Dealing with grief and sorrow.
In life, the states of grief and sorrow are bound to happen. No one can deny it. It happened to the greatest of us. That is, the prophets. And, it continues to happen to the best of us, the awliyah and the saliheen. These situations can sometimes be a turning point in our lives. For some, it can make them
become miserable person to who they were. Where as, for others it can become the means to a better life. Provided we know how to deal with it and recover back into full health.
When we suffer a loss of ‘love’ eg; Someone in the family dies, someone we love, loves moves on, we lose a close friend etc. We go through stages of grief. In psychotherapy they teach the stages of grief. Knowing these can help a person go a long to healing and recovering back to full health;
1) Shock & Denial:
‘O my god this has not happened’!
At this stage the person has not accepted or realised the situation. Usually the person at this stage looks dumb and muffled, like staring all the time at nothing, or words like,‘I can’t believe it’ are common. For some, they are in such denial, that they may not even be able to cry at this stage. Simply because the news is totally unbelievable. – the shock is just so amazing. This stage can last for a short or long time depending on the person.
2) The next stage is where they ‘get it’. Realisation begins to dawn in.
That, the thing/ the person is no longer there. Or, the consequences of their action. They understand ‘yes, it is true. He/she has indeed died’.
So, at this stage a person may express a lot of anger and resentment which is common that takes place. This comes about as a result of the acceptance of the loss. ‘I wasted the opportunity! It’s gone’.
3) Then there is where it is known as the depression. Where we go into depression, the person may totally shun everyone. Become, dull
and somber. Realising that the anger has done no good. That, we have lost him/her/it and that he/she is not coming back again. The reality starts to kick in.
4) After this, we begin to try to make peace with our past.
‘How do I make peace with my past? or, ‘where do I go from here?’
‘How do i make meanings with what happened?’
5) At this stage, is where we begin to accept and move on.
‘How do I accept this and begin to move on?’
Now, when someone is going through grief he/she will go through these stages. And, in order for us to heal well, we must go through these stages fully. There is no time limit to how long we will be in each. For some people it may be long and others short. On some they may cruise through. What is important is we do not rush through it. Or, what is known as ‘take a flight to health’. We must let our bodies heal the natural ways we human beings deal with griefs and difficult situations. So there is no point telling someone ‘you should not have done this or that’. – There is no point crying over spilt milk. This does not help the person heal from the grief. Because, it has happened already and he/she has admitted and realised the mistake. The person going through grief must also understand that shunning the thought of the loss of love will not mean you will over come the situation faster. We must learn to first accept it. ‘Yes, he/she has gone forever’. ‘Yes, I did that mistake/sin of harming someone, being rude/arrogant/boastful/deceiving to someone, etc’. The first sign to recovery is acceptance. The only way we can squeeze out the grief, is by installing positive emotions in us. So, by bringing in positive emotions and happiness we can squeeze out the negative feelings.
eg. Remember the good times you had with that person who has died. Or, remembering the rewards of paradise for leaving a sin. we can recover better and faster to full health. This will help us to start doing a lot of good to ourselves so that the negative feelings go away.