently lost her husband, Jacob learnt this the hard way. After four years of togetherness, Pinto lost her husband suddenly. “On the evening of New Years Eve, while spending time at home with my husband, he died suddenly of an aortic dissection. This rare and often fatal condition has few warnings. One minute, he was there; brushing the hair out of my face to kiss me on the forehead, and the next he was gone,” she wrote on the website The EveryGirl.
The next step was coping with the loss, and it is here that Pinto stands out. Instead of wallowing in grief, she documented her pain, posting pictures with her late husband and also of her present state on her Instagram account. All her captions provide an insight to the togetherness they enjoyed and the solitary life she is leading now.
Sharing a picture from their wedding, Pinto wrote,”I am keeping myself so together, feeling sure of the two feet I stand on when I turn out of bed each morning. Then a song plays and I’m transported, and begin to feel the unraveling. How can everything be okay without him?
“Last night I found myself swaying, remembering so vividly a moment from our wedding. Everyone was on the dance floor, but the venue needed us out. Music stopped and everyone turned to Michael and chanted “ONE MORE SONG, one more song.” Heart of Gold by Charles Bradley came on, Jacob put his arms firmly around me and we kissed through huge smiles. Trumpets sounded as our feet shuffled. We were the last people to leave, we stopped to thank every person working and assured them that everything was exactly how we had dreamed. We turned back to look at the empty space, in disbelief of how life could be so good to us.”
She wrote a heartbreakingly beautiful poem on the time they spent together.
Sharing a picture of happier times, Pinto thanked her late husband to showing her capacity to love.
“Today I will truly believe and bask in the idea that I gave you the happiest years of your adult life. That I reminded you often how much you are loved. I set you free to be your most creative self. I gave you the safety to express your innermost being. I protected you from every harm I could fathom. I joyously celebrated your every triumph. I made you so happy that happy songs made you cry. Thank you for showing me my capacity to love,” she wrote.
Born 3 years and 3 days apart, Pinto wrote how they often travelled on their birthdays, and while others were busy clicking other things, her camera was always focused on him.
“When other people were taking pictures of the beauty of nature itself, my camera was so focused on him. I was in wonder of this man, so sure of himself, so comfortable in every setting & so easy to please. How did I snag someone this beautiful? He’s perfect for me,” she wrote.
She also wrote about their heartwarming love story, and how her late husband gave her the confidence she did not have earlier. “He supported me so fully, believed I was capable of anything. He let me split the check on our first date, and walked me home with a hug goodbye. He never expected anything out of me because I am a woman.”
Though grief is universal, we are seldom told ways to deal with it. “As much as we want to help people that are hurting, we are never taught what to say or do to help,” she wrote. And on her part, she thanked all those who helped her cope with the loss, and also wrote what others can do to help a grieving friend.
“If you have a friend or a loved one going through a loss, do not assume what they are feeling. Do not tell them everything will be okay. Do not tell them what you would have done if you were in their situation.
Just listen. Be patient. Be compassionate. Be flexible. Show up. Tell them something that you loved or admired about the person that’s gone. If you never met them, say you wish you had. Acknowledge their loss. Thank you to each and every one of you who has shown up.”