It’s been a year since my father passed away. This past year has been so difficult for my family. Death is so final and the pain is so deep. My father’s death changed me as a person. It affected me emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and physically. I was left totally reeling, shocked and so angry, angry at the injustice of having a messed up medical system in Zimbabwe. A medical system that does not work. At the end his life seemed to matter very little. Money could not buy his health. Money could not buy his life. There was nothing that anyone could do. I never felt as helpless and as far away as I did during his last days on earth.
It’s a year on and the pain hasn’t gone. I understand that it never really goes away but you just learn to live with it.
What have I learnt in the past year?
“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional physical and spiritual necessity. It is the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve” Earl Grollman
Grief is something that we all have to go through at some point in life. It is not the same for any two people. We express ourselves differently . I cope by writing my feelings in a journal and listening to Cynthia Mare’s songs Hatina Musha and Rimwe Zuva. My husband goes into his man cave and doesn’t talk. We all deal with it differently and we all cope differently. There is no right or wrong way.
I have learnt that I should not meditate over the things that should have been or could have been. I have no control over the past and cannot do anything about it. All I can do is hold onto and remember all the good memories. I can make the most of today. I can choose to love and appreciate those around me.
I learnt the importance of family and how I should make my children a priority. At the end of my father’s life the people who did not leave his side were his wife, children and his sisters. When I think of what I would most in life at the moment it would be just to have a little bit more time with him. It’s taught me to make the most of the time that I have with my loved ones. To cherish the time that I have with them. To pay attention more and to spend more time giving hugs and kisses to my children and loved ones.
It’s good to feel the pain. The only way out is through. So we have to go through the pain and the Holy Spirit counsels us and comforts us if we allow him. I learnt that it’s not wrong to feel the pain but it’s wrong to keep it. It is important to surrender the pain and not to let it consume you and take over your life.
Finally it will pass. There is no tragedy that is permanent. Even death is just temporary separation. Death is not a permanent split for believers. It is just a long separation. We will one day be reunited with those who have died.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18New International Version (NIV)
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
We have hope.