There’s really no way to deal with grief. There’s no way you cut it or slice it, it’ll hurt. There’s no denial or defence mechanism to ever prepare you of someone you know and love is gone. Or your favourite celebrity. There’s no faith or godliness that can make it go away. There’s no godlessness or atheism that can make it a blank pain. It’s just, there.
I wrote a list of frequently used lines to comfort the bereaved, both the good and the bad:
“I am so sorry for your loss”
“It gets better with time”
“She is in a better place”
“He is in the bosom of the Lord”
“We will meet again at the feet of Jesus”
“May God grant you the fortitude to bear this loss”
“I wish I had the right words, just know I care.”
“I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can.”
“You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.”
“My favourite memory of your loved one is…XYZ, she was a shinning light”
“I am always just a phone call away”
“We all need help at times like this”
“I am here for you”
“I am usually up early or late, if you need anything”
Sometimes they’re touching, sometimes they take away the awkwardness of conversations. Some are rude, and some words are just, useless.
Actually there is one thing that helps, NEVER KNOW ANYONE. But that’s as impossible as death is as inevitable.
These times we’re in, this year, I don’t mean to be a sadist, but it’s like a year of death. When Covid-19 started, the death rate was said to be 1% among countries that were well equipped to combat it. In the USA so far, there has been 117,000 deaths, and worldwide, 418000 from just COVID – 19 alone. Not malaria, or ebola in Congo, or car accidents, police brutality or Northern Nigeria attacks. A quick google search did not show COVID numbers from Africa , but so far we know from Nigeria we have 407 deaths. I personally believe these numbers are small because we are under-testing and under reporting cases, we’re having mysterious deaths en masse in kano, Jos, etc. I personally believe that the recovery rate of 5100 we have, is false, because other countries report reinfections and other complications, but hey, let’s leave it as it is.
There are over 1 million families in the world right now, interconnected, and simultaneously grieving. There is an “outbreak” of depression and anxiety, and other mental illnesses. And not to point out the obvious, but we’re not even in the thick of it yet. There’s a lot of tough conversations to be had, a lot of social conditioning being shot down. It’s tough.
This is going to be one hard year, and I need you, dear reader, to be prepared for it. I know money and hunger and not having a job is at the for front of your mind right now, but personal development and mental training should be too. You need to prepare yourself for all the bad news you will hear, there’ll be some. You need to take a break from your now priorities, shift them around a little bit, and put the focus on yourself, and people you love, only. And as much as possible, be a light. When you try and out a smile on someone’s face, their smile ends up putting a smile on yours. Be the peace to those around you. When you give hate and anger, it only comes back around at you, then makes you angry the more. Then you’re one old ball of cranky and frustration.
Once again, exercise, yoga and meditation, they are not for fit-fam. They are not fads. They are for you, for your mental health. Eating right, maintaining a proper sugar level, blood pressure, all these little things will determine how strong you are, because the mental controls the physical, and the physical feeds the mental.
Stay strong, and may the best immune system win.