If I have only one line to say when someone just recently lost a loved one, its hard to pick the best. I know that to me most of the things people said to me when I lost my daughter meant they were wordless so whatever came from their mouths wasn’t about the worlds, but about the empathy and about the inability to find the right words. I know that because I feel the same when I see someone who has just lost their dear ones.
What did I do to cope? I just let it all come in, welcomed all feelings and emotions and rage and sadness to take over, yet remaining myself. I did feel like they would tear me apart from inside, and I felt physical, mental, spiritual pain 24 hours. Yet I trusted that I couldn’t do otherwise, I couldn’t hide it nor push it away, and so the only way was to accept them and know that they would become a part of me. Life was never going to be the same. I had been stamped with a stamp on the forehead that I thought would never touch me. Yet I embraced it as I embraced life itself. Because this was a part of me now and for ever.
So what do I say? Allow whatever comes through you to happen. Just allow yourself to feel all those feelings in a conscious and deep way. Theres no other way out. It made me weak forever, and in that weakness I realized my infinite strength. I did not succumb to those so that means I survived. And If I could survive the unsurvivable then that means that life does heal and there is nothing in the world that happens to those who are not ready. I saw this all as a blessing and was grateful for that pain, for that loss, for that falling apart. It felt as if my physical body was changing skin, my chest with a heavy emptiness, my heart physically broken. And in that void I realized God. And God chose me for this because I was strong inside and I could allow myself to be weak. And I breathed that all deeply in and out, not pushing it away by breathing shallowly or refusing to breath in, but by breathing in that pain deeper and deeper and deeper. That was the healing. And If I did it, then anyone can do it. Sinking sinking farther within with a conscious deep breath. Until the pain subsided and life went forth. ONLY at its due time. Without that pause, that lingering in the void, the feelings can trap us. Life will move again around other things – meaningless they might seem then – and joy will reign again, after the healing has happened.
And what about what others say? mostly they will say the wrong things. Just empathize with them. Your heart is broken and that is why it is now bigger and full of kindness, and others cannot imagine that. And please remember that every person has their own way to grief and needs to be allowed to grief their own way.
There was this one saying that really supported me all the way through:
“Let sorrowful longing dwell in your heart.
Never give up, never lose hope.
Allah says, “The broken ones are my beloved.”
Crush your heart. Be broken.
- Shaikh Abu Saeed Abil Kheir, aka Nobody, Son of Nobody.
In the pitch black darkness you can find a blinding light. It is not a light to be seen with the eyes, but it is the true light of the soul.
Maybe this is my line.
May we all find that light over and over again in all of our little or big darknesses, that is my prayer.
PS- mothers and family members around the world have started many different beautiful projects after the loss of a dear one. Check out Ben’s Bells, spreading kindness all over.
And thanks to my dear sister Nirvair Kaur Khalsa from Tucson who told me that story and gifted me the beautiful book Tear Soup, which I highly recommend (and I keep some copies at home to gift in such cases)
– In service of the divine in all,