Radar | Nov 20,2021
Feb 19 , 2022
By Eden Sahle ( 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 email@example.com. )
We do not know how to be strong until we are tested. The Sunday morning that my father passed away was and will always be the worst day of my life. It was the beginning of a different me.
With grief comes forth the birth of our new selves on how we live and see things. I never anticipated the first person I would witness die was my father. I never imagined death is not as dramatic as it is generally depicted in the movies. He passed away suddenly and peacefully as if he was going to sleep; I alone with him at the time.
All of a sudden, the issues that used to keep me sleepless at night were not a bother. The things that used to offend me no longer bring me anger. The problems that used to worry me do not create stress anymore. After all, we would not understand the value of life and the opportunities we have until we understand we are all going to die, and we are all going to be bereaved at some point in life. It gave me a new meaning and perspective in life.
Death is inevitable, but what is important is how we deal with it and our choices in our limited time here on earth. I have been thinking a lot about my father’s life, achievements, dreams, wishes and advice. In all my life, when I felt disheartened, my father helped me get back up and get going no matter what. Now that he is gone, I know I must face my reality in his absence.
Family, relatives, and friends who saw my physical, psychological, and emotional deterioration told me I am making his years of hard work on me futile. But what they failed to see is that there is no healing without being destroyed first and experiencing the full extent of relentless grief.
Enough psychology books tell us that healing from grief comes after experiencing pain and hurt while navigating the natural process of getting better. No matter how hard we try, healing cannot be forced. We have to find a way to adjust to the unwanted reality and get well one day at a time. Avoiding the pain is what does harm, not experiencing it. Grief is a process that has to be worked through to achieve eventual healing.
Unwanted change, especially that comes in death, is tough to deal with and we need someone we can trust to support us as we try to heal. For me, this was my fiancé. Unlike others close to me, he understood grief is personal and he graciously let me experience it without judging. He knew there was no way for him to fix my pain and tragedy for me or change the way I was feeling. He just listened. He knew I could only do this by myself while he was there encouraging me daily in my small steps of recovery.
In that process, I realised that we do not lose our loved ones, even if they pass away. They are present except not physically. They are a part of our present and future as they were of the past. We incorporate them into our entire existence. My father’s unwavering love and care, kindness, counsel, mentorship and friendship will always be with me and everyone else close to him. They are treasures I hold on to tightly and pass on to my children. In my post-traumatic moment of growth, I am learning to build my life around my father’s death and the sweet memories I was fortunate enough to have with him.
There is an end to all things. Change is the only certainty we have in life. We have no control over many aspects of life - people who did not resist change and considered it an integral part of their time on earth thrived. In any change, whether caused by ours or from things out of our control, if we handle it right, it will be the basis of our fortitude and foundation of our new identity.
PUBLISHED ON Feb 19,2022 [ VOL 22 , NO 1138]
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