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The conflicting sides of grief and sorrow. Grieving whilst the world moves on

Jan 03, 2022

Shakirah Hunter

Recently I had been doing a show , focusing on our expectations of Allah and how to keep our mindframe positive. We were having a lovely conversation when a caller called in and thanked us for the topic and then she went on to speak about the incredible amount of loss that she and her family had experienced over the last year. And it was so incredibly difficult hearing those words and realising that it is a massively difficult challenge -to focus your mind on having good thoughts and expectations about Allah even though you may be tested in the most difficult of manners .

The world has currently moved on. We are impatiently trying to get on with ‘living’. It seems like none of us want to be reminded of the constant death that enshrouded us over the last two years. Just this morning we were looking back at a family reunion and realised that almost seventeen of the family members that had been there were now gone. Loss of a loved one is always massive – but the multiple losses that have created such a gaping hole in our society and empty spaces at our tables leaves you breathless and without the right words and emotions.

Usually , we spend public holidays with the entire family and it is always a crazy fun time of extensive preparation and the intense discussion of where to go and what to eat. Yet this year, there was so much of space and quiet . The feeling of not having your loved ones around – creates this yawning emptiness. A deep sense of quiet. Almost as if the soul of the family has left.

You miss your loved ones deeply and yet the world has moved on. When once all statuses and Instagram feeds were black with condolences -now it is full of fun ,beach days and the never ending food pictures. It seems as if the loss of your loved one never happened. And you find yourself joining the hustle of moving on and putting a plaster on those massive feelings.

Life must move on , yet death is sent to us to refocus us, to remind us. Life whispers to us to forget , to numb ourselves by going out and feeling joy – yet death wants us to remember the reality of this world. As people are moving towards “living” , we cannot fall into depression , yet we have to keep that death close to us . We have to understand the gift that Allah has blessed us in that he has guided us towards a closeness to Him in that loss.

If you feel like you want to go out , have fun and relax , do so. But let every memory of your loved ones motivate you to a change in the way that you have fun. Let their death mean that your time of relaxation is full of the rememberance of Allah and a means of never ending reward for them. Intertwine your outings and spending with Sadaqah for your loved ones . Intertwine  your feeding and eating with feeding others for the sake of Allah whilst it becomes a Sadaqah jaariya for them. Intertwine your conversation with duas for them at every turn. Turn your pain into gain – a gain of reward in the midst of your relaxation.

Accept that although you have been grieving and you will be grieving for a while , it is okay to feel grief. It is okay to have moments when you might not enjoy being out and about. Or converesly, you might feel guilt in that you want to live to do things and to ‘carry on’. it does not matter that you choose – glive yourself grace and show yourself kindness in that it will take time to find a new normal.

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