Accepting Loss or Moving On? The Question Remains

Aug 5 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew

I heard of a bizarre wedding story that happened a few weeks ago where the groom's brother took his own life and was found in the morning. It was a horrific incident but I was intrigued by the fact that the family decided to go ahead with the wedding ceremony.

In the culture I grew up in, when someone dies, the deceased's family typically wears black for nearly a month. The television is turned off and covered with a cloth. The grief expression takes another turn in particular areas, where family members shave their heads.

It is a dilemma I hope I never have to go through. I believe I would be devastated and opt to neglect the celebration and grief instead. But this family saw through with the wedding.

I wonder what was going through the mind of both the deceased and the living.

Perhaps the man who committed suicide did it on his brother's wedding day as a message to the family. After all, it is easier to move on in times of anticipated demise but people tend to blame themselves after such tragedy, wondering if they could have done something to prevent it.

Moving on after a loss is never easy. It takes time to grieve and heal. Some people may feel guilty for moving on as if they are betraying their loved one's memory.

It is important to remember that everyone has their own way of dealing with grief and moving on is not a betrayal. It is simply a way of accepting that someone is gone and learning to live without them.

And it must have been a hard choice for the parents between the new beginning for one of their children and the end of life for the other.

It feels like they are the type of people who put on a brave face even when they are hurting inside. The fact that they proceeded with the wedding speaks to their strength. I imagine them as a tree, stripped bare by the storm but standing strong regardless.

Perhaps denial prevailed and the family might have chosen to deal with their feelings later. Wedding cancellations are rarely simple with so much at stake; all the money spent on the ceremony and guests prepared to attend the happy day.

But why not celebrate life instead of mourning death?

Despite the thought of death being treacherous, it is a reality that we all must face. It is like the beginning of life when we are scared to leave the womb, the only place we have ever known, and then realise that life goes on and gets better.

Similarly, death is simply the beginning of a new life.

I find comfort in the thought that there is something more to life than this. I believe that our souls will continue to exist and maybe good deeds in this life help us secure enough points in the afterlife.

I like to think that the wedding ceremony was a tribute to the deceased, where the end of one journey was celebrated paying tribute and anticipating a new beginning.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 05,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1214]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (

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