“You never know what you had, until you lose it,” is something that we often hear; and no matter how many times we hear it, we never truly realize the value of what we have until we actually lose it. Sometimes, we lose people we love and care about, whether to death, or simply because they moved on with their lives.
The worst part of losing someone is to know we might not see them again. We start wondering if we ever had the chance to say goodbye, what would we say? A question popped into my mind, which kind of loss is harder? Losing someone to death? Or them leaving our lives and we can never have them again like we used to.
Some might argue that losing them while they’re still alive, is much better than losing them to death. At least we know they are somewhere in this world, maybe even happy.
Some might say that losing someone to death is better than the former, because deep in our hearts we know that the person who passed away is in a better place; a peaceful one.
In the end, a loss is a loss. A loss means being deprived of “someone” or something of value to us. The question is: how do we deal with the grief?
A friend of mine was reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert when she told me this theory:
When you lose someone, you usually go through five phases of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I never took her seriously until I lost someone very dear to me and started to deny the loss.
I denied that anything ever happened; that’s when I realized I’m in the first phase. I thought I’d give myself time and found myself sometimes isolating myself from my friends and the people around me. Eventually, I acknowledged the fact that my grandmother wasn’t coming back; I felt helpless and angry.
I wasn’t sure who was I angry with, maybe myself for not being with her in her last days. Maybe for other reasons, I wasn’t sure. I knew for a fact that I was confused and angry. I realized again that I unconsciously fell into the second phase.
The third and fourth phases are bargaining and depression, but I won’t write about those two simply because I was upset and started denying everything. Was I depressed? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not; I do know I was down. As for bargaining, it is said that it starts with feeling helpless, and I know that feeling helpless is what led me to anger.
I knew my friend was right. It was only a matter of time until I accepted reality; and so I did. I accepted the loss, knowing that she was at peace now.
Maybe it’s normal for people to go through those five stages, maybe it’s not. Maybe people have different ways of dealing with losses. All I know is that we have to allow ourselves to grieve, to be sad, but then accept it because as Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, “eventually, everything goes away.”
After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.
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