Stories about grief

Black should not be our colour

Black is for grief, Black is for mourning.   Black is for the little men, Who returned in little coffins.   Black is for the gloomy night, That lost its stars, Young and bright.   Black is for the lost children, And the parents’ miserable plight.   Black is for the darkness, In rooms with empty beds   Black is for the ink, Before it went all red.   Black is for the shoes, Before they drenched in blood.   Black is for the corridors, Where the kids once shouted Recess! Now they echo with the bell of bullets, Heralding the dance of death.   Black is for the ashes, Of teachers burnt alive.   Black is for the fear, In the eyes that watched it live.   Black is for the ...

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My bleeding heart for my bleeding Pakistan

Before I introduce myself, I would like to add a quote by one of my favourite human beings, Maya Angelou: “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” I am a visually impaired citizen of my beloved country, Pakistan, and this quote has a strong influence on me. I try to do good as much as possible and try to spread love and harmony by my actions. I have a ...

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Moving on from trauma, moving on from Peshawar

The Taliban’s brutal attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 claimed the lives of over 140 people including 132 children. While hundreds of survivors of this mass shooting need physical rehabilitation resulting from bullet wounds and other physical injuries, the psychological impact of this traumatic event may have a long lasting effect on school children, both in Peshawar and across the nation. It is imperative that the trauma victims must get immediate psychiatric help, and secondary support be provided to children in other parts of the country who, although geographically distant, may still be troubled by this ...

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What Pakistan went through during the Peshawar attack

Students of Psychology will be familiar with the Kübler-Ross model. The five stages of loss and grief. ‘Normal grief’. Grief of losing a loved one to a terminal illness. Grief that one has prepared themselves for. Grief that concludes with acceptance. However, there is no theory for the event in which all the first four stages of grief collide. Nothing to explain the kind of grief that does not end with ‘acceptance’. Yesterday, December 16, 2014, demonstrated to us a new trough in humanity. Just when we thought we had hit rock-bottom in a society where human life has nil ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 5 Stroke of darkness

He sits with his feet on top of each other, touching the skin just behind the nails where the tips of his fingers feel the small hairs that have recently grown out of nowhere. He rests his head on the strong shoulders of his father and looks at his hands work on the 12 feet canvas. “Why must you draw, father?” Hearing the voice of his child after an hour of lost silence, his hands suddenly stop midway, as if caught in the middle of an unknown activity, knowing not whether to continue or to retract, just when he was producing ...

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Was it ‘unethical’ of Diana Magnay to call the Israelis ‘scum’?

Are reporters allowed to express normal human emotions like anger, jubilation, grief and hatred?  Are they being untrue to their profession if they do so? When is being overwhelmed by emotions forgivable? Recently, these questions resurfaced during the coverage of the on-going conflict in Gaza. The images emerging from there are horrific, if that word can define them properly. We have had journalists moving away from the camera because they felt too overwhelmed with grief. There are allegations of ‘biased and unbalanced’ coverage by the media, depending on which side of the divide you are. In the current context, as the ...

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Secular India: An obituary

Dear Friends, With a broken and shattered heart, I have to bring to your notice that the secular India we all loved and admired is no more. It was 67-years-old. Just like secular India’s birth in 1947, its demise was also a tragic one. Verily, it came under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s car and got crushed on May 16, 2014. As expected, Modi felt bad about the incident and expressed his regret by saying, “I feel bad even when a puppy comes under the car. After all, I am also a human being.” Even as I listened to Prime Minister Modi’s magnanimous and heartrending expression of ...

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A colourful ride

Wherever I am, your thoughts dictate me. Whatever I do, your smile is my only memory.   Your cries wrench my heart, Your pain hurts me more. A little scratch on your skin, Makes my world cease.   Your smile is what I think about all day; In your tiny fingers is where I belong.   You are so precious; I can never leave you, You are my treasure; my respite from my blues.   You are life’s gift to me, Your lovely face is all I want to see. Your tiny things, your innocent laugh, All make my sorrows go the past. Your shoes, your dresses, your clips and toys, Are all sources of my utter joy.   I know the grief ...

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Every time you buy a stolen phone, you take a life

Early last Sunday I was awakened by a call from a cousin. “My nephew, Abdul Ghaffar, has been killed.” Considerably shaken, I said, “What? How?” A reply came my way, “Cell phone robber shot him when he resisted.” At the funeral, I heard what had happened. Even though he had been robbed a couple of times before and had surrendered his wallet and cell phone, this time he made the fatal mistake of trying to grab the robber’s gun. The gun had gone off, shooting him in the neck. He was just 42, not old or middle-aged by today’s standards. Married with two kids and an average income, he ...

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They killed my cousin. They killed a 9-year-old’s father.

If I were to believe any of the ‘feel-good, badly-designed’ inspirational quotes that go around cyberspace, I would tell myself that the best things somehow always are. Feel good, badly designed, that is. Why do I say this? Can you imagine seeing someone with their brains splattered across the hospital bed? You probably have not, but I have. Trust me, at that point, you don’t know what to think. You don’t think that it will be okay eventually. You don’t know whether to wail in grief or throw up. That someone happened to be my cousin’s husband. He was only 32-years-old and was the father of two young daughters. Well, at ...

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