The Whole

Photo: Georgina Laskari

The Whole

By: Sana Rehan Butt

April 13th 2022

How easy is it to fall out of a relation, any relation, for that matter? While dropping off my kids to school one morning, I noticed a young girl in the bus, who almost always used to be with two other girls, sitting alone. The other two girls were standing right next to her talking amongst themselves, yet they hardly looked at her. A few glances here and there and I knew something was wrong. It was odd to see this but I had always seen them giggling and talking to each other during the whole bus ride. It made me think about how easy it is for someone to fall out of a relation, a friendship, a commitment, or a relationship, even if it is on a temporary basis. I know soon they would all be back to their cheerful giggling (the joy of youth!) early in the morning but not seeing them as a “whole” struck me.

When my father remarried after my mother’s death, we grew apart. I had always seen him with my mother, never alone or with anyone else. For me, my mother and father were my “whole”. Yet, there she was, a new person and even all the wisdom that I, as a young woman in her late 20s encompassed, could not convince me that him remarrying was a good thing. I know I might have been selfish but losing one parent already made me want to hold onto the other for as long as I could. The mind might have accepted the “new person” but the heart, for a very long time, didn’t. So, even though my father and I did fall out, sans any fights or arguments, we eventually found our way back to each other. That’s what you do – when you value the person and love him enough to not let the relation be drowned with the Whys and Ifs.


In my late 30s now, I have learnt a thing or two. It is okay for people to have a fall out; in fact, it’s natural as we are all human beings with our own perceptions and opinions. What is not okay is to lose that relation and bond over something that ten years down the road would make you say: “What was I thinking?” Of course, if you and the other person no longer can have a mutual, respectful relation, by all means, go your separate ways. But, try, give it your best, for it takes a second for people to fall out but takes years to rebuild the relation. So, even if things get okay, they almost never are the same and “whole”. Are there any relations in your life that need a reworking, some reflection?    


  1. A thought provoking piece of writing that makes me reflect on the meaningful relations in my life, and to be able to value them, irrespective of circumstances and time. To keep up with the ‘whole’ no matter what!

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