Death, Grief and Bereavement 

For so long I thought how lucky I was that I hadn’t lost a person so close to my heart. I hadn’t lost a person who was bubbly young and so full of life. I hadn’t experienced so much pain and emptiness. So the past few weeks have been quiet exhaustive emotionally. I didn’t know how to react. It took so much time for the reality to sink in. I didn’t know how to act in the presence of the bereaved family. I am a positive person and most of the time I have an automatic smile. So sometimes I find it difficult to hold a stern, dull and sad face especially in front of people who are not aware or can’t relate to my pain. 

As I went through what I called the saddest period of my life so far, I had time to learn more about death, grief  and bereavement. This is not an academic paper, so most of it will be subjective (not based on scientific evidence or research, just my observation). 

I learnt that people mourn differently. The category of people who I found rather annoying and insensitive are those who think that they are entitled to mourn more than the rest. The ones who think that because I smile, talk and make jokes my pain isn’t deep. And that pain is expressed by wearing a gloomy face and keep reminding people of how great their loss is. “You don’t understand how much pain I feel,” they say. Damn, no one wants to understand because we all feel similar pain, if not deeper. This group of mourners wear sad faces throughout the mourning period. They do not dress up and tend to make every one feel guilty that they are not mourning enough. 

There are those who accept the passing of their loved ones as the will of God. Those who use several verses from the scriptures to console themselves and the bereaved. What I keep wondering is why did the will of God manifest only to us. Why didn’t it choose another person? Sometimes it isn’t the will of God but failure of men. You can’t keep blaming every bad thing that happens to you as the will of God. 

The third lot are those who I call activists. Those who don’t respect the feelings of the bereaved. Those who blame others for the demise of a loved one.  They cause chaos. They ask questions and therefore hurt a wound that has not even started healing. Making it hard for the scar to form. And they think they have authority to order an inquest into the death. They make it hard to find closure. Will all the activism and scholarly talk bring the dead back to life? What would be the impact of an inquest emotionally, physically and financially? Sometimes it is better to let the wound heal by itself. 

There are those I will call regreters.  They feel that if they had fulfilled a promise or done something they would have prevented the death. Those,  in my view, take time to find closure. They live in regrets of what if, if I could have and I wish. They think they are partially if not fully guilty of the demise of a loved one. They regret for unfulfilled promises and not being there. As said, majuto ni mjukuu, let us fulfill our promises while still alive. Life is too short to live on regrets. 

Death is an ultimate end to all humans.  According to the Bible it is a product of sin and to the atheists and none believers, a way that the universe balances itself. Don’t live a life of regrets. No one is going to get out of the world. Let us live with the beautiful memories we created with a lost loved one close to our hearts. Let us live, give, laugh and make merry, for we don’t know what tomorrow brings. 

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