My husband lost his mom last Friday. She departed peacefully, All Praise to Allah. Two days after the tragedy, he was having a ‘suspected’ heart attack symptom, which resulted in him getting the first experience being a casualty being driven to the General Hospital in an ambulance. After an ECG and blood test, the doctor ruled out heart attack despite the rigorous sweating, chest tightness and chest pain symptoms. It was a severe asthma attack. t was right after the passing of my husband’s mom and his encountered with the pain, I received a phone call from my dad telling us that my uncle who has been suffering from a heart attack for nearly two weeks passed away. And I am drained out with grief and sad news.
So, how do we handle grief? Of late, we’ve heard so often that young mothers, men at their youth, struggling husbands and many more have been damaged from depression. One of the causes of depression is grief. The loss is part of parcel of life. One would expect a new person in one’s life, and one can’t deny losing someone one’s loved so dearly. We need to teach ourselves to deal and cope with it after we broke down and cry.
Some people deal with grief differently. The ‘strong’ one believes that to deal with grief and loss are to BE STRONG. Ignore the feelings and it will go away. ‘Be strong’ and don’t cry for it will just make things worst. Scrap these thoughts. This is one of the stages of grief, which are:
- Denial – the stage where you believe you have to be strong, and no other choice than be firm and strong.
- Anger – the stage where you would blame everything and every one of why things happen.
- Bargaining – the stage where you were considering ‘what ifs’ and trying to negotiate within your ‘if this turn out to be like that, I would..’
- Depression – the stage where you started to believe there’s no way out.
- Acceptance – the stage where you are strong enough to ‘move on’.
Accept the fact that you will have breakdowns. We are talking about losing someone we love, eternally. There will be no phone call answered, no messages, no news, no soothing or even annoying voices. All is gone, in a blink of eyes. Accept it. And cry, if you should. Once you are done crying, gather your strength. Deal with it. Recognize your emotions. Don’t shove it away.
People handle grief differently. One can be a softie, cry all out and could live ‘unhealthy’ in the longest time. One can just ‘move on’ showing no emotion. One can deny everything and live in their own kind of ‘make do’ truth. The wise one should learn how to cope with grief healthily.
When calamity strikes us, deal with it the way it should.
- Seek support and help. Turn to friends and families. Yes, some people would find it awkward to comfort a grieving friend. But that should not be the reason that you would want to keep everything within yourself. Sometimes, all you need is the ears to listen, not a mouth and thoughts of advice.
- Find comfort in your faith. I believe in spiritual healing. Before anything, go back and check our faith. People lose someone, people got sick, people got poor and all for reasons. To teach patience within oneself, to be thankful for what we have left, to appreciate what has passed, to increase our imaan and faith. Yes, take a time out. Treat your inner spirit, the most soothing, calming, comforting resolution.
- Move on. Your evil mind will tell you that by moving on, you are dishing away all the good times and memories and bury them with the loss. Stop the thought! Life goes on and as much as people would tell you not to dwell with the loss, doesn’t mean that we have to shove everything away and start living a new life. The memories define you and will always be part of you. It just that, teach yourself to adapt to the new scene without our loved ones.
- Seek professional help. Yes, if its way to difficult for you to live your life without your loved one, as much as you’ve tried, seek professional advise. Book a slot with trained counsellors, therapists or psychologists. They are professionals who have dealt with a lot of case studies and can identify the issues you are dealing with, can empathise and sympathise, and able to give you insights and thoughts on how best to deal with your grief.
- Stay away from social media or make any own major decisions and judgements. Trust me. As much as some people would find comfort in sharing their emotions and feelings in social media like Facebook status updates, Twitter shoutouts, Instagrams postings and all, those won’t add values to stabilize your mental states of mind. To some extent, it is fear that it would encourage negative feedbacks and decisions that you might regret it later in life.
As a Muslim, we must never despair in God’s Mercy. The tragedy that we had to faced is not to undermine or put us down. It is to build the stronger us. Do not fall into despair, but turn to the One for help. Always remember:
“By the Glorious Morning Light, and by the Night when it is still! The Guardian-Lord has not forsaken you nor does He hate you. And verily the Hereafter will be better for you than the present. And soon will your Guardian-Lord give you that wherewith you shall be well-pleased.” (Quran 93:1-5)
Have faith in yourself. Things happened for reasons, good reasons.