Stories about loss

#GraciasCristiano: Two heartbreaks, one cruel summer

I remember holding my phone, staring at the screen, reading my friend’s message:  “Zinedine Zidane has left us.” It’s 15th Ramazan, I’m about to break my fast, I felt like a lump of tears had tied a knot in my throat. Even after keeping a fast of 16 hours, suddenly, I didn’t feel like eating anything at all. Shock, anguish or grief, I don’t remember. A wave of mixed emotions had swept across my body. I don’t remember crying but I do remember my mom asking, “What happened to her?” And the usual reply by my sister, “Oh, probably something related to football.” I don’t remember isolating ...

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I am a coward

The stress and anxiety of life has made me lose my appetite. Suicide has been part of many people’s lives. Some develop these morbid thoughts at the onset of puberty, some just want to end it all when they feel completely unwanted, irrelevant and indulge in self-pity and self-loathing. They feel great dislike and disgust for themselves. My struggles with life are completely different. I am still waiting for feelings of shame and fear to be replaced by some sense of stability and sanity. It’s a distant dream. I have tried reaching out for help. I have screamed, hoping for someone to ...

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This was no usual pain – this was a pain of loss

Emily rose in the pale blue light of dawn, and went into the balcony. She leaned against the wall and gazed at the sky as it further lightened above her. This was her favourite time of the day, when after the dark, colours would slowly and timidly creep back into the world. But even as she stood looking at the sky, her eyes brimmed with tears and her body rippled with pain. This was no usual pain. This was a pain of loss, and nothing could assuage it. Emily’s eyes twinkled with excitement as she looked at herself in the ...

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When I lost my father and society lost its empathy

I would like to talk about something I feel very strongly about – empathy, or its lack thereof. Before I elaborate, let me tell you why I feel so strongly about it. My father was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in April this year. In a span of a few weeks, I watched my strong, independent, confident father deteriorate in front of my eyes. We tried everything to try and find a cure but the disease had spread too far. Abbu left us a few months ago, in August. He was the backbone of our family and his death is something we are ...

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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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Two’s company, Te3n’s a crowd-pleaser!

Staring down the barrel of a gun, with my life solely dependent on producing a visually breath-taking piece of cinematic art and the only option given is of one sub-continental city as a filming location, I would be in Kolkata with my frikking filming gear, before anyone could even count to teen. Home to parallel cinema, a film movement that originated in the 1950s, with the likes of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sena and Ritwik Ghatak at its helm, Kolkata has an extremely proud celluloid history. It’s also not hard to see how these pioneers, along with the city, still hold sway with serious ...

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Hillsborough Inquest: At the end of the storm is a golden sky!

Twenty seven years in waiting and finally justice is served. That’s one hell of an extensive period of time, right? And that is precisely how long it took for truth to unfold in one of the longest inquests in the British legal history. On April 15, 1989, thousands of fans went to watch their beloved team play a football match out of which 96 never came back home. Anyone who is acquainted with me knows I am a diehard Liverpool supporter and have been so ever since I was a kid. 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster.Photo: BBC Back ...

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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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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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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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