Grieve Today, Work for Better Tomorrow

Apr 17 , 2021
By Eden Sahle

A good friend of mine has endured wars, natural disasters, bereavement, property loss and financial stress. He miraculously survived terminal illnesses and betrayals from those he trusted. Despite the difficult life he had, it made him stronger and compassionate toward others.

Today, one would be hard-pressed to find a stranger to tragedies. For me, the most recent one was two people from the same family that lost their lives after contracting the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). They are two of over 3,200 people that have died from the virus in the country thus far.

The pandemic, with the storm of violence we are experiencing, is causing unprecedented disruption. The nation feels lost, and many are grieving for the right reasons. Just when we all assume that tragedies would cease, the virus and the violence take more precious lives and add to our ongoing ache. The impact of every single tragedy we experience today will be felt for years to come.

How could it not when women are widowed, children are orphaned and societies lose their best and brightest?

What we are hearing is like nothing most of us have had to deal with before. It is heart-wrenching, not least in terms of the numbers of people dying every day for something that could have been preventable had we all done what is expected from us as keepers of our communities.

Fortunately, there are also brave people who remind us of the infinite potential that lies before each of us. Let us hope that these experiences provide the emotional and moral strength to discover new perspectives and possibilities.

Survivors of harrowing ordeals cherish experiences and demonstrate change in their actions and outlooks. Their optimism is not just expecting good things to happen but also challenges to be overcome. Such strength built over time spawns resilience and allows the re-discovery of the value of life.

Living proof of this is my friend. The aftermath of trauma brought him the need to help others. He fed the hungry, paid for patients’ medical expenses, visited strangers who are unwell and those grieving, and supported many to build businesses. Being there for others brought him joy. He even developed the habit of eating half of his plate at restaurants and sharing the meal with those who served him. When the pandemic struck the nation, he was equipped than most of us to handle the crisis better.

Indeed, the crisis we are going through has given rise to emotional endurance within some of us. The need to provide and receive support through trying times is slowly becoming the norm in communities. The common trauma is forging new helpful collaborations. As we contribute our roles to get out of the various common crises, we are dealing with a new bonding going on that is bringing communities from different backgrounds to offer help.

From registering those eligible for vaccines and making sure people sit socially-distanced to carrying the elderly from their homes to vaccine district centres, there is much encouragement in these acts of kindness. Many communities are aiding their city, appreciating the value that each one of them brought to the table to enable the elderly to receive vital inoculation. Individuals who had hardly known one another before became closer and began functioning as a collaborative team for a great cause.

Could this mean that today's trauma can help us create in the morrow compassionate communities that attach a high value to human life?

The appeal of this hope is profound. In the meantime, it is okay to grieve, hoping for better days to come. While human-made and natural disasters cost us, let us all make sure that we derive something constructive from this time of difficulty. For what it is worth, the possibilities for personal and collective growth should not be squandered for they have been wrought through much suffering.

PUBLISHED ON Apr 17,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1094]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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