This month we will be focusing on loss, it is a global issue; experiencing loss is an inevitable part of life. In life we are constantly starting afresh, and with that comes with letting things go, for example, at the micro level, internally our bodies deplete and renew cells often and at a macro level, letting people and things you value go. But as the saying goes, ‘gone but not forgotten’ rather than forgetting completely, these experiences can help shape us.
All humans experience loss,
“Every soul shall taste death”
~ Qur’an 3:185
Although as human beings we don’t agree on everything, we don’t disagree on our mortality – we don’t know when but it will happen because it is the only certainty in life, and grief is a natural response to loss.
The more significant the loss, the more intense your grief can be. You may associate grieving with the death of a loved one – which is often the cause of the most intense type of grief – but any loss can cause grief; even subtle losses in life can trigger a sense of grief e.g. moving away from home, changing jobs, not passing exams, loss of health, and of friendship.
According to the dictionary, grief is intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death, and bereavement is the action or condition of being bereaved i.e. deprived of a close relation or friend through their death. Sounds simple enough, right?
But we all know that dictionary definitions don’t quite encapsulate our feelings or situations, do they? Not only do the definitions give a distant and clinical vibe to it, it doesn’t account for the fact that losing someone or even something is personal, painful and each person deals with it differently.
Furthermore grief can be an individual as well as a collective experience – hearing and/or witnessing losses through the media can affect us such as the recent losses of lives nationally, from the Grenfell Tower fire as well as internationally in Rohingya, Syria, and Eastern Africa to name a few.
There is no right or wrong way to experience loss, or to grieve, and we can experience a wide range of emotions as we come to terms with a loss or bereavement.
When we experience loss, it’s quite easy to feel lost, irrational and in despair – the sadness of losing someone or something you love never completely goes away, however, it shouldn’t remain centre stage to an extent that it is unhealthy to our mind, body and interactions with others. We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems too, as the stress of a loss can quickly deplete your energy, resulting in fatigue, lowered immunity, weight loss/gain, insomnia etc.
It’s important to remember that it’s ok to feel slightly lost, and coming to terms with the loss of someone or something close to you can take quite a while, and that it is a gradual process full of ups and downs, because it takes time to work through a loss.
We pray that finding your way through this and taking care of yourself whilst experiencing any loss/es, becomes easier for you, Ameen.