Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How do you console a devastated heart?

Out of the many traditions and cultural practices that we have, having the three-day condolence open houses period is probably one of the wisest rituals that we observe. Although the event itself might seem overwhelming, and although the preparation for it is always troublesome given the sudden nature of it, it is still nonetheless a much welcomed distraction for the loved ones of the deceased.

I visited a bereaved distant friend today whose mother (a very close friend of my mother) passed away suddenly few days ago. Her sister has just passed away less than three months ago after battling a terminal illness. She only had this sister. She has no brothers. Her father is late since long time ago. While visiting I could not help but stare at her today at the condolence house and think to myself "how do you console someone who has lost so much in less than three months"? How does one empathize with such a life transforming loss? I kept on wondering on what is going through her mind and how is she coping with such tremendous pain. Shortly after, I found myself moving closer to her and telling her that "we are all here for you". I really meant it. We as in my mother and my sisters. This is one sister we would so wholeheartedly welcome and would love to be part of easing her pain.

Life can be cruel sometimes. Or maybe that is life, and we better get used to it. Whatever the case may be, losing a loved one must be one of the hardest tests that any human being goes through. Losing two loved ones in a row must be so painful, all I can do is hope that she will take me up on my offer.


kinzi said...

I agree, one of the best aspects of Arab culture is the three day visitation/mourning time. None of that pretending to be strong and 'holding up well'.

Just being with your friend is huge. Another thing you can do, later when there aren't as many comforters, is encourage her to talk them and about what she misses. I'm just assuming you are young and don't have much experience with huge losses yet :)

Maher said...

ya 7aram! thats sad.

i kinda know how it feels.
my aunt passed away and my cousin passed away after 2-3 months of her death.

Tallouza said...

Kinzi...this is a great idea. Thank you. By the way because of being a bit unsociable and not because of not caring, I rarely used to do such visits, being to a mourning house or to a sick friend / acquaintance (apart from close friends of course). With time, I am more and more convinced that such visits do count in more ways than I can imagine and they do make a difference.

maher...God bless their souls! It sure is very sad. If anything, it is a reminder of how short life is and of how we should always be reminded to count our blessings.