Daddy always said‘rise with the Sun so that you set the tone of your day,’ and throughout my growing up years, like clockwork, we rose way before the Sun.
Today the most important things I inherited from my dad are the ethics, the values, the wise words, the memories and the parenting influence that he had on my life.
Ever so often, a saying of his will echo in my mind and I feel suffused with the warmth of his presence albeit through his words.
As a child, I truly had no deep understanding of losing loved ones’ – not sure that I still do – and like the sunrise and sunsets of my young days, I felt that those that mattered most would always be there.
Well, I am deadly wrong. I think that life is so unfair to take away those we love and yearn for, on the other hand, I am deeply thankful that I had the opportunity to know such love.
Knowing what I know now, the glorious rise of each Sun, reminds me that I’m alive, that I must embrace the day and that there’s no time to waste in looking back at yesterday. By the time the sun sinks low, I’m reminded to leave every form of acrimony and as much as is humanly possible to end my day with a cleansed mind.
Below is a little tune from me. Excuse the croaky voice 😉
Oh I often sit and ponder
when the sun is sinking low
where shall yonder future find me
only God in heaven knows
shall I be amongst the living
shall I mingle with the free
wheresoever my path may lead me
Saviour keep my heart with thee
Oh the future lies before me
and I know not where I’ll be
wheresover my path may lead me
Saviour keep my heart with thee
Would you donate your body parts? The thought of death always seems such a morbid topic, but it often comes to my mind especially after losing a loved family member. This is the reality of life; none of us will get out alive so we live with death drawing closer with every tick of the clock.
I pray that I will grow well into doddering old age, however, should fate decide otherwise and I cross the bridge whilst parts of me are still useful, would it not be better to give up any part that could help to keep someone else alive?
I know that my culture may not particularly favour such practices, then again, I won’t be needing them again, will I? I reckon that I would be smiling from wherever I am seeing someone else keeping a part of me alive and spreading love.
For some reason, some people find the grieving process embarrassing and uncomfortable, thus the tendency for such people is to avoid those who show their pain, or on the other hand, to hide their pain and carry on with life as usual.
At some point in time, we all suffer a loss and we grieve, but because majority of people think of grief as that single instance or short period of time of experiencing pain or sadness in response to a loss, many are literally rushed through the grieving process and encouraged to party away their sorrows so to speak.
What many fail to understand is that grieving is a highly emotional process which differs from person to person and can last a long time. No one can tell another how to grieve because you don’t bear their pain.
For anyone who’s going through loss, there are ways that help to mitigate the situation even when the pain is palpable and seems unending.
Give it time and always allow yourself the quietness and space you need to be alone. Have a meltdown if you need to. Tears help to rid the body of stress hormones.
Accept the way you feel, no matter how you feel and don’t judge yourself for grieving over your loss.
Write it out. Write a letter to your loved one, or journal your thought process about your loss.
Talk about it with others who have experienced loss. How do they find the strength to carry on? Don’t be ashamed to ask such questions.
Talk to your lost loved one even if your conversation feels strange and one-sided.
Look through your old photos, letters, emails or other things that you shared. Relive those wonderful times/and not so wonderful times shared.
Find a hobby that makes you happy, kick-start a healthier lifestyle.
Wear something of theirs, like a piece of jewellery, chain, watch…which could instil a sense of closeness.
Honour them with poetry if you are into writing poetry or a piece of testimonial that you are able to write infused with details of your loved one.
Take it one day at a time, celebrate life as much as you can, get out more into nature and remember to honour them by living happy and living the way that they would have wanted you to.
How to offer support to someone recently bereaved and what not to say to them.
Don’t avoid someone who’s been bereaved. It only hurts them further. Sending a brief note, text, email, phone call or other means of contact is a good idea.
Don’t ever compare the loss of someone’s loved one to the loss of a pet.
Don’t tell someone how they’re feeling because their grief is personal and everyone process things differently.
Don’t stop someone crying or telling them not to cry. Though this might be meant to be helpful, it seems as if you are shutting them down and asking the person to bottle up their emotion.
A reassuring, gentle touch to let them know you are there is sufficient. You are not obliged to say something immediately.
Remember that grief lasts long after the delivery of the sad news. Check on the person at regular intervals to know how they are doing.
Following the shocking news, the first few days and even weeks may be hard on the bereaved that daily tasks like cooking and eating become difficult. Sending food and offering to help with mundane admin tasks is helpful. Your friend may need extra support.
Soon after the death, someone needs to sign the death certificate. This usually falls on a close member of the family and it’s a tough task to do alone. If you are in a position to go with the bereaved ensure that they have all the vital information and documentation required because a death certificate cannot be altered.
Attend the funeral if possible. It is comforting to know that there are lots of people to see off a loved one.
Be mindful of saying such things like: “they have gone to a better place,” or “they died at a good age.” There’s never a right age to lose someone you love.
Don’t be afraid to share the minutiae details or funny anecdotes of your day with them. Distracting, normal everyday news of other people’s lives can be comforting.
Don’t let fear hold you back from helping. Be someone’s shoulder and listening ear as they walk through their grief.