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The Different Shades of Grief

The Different Shades of Grief

Written by: Justin Akadonye

Sorrows, tragic death, anguish, desertion … These are some of the emotions and the way people express losses.

It is sad to lose a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, but sadder when it is someone closer like a spouse, a brother, a relative or even a father.

Having shared several experiences such as the joys, the pains, the love, trust, hurt, the failures and the successes with them; we really hurt deep!

Sadly, when painful events such as death occur, we are surrounded by people of all sorts.

Some claim to have come to sympathize, empathize; while they genuinely came to mock and even cause more sorrows to the bereaved. And others, well! Try to help out genuinely!

We hear things like: “he has lived his life, maybe he finally went home”; “God gives, and God takes”(seriously?); “it is well with you”; “welcome to the club too, I also lost  a parent”;  “take heart”; or even the more formal: “I know what you’re going through, please take it easy”, or “I’m so sorry for your loss”.

But seriously, “God gives and God takes”? Oh please! He doesn’t orchestrate confusion.

Yeah! “Maybe he finally went home”? Couldn’t we just allow the bereaved grieve without being reminded as to why they are grieving?

Then the sinister, “welcome to the club”. I hate it when people say that. Just because you have lost someone doesn’t make it right or justify the fact that there should be a club for those who have suffered losses. Hey really! Should I also lose someone else just to be welcomed into some part of fraternity- “a club for mourners”, come on people!

How can you even begin to understand or imagine what someone else is going through?” We all don’t handle grief in the same way, you know! You just might have tough skin and a strong soul to handle grief, how can you be so sure that someone else does?

Do you often cry to sleep as they do? Do your loved one appear to you like every now and then, and you feel like you were losing touch with reality?—I’m so sorry but you just don’t have the slightest inkling as to what they might be going through!

Now! Now! Not like we shouldn’t appreciate it when people come around with good intentions to help us move on. On the contrary, we should be thankful!

But even as care-givers, we should learn that as much as people need to move on, we should let them take it at their own pace, we should let them mourn; let’s not be so carried away by wanting them to move on with their lives, that we push them into some sort of denial.

We shouldn’t force them to just suppress the wonderful memories they might have had with their loved one because for all we know, that’s the only thing they have left of them- memories!

Personally, I lost my mom not too long ago. At the slightest thought of her, I would break down and cry.

Indeed I have tried to move on, I even tried suppressing thoughts of her, but deep within me, It’s all a hoax, because I so loved her very much ; and didn’t share all that I would have with her, hence, I don’t want to let go, well not just yet, anyway!

I know I will, but I don’t mind the denial; it’s the only way I can get close to her…No matter how hard I might try, (let’s face it), I will never see her again.

For those grieving, we should not just let it out on others who want to show us love or; give us succour. As much as we might feel we are going through this phase alone, we are not!

In times of grief or just sheer sorrow, when we are at our lowest ebb, friends are all that we need.

And once again, to friends, who are genuinely there to help loved ones transit into a better reality; we should not pretend to understand, even if we think we do. The best we could do is just to be there, support, watch and please try to smile. We want our friends to know it’s a phase; and we are going to be there to help them transit seamlessly, always; through thick and thin.

To those who just lost their loved ones. We may say:  Inasmuch as I’m not there with you, I’m here for you.

Please know for sure that I always pray for you, appreciate that you might want to be alone to your own thoughts sometimes… I respect that.

I will not try to understand or pretend to understand what you might be going through, but like I told you before… “All things work together for your good.”

Once again, I’m so sorry for your loss!

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