Stories about grief

Equidistant dots

He picked up his notebook, and he saw that it was filled with equidistant dots, page after page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

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Why I refuse to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi

After I got to know of Edhi’s demise, I couldn’t sleep at night. My mind kept going back to the work he carried out and the people he left behind. I kept scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed which was full of posts by people mourning this great loss and saying that no hope was left for Pakistan anymore. For some time, I repeated the same things inside my head but then it hit me that it would take a lifetime for the world to see another like him. There was literally no one to walk the earth the way this ...

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Familiar handcuffs

He could hardly hear him – his words did not even brush his shoulders as they hurried past. His eyes were feeling extremely heavy, not because of sleep or weariness, but because of its on-going conversation with another’s gaze. He was at the bus stop. As his friend sat across, speaking without realising how little was being absorbed, a stranger, who stood silently in the corner, stared directly at him, perhaps even within him. The owner of the gaze appeared to be an old woman, and she wore a long overcoat, but it wasn’t long or big enough to hide ...

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She lost herself in the wor(l)d of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway died by scratching an itch on the back of his head with the bullet of a shotgun that left a hole in his cranium. That always intrigued her in some odd way. “It takes courage,” she would say, “to do something that irrational.” “It’s cowardice,” I’d say and she’d give me a look that showed that she respected what I’d said, but was sure that I was wrong. We were too young at the time to understand anything Hemingway had to offer. His voyage through life was sort of mystical to her, but to me he was just another ...

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From the diary of a mother who grieves

I love pink flowers. They look so majestic yet delicate. My son helped me plant those. He would be so happy to see them bloom. I stare at them blankly while sitting in our garden. I’m so tired of grieving, so tired of people looking at me with pity. I will forever be an entity of human desolation. A rubbish bin for human guilt.  “Oh look at her! Her plight makes me grateful for everything I have!” I can see the empty empathy in their eyes. The press and ‘celebrities’ all left when they had their fair share of photos and videos for inflating their egos, and ...

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An APS mother’s grief: How do you forget someone who was once a part of you?

Losing a loved one is very painful, but then this pain does vary depending on the loss itself. It is believed that the highest intensity of grief is experienced by a mother who loses her child. A mother’s love is the reflection of God on this earth; she raises her child in her womb for nine months and these nine months are more significant than her entire life put together. She forms a bond with the child that is unbreakable, no matter how far the child strays from her, just the thought that the child is happy and content makes her happy ...

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Her grief devastated her, but his destroyed her

They weren’t dizygotic twins, or even twins, let alone siblings, yet they were so alike. But how could it be? Their birth was separated by 1,860 days. Maybe, they were an extension of one another. She sat across the table from him, with a hot cup of hazelnut cappuccino that she gripped with both her hands as she saw his smile belie his mood. But there was something about that very smile. Or maybe it was less about him than it was about her. It was the magic that transpired in her mind as she engaged in a quotidian conversation, eyeing ...

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From APS victims to Sabeen Mahmud: Honouring all who have been taken away from us

I write this from the #IamSabeen vigil at Do Talwar. It has been 17 days since I have been present here daily from 8pm to 9pm. I come to celebrate Sabeen, to grieve her death, to find comfort in fellow protesters and to tell the world that I have not forgotten her. Photo: Nadra Huma Quraishi/Karachi Heart Beats #IamSabeen Facebook page Perhaps all that they gather, the people who stream by, is that I lost someone that meant a great deal to me; enough that myself and others are compelled to come here every day. No, she meant even more than ...

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Another conversation with Grief

“They speak of humanity, my humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.” – Jorge  Luis Borges, Boast of quietness “Can I interrupt?” the boy asked, and without waiting, he said, “I had asked who you are, but most of your answer merely told me where to look.” Grief was pleased. “Who we are, we don’t know. But we thought that maybe telling you about our whereabouts, we, too, might find out the answer.” The boy listened. Frowns no longer tented on his forehead. And this time, there was something strange in his expression, and Grief was happy that ...

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A Pakistani boy conversing with Grief

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran “Hi! It’s good to finally meet you.” Grief smiled, a very beautiful smile, actually; not at all broken, as the boy had wanted and imagined. But wait, what was that? Or who was that? There was something. Someone. Inside there. Inside that smile. Or maybe he was just imagining. “You look so different from how everyone describes you,” the boy remarked. “How am I described?” Grief asked, pleased by the boy’s honesty. Grief’s voice was so clear, not at all ...

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