Overcoming Sadness: Death of a loved one


life 1

Life at times can be tricky. In fact I would like to think that we are all survivors for having played the game of life well. I say this because each one of us struggles to live our life and overcome those fears and struggles which like to bog us down and ah! let us not forget the phrase “Life is not a bed of roses”. Life is like a deadly race, a fear factor composite of obstacles, unfortunate incidents and situations which tests our limits and credibility and only that person who overcomes it or tries to find a way to overcome it is truly a man in the real sense for nothing can be gained without struggling.

As human beings we have to deal with numerous tensions and difficulties. The fear of being a failure and letting our parents or loved ones down is however the biggest fear of man. This fear, the moment it creeps inside us creates havoc within us because of which we sink into depression or become sad at the drop of a hat. We, humans are fragile creatures. The sucker that we are for company and relationships compels us to expect a lot not only from ourselves but from others as well. Perhaps, this is the reason why we take a dip into the ocean of sadness and depression when we lose someone close, not get things we expected from others and when we lose our aspirations and the goal of our life.


Life is not just about being happy. It is also about the trials and tribulations that we have to go through in order to survive. Variety is the spice of life for then without it we will forget what it means to be happy and the ways to achieve it if there are no hurdles in our life. As John Green in The Fault in our Stars says, “Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you”. Truly indeed grief reveals to us what it is like to be happy and that life waits for no one. Grief then in a way channels all our powers towards achieving that goal of our life which we all have aspired for and helps in identifying our weaknesses through which in a way we can appreciate life. So what is this grief and sadness exactly? Is it normal to be sad? If it is so then why do we cry when we are sad? Or if it is not then how do overcome it?

Human beings are flawed characters in the sense that each one of us have some kind of weakness or the other. At times life puts us in such situations wherein we have to face our biggest fears at the risk of succumbing to our weakness and when that happens we are overcome by grief and sadness. Unhappy situations and obstacles make us sad. For instance, the death of a close one. We, as humans strive because of the bonds that we form with others and detachment from that bond or even the thought of it sends shivers down our spine. I remember when my grandma died some three years back I cried a lot. Since I was out of the city I could not even see her last rites performed and it further aggravated my pain. I was so close to her, always touching her soft wrinkled cheeks and ears that the news of her death was like taking a bullet and eventually it made me realize that time and life moves in a jiffy. One moment you are spending time with your close ones and the next moment u hear that he/she is dead. Tragic indeed! But what is tragic is that if you do not comprehend what life wants to teach you and my grandma’s death certainly taught me that lesson. After learning the news of my grandma’s death my friends came to visit me. Seeing me depressed they forcibly took me downstairs to the hostel mess to watch the India-Pakistan 2011 World Cup final. I didn’t enjoy at first but I guess the adrenaline rush got me and the shouts and frenzy made me forget my sadness. It took me a while to realize everything and when the reality dawned on me I felt terribly guilty. Immediately I called up my mother to tell everything and confessed that I am a bad person and sobbingly said sorry to her. But what my mother said is something that I can never forget. She asked me not to cry and assured me that I am not a bad person for enjoying that moment with my friends. She said death is a part of life. We cry when someone dies but that does not mean that our life stops then and there. We have to overcome that grief and if enjoying with your friends distracts you from that grief and paves you a way to overcome it then go ahead and do whatever necessary to overcome your grief. Lastly, with that motherly tone she said, “You are a young girl. You have to live your life and survive it no matter how hard the circumstances are. I know you love your grandma and even she would have wanted you to live your life. Your crying would have in fact hurt her. So accept the reality and move on because time heals everything.”  Yes! My mother said that. She was very comforting that way but her words made me realize that what is gone is gone and its never coming back. So why not accept the reality, move on and overcome our fears and grief.

be strong

I know it is easier said than done but one has to start afresh right? We need to fight our weaknesses and not avoid them. Depression draws out our energy, hopes and depression and overcoming such depression is not an easy job. We might not be able to beat it successfully but we at least have some control over it and not let it ruin our life. In words of Diode Smith in I Capture the Castle, “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cure for depression”. Catharsis or the act of weeping and letting our feelings out is another best way to overcome our sadness for it purifies the soul from impurities. As William Shakespeare famously said, “To weep is to make less the depth of grief”. We should think of ourselves as born fighters and like a true samurai fight out the obstacles and not be bogged down by it. Remember that we might be sad because we have been through a lot but we should also be proud of ourselves for being strong enough to handle it and come out of it.


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