No Laws to Grieve. Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

I want to grieve but I am in disbelief. It still feels like I need to wake up from this nightmare but deep inside, I knew it was real.
The Love Central - A crying black lady The Love Central - A crying black lady
Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One

There’s never a perfect way to handle the loss of a loved one. People grieve differently and some in the strangest ways. We cannot tell people how to grieve, no matter how much we care about them. It’s easier for them to find closure in ways that they are comfortable with while they journey through the grieving process.

Our relationship with a deceased loved one has a strong impact on how we grieve, but not as much as the last moments we spent with them. Whether we showed them love or spoke harsh words the last time we were with them, if we were kind to them during their lifetime, or if we were just mean to them at every chance we got, the loss hits differently once we begin to reflect on our relationship with them.

Having it at the back of our minds and knowing that we will someday grieve the loss of a loved one makes it important for us to express our appreciation for having them in our lives. 

HERE BUT GONE: A Short Story on Grief and Closure

It’s been 47 days since my mother passed. Every day, I stand in front of my window and try so hard to accept that she’s gone. The word “gone” still has no meaning. It doesn’t seem to fit into my life. Some days I’d slip into deep thoughts of how we would have long gists and breathless laughter.

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The word gone still has no meaning<br>Image credit freepik

Other days, it was our silly fights over things I don’t recall anymore. Things that really don’t matter when I think about them now. One glass of vodka after the other, and I slowly exchanged my sorrow for a bottle of alcohol. What use was my sobriety? This is how I live now. I wake up every morning to drink my way into a deep sleep of numbness. To escape the grief.

No regrets; just wishes for things I should have done a little earlier. Things I should have done a bit differently, like visiting more often and for longer hours. Maybe I should have understood that she cared about me when she complained about things I did wrong instead of flaring up in anger and keeping my distance.

I’m here again—at the same bar I visited when I received the news of my mother’s demise. The place where I first experienced what grief felt like. I have no idea why I’m here, maybe to relive that moment because it keeps the days from running fast. Maybe I could attempt to travel back in time and stop the clock at 7:40 p.m., just before the call came in.

My cigarette burns in between my fingers and my little glass cups of tequila are increasing in number. The heaviness of my heart was released into tears of bottled-up emotions. I want to grieve but I am in disbelief. It still feels like I need to wake up from this nightmare but deep inside, I knew it was real.

“There you go,” said a familiar voice, handing me a handkerchief with a slight rub on my right shoulder while my head remained buried in my hands. I couldn’t recall the rest of the comforting words, but my chest released quite a heavy burden. I wiped my eyes and drained my nostrils into the handkerchief.

“This scent”…..Fahrenheit was my mother’s favourite perfume. The brown stain from a make-up foundation powder on the handkerchief… I tried to make a quick turn to find the woman who spoke to me but I blacked out. Everywhere went silent and I became numb from my inside to the outside.

I woke up from my blackout still holding on to the handkerchief; the brown make-up stain was still there and the nostalgic scent of Fahrenheit perfume remained strong. I may have been dead drunk, but this was real. The bar was very busy that night with a lot of strange faces so I didn’t bother to ask about the woman. Who would I have asked?

The Fahrenheit perfume and the makeup stain were everything about my mother. It was too much of a coincidence; I know it was my mother. The touch on my shoulder gives me peace whenever I remember it; her favourite perfume and signature makeup stain was a clear sign of her presence.

A young man stretched out his hand to help me up from the couch in the manager’s office of the bar where I was taken to after I passed out. It was morning already and he made sure I was fine and safe. Since nobody knew my house, he stayed with me at the bar till morning. His name was Kassim Aderoju. We became friends and he helped me through my moments of grief.

I explained to him that I may have been dead drunk, but what I believed happened at the bar was definitely real. I still didn’t care to ask about the woman; my comforter because I was convinced that it was my mother. Kassim took me to his friend, who was a psychologist, and I had a 3-month session to help me through the grief.

She was quite helpful and advised that I let go of whatever I may be punishing myself for with regard to my relationship with my mother before she passed. I also liked that she never dismissed my explanation of the event that took place at the bar; instead, she brought it up a lot and made me narrate it to her because it lightened up my face when I did.

The touch on my shoulder gives me so much peace whenever I remember it; her favorite perfume and the signature stain of her foundation powder were a sign of her presence. It felt like she knew I was grieving her death, and that I was punishing myself for some of the wrong things I did that hurt her feelings, but she wanted me to know that she wasn’t angry with me and she understood.

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have found peace and closure<br>Image credit freepik

I wear some of my mother’s clothes and jewelry to feel close to her. Spending the weekends at her house and looking through her photo albums has eased the grief. It doesn’t go away but it gets lighter when we accept the reality of it. My sessions with the psychologist taught me to talk about my mother whenever I felt like it and to whoever was ready to listen. It’s a healthier way to grieve when we can express our emotions without judging or punishing ourselves for what we could have done better.

I am Lantana Idris, and I have found peace and closure.

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