Losing a loved one is never easy and many times we regret so much once those loved ones are gone. The writer shares her personal experience of how she coped with the death of loved ones.
I always saw myself as a woman of strong faith until I lost my grandfather so abruptly. That strong faith became shaky as I asked myself: “Why him? Why now? Why so suddenly?” It took me awhile of re-strengthening that faith and lots of hypnotherapy sessions to heal. After the initial shock, I spent days in ultimate guilt, regretting all the times that I did not spend with him because his main complaint that nobody had visited him while he was in the hospital echoed in my head. I even questioned my hard-earned success from working late because it kept me away during his last few months. I wanted time to reverse; I wanted the last few months of his life back; I wanted to do things differently.
At first, I was too deep inside my pain to even consider the healing process. But, once I got past that deep agony, I realized how ‘FRAGILE’ life really is. Nonetheless, I kept wondering: “what do you do with all this love you have for them, once they’re gone, once you are unable to express it to them?”
What I did, was to direct all my emotions to his soulmate of 60 years, my grandmother. Do not get me wrong, I loved her in my own way because she was a second mother to me but now with my grandfather gone, that dosage of affection towards her doubled. Everything I regretted not doing for him or with him, I did for her. Every opportunity to bond, to visit, to speak to her or share a meal with her, I did. This was my personal way of healing the pain and guilt, to redirect the love that I am unable to express.
Fast forward to April 2016: I lost my grandmother unexpectedly. At first, I cried because I wasn’t ready to lose another loved one so soon. This time around though, once the three-day mourning period was over and all the mourners had left, there were no feelings of regret nor guilt. There was just the sadness and the pang of missing her.
One reason I coped better this time was that I had nothing to regret. I couldn’t regret not spending enough time with her or caring for her, or doing chores for her, because I did them all. I told her frequently how much she meant to me and I cherished every hug, kiss on the head, and every touch of her hands.
We live in a euphoric world that blinds us from the truth that the people we love eventually leave us. We always assume that we have tomorrow to show them how much we care, forgetting that tomorrow is never guaranteed. And once our loved ones are gone, some may live in regret for the lost and wasted times. This is why we must cherish every smile, hug, laugh, and all the precious time that we spend with them. I learned this lesson the hard way.
Grandpa, Grandma, may God rest your souls in peace. I love you both immensely and think of you every single day.
Shurooq, an Emarati from Dubai, has been on a journey of self-discovery ever since she shifted career from Science to humanitarian where she found joy. Her interests include traveling and foreign films. Shurooq’s column is influenced by those distinctive moments that give a deeper perspective on life.