Coping with the loss of a loved one cannot be equated with anything else on the planet. We all have an appointment with death which we will honor someday. A few weeks ago, the angel of death passed by my family and took away with it my lovely mum. While this was an extremely painful moment (it still is), it was an eye opening moment for me. I learnt many things that come along with death and the whole grieving period. Wanted to share some of these important things.
Watching people suffer is one of the hardest things, especially when you can’t do anything that would take that pain away. My Mom had cancer and this has been a very painful journey. But death also relieved the suffering and she was able to let go of the devastated tiny flesh that we leave behind. We all need to understand that death is simply a transition to another world that is free of pain, judgement and full of unconditional love.
2. Need for appreciating every moment
At times we take the gift of life for granted. We even ignore that we are living. When death comes knocking, you realize that every moment of your life is precious and no minute should be wasted. You also realize that without truly living and enjoying life, we are simply wasting it. If you are healthy, have loving people around you, appreciate life, be grateful for each moment as you never know what’s waiting for you tomorrow.
During the grieving period, you regret of many things especially between you and the diseased person. As I was hugging her tiny beaten by chemo body, I started regretting for not hugging her enough, for not holding her hand, not calling often enough, for not saying how much I appreciate and love her. Make sure to enjoy the time with your loved ones when you have a chance to avoid these regrets.
4. Unspoken words
My Mom and I were most of our lives exactly that – mother and daughter. Chatting as friends didn’t come until I moved away thousands of miles and stepped on my own life’s journey. And only last year when we had a chance to let our hearts open and chat away about love, life, forgiveness, appreciation …. We tend to open up when we know we have limited time left. Don’t wait until last moments, don’t hold anything inside. Be true to yourself, say what needs to be said, as it might change the life of the person you’ve been keeping those words hidden from.
A lot of it. Crying as I’m writing this but that’s simply a part of the process. The waves of emotions completely take over. It is completely normal and you should be absolutely open and cry it out. Nothing to be ashamed of. That’s just how it is. And even when you think you have no tears left to cry, there’s always more. I don’t hold my emotions inside as I don’t think it’s healthy. Cry it out, laugh it out, whatever works for you. Just let it out.
6. Thinking critically about life
Another very important aspect that comes with grieving process is you start to critically think about your past and your future. I took some time to put myself in the shoes of my mum. What if I was the one who had passed on? What would I have left behind? What would people say about me? What about all the things that I did, didn’t do, said, didn’t say…. Creating the life that you love, inspiring and helping people along the way, following your true calling, those are the ingredients of my life. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Set your priorities straight.
Life is very interesting. When everything is going on perfectly, you tend to have many close associates. However, during the grieving process, some of people you hang out with rarely have time to grieve with you. In this process, you will see people who you never thought would be there for you coming through. I have been truly blessed by the support that I have but watched my brother and step-dad facing a different scenario.
8. The need to appreciate your maker
It doesn’t matter what religion you follow, but sometimes we tend to forget the creator when everything is going on well. Before you get a job, you are very prayerful. However, when you finally get the job, you tend to forget the source that helped guide you to it. Ultimately when you lose the job or miss the promotion, you ponder and remember the role of the creator. In the same way, during the grieving process, the need for chat with the higher source comes back and you spend a lot of time praying.
9. Family bond
When everything is going on perfectly, close relatives sometimes don’t have a chance for real bonding. They are usually preoccupied with businesses and other things that seem to make sense. When the angel of death arrives, so are the people. Many come together to say final goodbyes and get a chance to reunite.
10. Wishful thinking
There is a lot of wishful thinking during a time of struggle. Is it just a bad dream? It will all go away when I wake up. It just can’t be happening! All of these thoughts have crossed my mind. But it is real, it is hard, and it will take time to heal. Make peace with it, accept the truth, learn the lessons and move on.
I consider myself a strong woman but during this time I realized I am just a human with fragile soul inside. All you have to remember is BREATHE, this too shall pass. Time will heal.