Stories about grief

How to cope with the loss of a loved one

I feel so dazed and numb, like this is all happening in a movie and not in my life. I feel guilty for feeling relieved that she is gone, as I could not bear to see her go through so much physical pain. I feel like I lost a part of my identity and support. Everything around me reminds me of my mother as if she will suddenly appear from the next room. Why do bad things always happen to me and my family? Can’t God give us a break? Why do people leave us when we want them the most? Why ...

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The 7 stages of grief a Pakistani cricket fan experiences

It’s not easy to be a Pakistan cricket fan, really. Now that the country is deprived of home games, the team is always on tour, which consequently increases the challenge to perform and win games. Simultaneously, supporters have to tune into live telecasts at odd hours of the day – sometimes dawn, sometimes midnight. The fans continue to do so, but off late, as a result of the team’s dismal displays, high blood pressure might be on its way to becoming a common illness in the nation. Pakistan has never quite been a consistent outfit, but lately, failures have considerably outnumbered ...

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I do not, cannot and will not accept terrorism!

They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly, acceptance. We witnessed, experienced and survived all five of these stages each time we gathered our courage to dig up mass graves for promising young individuals, devoted fathers, caring mothers and innocent children. Denial We’ve grieved at our loss as a nation, regardless of our belief. We’ve sat in our homes watching the news, denying that we live amongst people who’d do such things — who’d kill people with such brutality. We fail to accept the loss of our loved ones, the loss of hundreds of promising, capable, talented individuals who’ve been ...

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Why do the grown-ups cry during Muharram?

As children, we found ways to amuse ourselves in Muharram. On the majlis farsh we planted ourselves besides the most interesting of the dowagers and matriarchs listening somberly to the majlis. Most dressed in black shalwar kameezes, some wore black chiffon saris whose blouses had grown smaller in such subtle gradations (half an inch every Muharram) over the years that, though their flesh now spilled out of them, they could not perceive the difference in the fitting. From those blouses, their flesh cascaded in soft, maternal folds and it was its shaking and quivering when they wept during the ...

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The key to happiness: Stand your ground

Whoever told me, happiness just magically comes your way, should’ve been tripped headfirst. Because it really doesn’t sneak up on you, it doesn’t tickle your toes and makes its way into your heart and head. Happiness is a 24/7 job, and a tough one at that. It’s a time-consuming process. A tantrum throwing toddler that constantly seeks your attention. Call ethereal happiness a self-created sand castle on your personal shore. Every now and then waves of grief and anger will constantly wash over it, and more often than not, strong winds of disappointment will topple it over, but you’ve got ...

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Airblue crash: The business of death and moving on

I recall the good times mostly – the funny situations and the comedy of errors that occurred the last time we met. And I remember the disagreements, the professional jealousies and the never-ending rivalry. The death of a colleague last year, in the most tragic circumstances, shook those of us who worked with him. It was surreal. We spend 80 per cent of our days in the office and not surprisingly make deep bonds with co-workers. Some end in marriage, others in life-long friendships, and many others in acquaintanceship. According to studies, workers value their jobs more if they have friends in ...

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The best thing about an identity crisis

Exactly one year ago, on the very night I wrote this, I remember not being able to sleep. Such nights were common then. I would twist and turn for over five hours, lying in bed until finally, sleep would come. During those waking hours spent in bed I would cry. My anxiety attacks were so severe that I would fear I may die during the sleepless struggle. I knew I was on the precipice of a full-on identity crisis. In retrospect, I wonder now why I never bothered telling any family member or friend what was going on. Maybe, it was because I ...

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Funeral etiquette: Do’s and dont’s for the not so bereaved

I lost my mother on January 12, 2011. I was at the airport, waiting to board my plane to London but the flight had been delayed due to heavy fog. Just as the call for boarding came, my brother called me and broke the news that she was critical. I forgot everything and grabbed the first taxi to the hospital. I had talked to my mother just two hours before, and she had been home, getting ready for her regular checkup. She sounded fine. Upon reaching the hospital, she died suddenly due to heart failure. To say the event was shocking would be ...

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When reporting falls short

Sometimes I wonder whether reporting an incident and having it published is enough. I began to ask myself that a lot more when recently I went to investigate a target killing case in a neighbourhood of Karachi. The story is of an 18-year-old girl, whose father was killed by unidentified gunmen with a single shot to his head one evening as he was returning home from work. He had no political or religious party leanings. He was just an average middle-class widower, who happened to live in a troubled neighbourhood and was making an honest living for his small family. As I ...

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