“Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Written by: Muhammad Awais.

No one can forget the simple truth so movingly delivered by the Queen at a memorial service in New York for those who were killed twenty years ago in the Twin Towers. For a moment, one begins to wonder, what is grief? And are we all suffering from it knowingly or unintentionally?

What is Grief:

Grief is the response to loss, particularly to someone who recently passed away. We all experience grief in our routine lives hearing a saddening news. But recently this has been high lightened by the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“Losing a friend or loved one is never easy, but it has been especially difficult for those people who have experienced grief during the pandemic.”

National Greif Week and Shifa Foundation:

December 2nd to December 8th, 2020 we celebrate National Greif Week, alongside Shifa Foundation. On the occasion of Grief Awareness Week, while the total attention is focused on what’s the reality of human existence that is all too often ignored or sidestepped, we aim to provide relief to those who’re currently suffering from grief.

There might be people around us, even our very close friends or family, in sorrow under deep grief, their tears might be transient, but they are there. In this week, we aim to find those people, and relieve them of the agony they’re going through; alone.

How can we deal with Greif? Everyone experiences grief differently. There is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to grieve. How we react will be influenced by our cultural background and religious beliefs.

5 Stages of Grief:

To better understand what we can do to help someone in this matter, we must first understand the 5 stages of dealing with grief; namely: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.

“Acceptance is the peace that passes all understanding”.

When a person first receives a news of their affectionate passing away, the initial response is often a stage of utter denial. Thinking “this cannot be happening.” This is followed by a state of anger where the person thinks “why did this happen?” This leads to a simple logic forming response in the brain such as “whatever happens is for the greater good”. This is where a person secretly accepts the reality and leads into a state of depression where they might think “how can life carry on?” As time progresses one understand the laws of nature are rigid against our will and finally enters a state of Acceptance. This is beautifully expressed in the phrase:

“Letting go of the ‘why’ and getting on with living again”.

COVID-19 and grief:

Enhancing our daily burdens, the COVID-19 situation has greatly affected us. A sorrow in the pale air, where none of the seasons seem to bring out glee. Every day, we’re hearing news about the rising death tolls and worsening situation. This creates a state of sorrow for all of us, where we cannot truly enjoy our lives in the little moments we previously have.
People once close to one another, couldn’t be there for each other on their death beds. Realizing just the situation at hand for us, we come to think of those who have been directly or indirectly affected by this pandemic, out of which a big sorrow is losing a loved one to this pandemic.
What we can do to help ourselves and others: It is in the right mind that we figure that we’re all in this together! And maybe we cannot share the same pain and grief, but we can certainly help others reduce it, or be free from it. That is what humans are truly capable of as a society; to make the life of others easier. If you are mourning over a close one or the rising grief, be open to Shifa Foundation and the people around you to share your sorrow. It will help you overcome your woe.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss

We can attribute to ourselves poor strugglers, all we can do is endure, strengthened by the knowledge that, in our sorrow, we are united with our fellow human beings across time and space. It is surely much more honest and ultimately therapeutic to face that sad realization than to hear a well-intentioned but ultimately hollow “you’ll get over it”.

No doubt National Grief Awareness Week will touch on these and it is helping us all to deal with the unspoken embarrassment of mentioning things that seem too personal or too emotional for comfort. But we need people to express their emotions and show them empathy.

And, in its unfussy simplicity, it brings us back to where we began when we heard Her Majesty the Queen making the solemn and magisterial connection between love and grief.
Simon’s words were his own but echoed a universal truth. To which we can say:

“Don’t let the pain rob of you”


Written by:
-Muhammad Awais. Shifa Foundation.

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