Learning to embrace grief and draw new strength and meaning from it.




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Grief, Suddenly

Eleven years ago, 6 October was also a Saturday.

It was a sunny morning, I remember.

I was a university student then, headed to school for a group presentation that morning. I recall being grumpy that I had to spend half a Saturday in school. I was probably nervous about the presentation too, so it was a big relief when the session was over.

I headed home after lunch a happy guy, looking forward to a relaxing weekend and a good dose of football or soccer on the telly that night.

Thing unravelled very quickly that afternoon. I spoke to my Mum, I was impatient with her, I returned to my room, my Mum fell ill, she was rushed to the hospital, we discovered she had suffered a serious stroke and the chances of recovery were very slim, and she went into a coma and never awoke again. Three days later she was declared brain dead and, after a family meeting, we pulled the plug so we could donate her organs, and that was that.

Life is unpredictable. Tragedy and grief can steal upon you like a thief in a night. Treasure your loved ones. Live every moment to the fullest – at least as much as you can. But never allow yourself to be crippled by fear of loss – in reality, the fear of loss carries more negativity than actual loss itself.

And, whatever happens, chances are, you will find something within you to deal with it. There will be new beginnings. There will be growth. And you will find a new equilibrium. Of course, the right kind of support from friends, family and loved ones play a great part, too.

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