Best advice about grief is not to give any

I have lost the only person on the earth, besides my father, who loved me unconditionally and wholly.

By Christiane Waked

Published: Thu 28 Jan 2021, 7:12 PM

Everything seems to have lost its meaning since my mother passed away almost a month ago.

I have lost the only person on the earth, besides my father, who loved me unconditionally and wholly.

Since her death, grief is coming to me as waves, some days the sadness is so overwhelming that I feel I am completely absorbed and drown by it.

The hardest part is that grief is not something that is taught to us, everyone has their singular and particular way to cope with it and the trick is to find yours.

December marks three important dates in my family’s calendar, my mother’s anniversary, Christmas, and my own birthday. And now for the first time in my life, I have to go through them without the most important person in my life.

Everyone keeps telling me you will feel her presence again, you will see her in your dreams but so far, all that I am feeling is this huge emptiness like I have fallen into a timeless abyss.

Since my mother passed away, the only dream I had about her is her empty seat. I feel so hopeless, so desperate that I hug that emptiness and weep my guts out.

I think the best advice about grief is not to give any because each experience is unique, and this is what my friend Souraya who lost her father some years ago told me. I couldn’t agree with her more.

While several people have advised me to indulge in activities, workout, yoga, meet friends, fill my free time with things I like, I couldn’t follow any of them as my energy level was so low that I could barely take a walk some days.

One thing that is helping though is absurd and satire comedy shows. I found one on Netflix that is completely but brilliantly ridiculous called “Aunty Donna’s big ol’ house of fun” about three housemates whose actions don’t make any sense and this is actually making me laugh.

My mother had an incredible sense of humour and her wit was intelligent. We used to make absurd jokes that no one used to get but us. So, in a way this sitcom has come to my rescue and while I watch it, I always have in the back of my mind that my mother would have also laughed hilariously to that scene and I could hear her laughter clearly.

Maybe feeling her again is to remember everything that would make her laugh or smile or even cry. Maybe this is the best way to keep her alive. Funny story is that even in my prayers, I still ask God to keep her alive for me but now when I do, it means I want her memory intact and not fade away. I don’t want to forget my mother; she was the best mother and the best friend I had. I am so grateful that I was given the chance to be her daughter.

So, grief especially during the holidays is hard, heavy, and painful but it is a process and everyone on earth will go through it at a certain point of life.

If watching an absurd sitcom or hearing a particular song or eating a cake, or just staying in bed helps you to cope with your loss, do it.

Don’t let anyone tell you how to grief and how long it should take for you to go through it. Your grief should be at your own rhythm and it is singular and unique link with the person you love.

Christiane Waked is a political analyst based in Beirut

More news from Opinion