Saudi Arabia: Wanting to Deny Reality

Today is the one year anniversary of Abdullah’s death.  Although much can happen in one year’s time does it really make a difference in the feelings of grief and loss?  I miss my husband just as much or more today than I did one year ago.  When I think of my and Abdullah’s life together it seems to flash before my eyes like a video on continual fast forward.  I want to stop and rewind or at least pause the scenes but I can’t find the remote to do so.

Abdullah was always a kind and gentle man.  You could not help but love him and want to get to know him.  It has been an exceptionally tough time this past week and today.  At least until one year of his death I can always look back to “last year at this time and he was HERE.  Yet after today there is no longer that odd sense of comfort but instead a dark chasm as the reality keeps sinking in that he is gone from his earthly home.

I’ve become a master on putting on the “all’s well and great” mask when inside I’m a mess of crushed glass pieces.  Cracks of what is inside have emerged.  Even I can’t deny that the past few weeks my writing has been different…it’s been “off.”  I realize I have been wishing to deny the reality that this day would come.

Just as there is delayed culture shock I can attest that there is also delayed grief.  I believe because Abdullah passed away when I was in the midst of my own chemotherapy treatments my mind was so dulled and muddled it did not allow my grief to fully invade as of today.

It’s too easy to take a spouse for granted and accept he or she will always be there.  In reading this post today, rejoice in your spouse (for those who are married) and honor him or her.  Let him or her know how much they are loved and cherished.

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44 Responses

  1. I’m deeply touched by this.

  2. Carol

    May the Lord bless you and keep you

    May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you

    May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

    Hugs

  3. Aw, I remember last year when I woke up and read your post about Abdullah. I was incredibly heartbroken for you. I pray for God to give you His peace and strength. Hugs!

  4. I too remember reading that post and my heart broke for you.

    There is no timetable for grieving. You may think you are over the worst of it and it’s going to come back at you, out of the blue, as if it were the very first day all over again.

    Know that I truly feel your pain and hope that you will find many opportunities to smile and be happy. {{{HUGS}}}

  5. Salaams Dear Carol

    May Allaah t’ala comfort you and always give you wonderful memories.

  6. Your circumstances have been excruciating.

    That one year anniversary is very hard. It will get less difficult, but don’t worry– he will never be far from your heart.

    There is nothing I can say to make you feel better— you know more about life, love and loss than I have ever known.

    The human spirit is indestructible, however, as is the love between you and Abdullah. May Allah bring you two together again in a better place, in a better time.

  7. I cried when i first read that post a year ago. I was pregnant so my hormones sent me in to a tailspin of grief and it wasn’t even my own.

    made me appreciate my husband and I made him make du’a for you. I asked others to do the same.

    May Allah swt have mercy on you, may you be granted complete shifaa from all that is ailing you, may you be rewarded handsomely for your suffering, may you be reunited with Abdullah in the highest jannah ameen.

    btw my husband shares the name.

  8. aww….sweetie! I have no idea what it must have been like for you, but if you ever need to talk, I’ll do my best to listen!!! (Although I’m sure many others are here for you in this way, too.)

    Remember that time is just a tool for measurement, whether it’s a year or two years or more, you’ll still have memories of your time with him. I’m sure Abdullah knows just how much he was (and is still) loved by you! ❤

    It's okay to just be a mess of crushed glass from time to time. *BIG HUG* You don't have to always be the one trying to help everyone else- it's okay to be the one being helped sometimes, too. It's okay to take time out for yourself when you need it.

    Are there any memories of your time with Abdullah that have really stood out in your mind recently, if you don't mind me asking?

  9. Carol, I really wish you well as you continue to cope with loss and the transition to another life. You have shown extraordinary grace so far. Grief definately comes in stages. This sort of a loss is simply too great to absorb in one go.

  10. Everyone has expressed themselves so eloquently…I hope you can take some comfort in the love and admiration you have garnered from sharing yourself through your writing, Carol. We all care so much about you – and that is an extraordinary tribute to you. God bless you and your wonderful Abdullah.

  11. Hugs to you Carol. It gets better with time. One day you’ll find that you have more smiles than tears 🙂

  12. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilahi Rajiun!

    May Allah SWT bless your husband with Jannatul Firdous! Ameen!
    May Allah SWT bless you with a long, beautiful and healthy life! Ameen!

    Always be happy!

  13. My deepest condolences on your loss.

  14. I cannot help but cry when I read your sweet and touching words. Just remember that you have people who care about you. You are not alone. May Allah be with you throughout these difficult times.

  15. Carol,

    I don’t know what to say to make you feel better. I am not good at these things…but I just want you give you a big hug and tell you that it will get better and rejoice in the wonderful memories you had with him. (((hugs)))

    MaryAnn

  16. Carol, my deepest condolences. I will make du’a for you and Abdullah. May Allah swt bless you.

  17. I try to do that every day. My husband recently had surgery and was in the hospital for 5 days. I got a little taste of what it would be like without him and it has made me a little more thankful for him then I already was. My t houghts and prayers are with you today and always.

  18. Carol
    My prayers are with you. May Allah help you to bear your grief with patience and make it easy for you

  19. Salam Carol,

    My heart felt dua is with u. May Almighty bless you always and Keep Abdullah in Jannatul Firdous.

    Have a smile on ur face always.
    Take care plz.

  20. A big hug for you.

  21. What I always find so moving about your writings on your husband is how deeply you loved him. You were so blessed – and still are to have these wonderful memories. I know he felt how deeply YOU felt. That is such a comfort.

    I will continue to follow your blog and your health progress and join all of your other readers in acknowledging your grief and wishing you the very best.

  22. Lots of hugs carol, Your grief will ease day by day but he will always remain in your heart. All the best in your daily life .

  23. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. “It’s too easy to take a spouse for granted and accept he or she will always be there. In reading this post today, rejoice in your spouse (for those who are married) and honor him or her. Let him or her know how much they are loved and cherished. ”

    Great words, from the heart

  25. I apologize for not answering each and every thoughtful, warm, compassionate, caring and loving comment individually. I do want to extend my thanks for EVERYONE who has taken the time to respond.

    It’s been a day full of emotions which I have been able to a large degree focus on rejoicing who my dearest Abdullah was and continues to be but no longer from the earthly home.

  26. Dearest Lady,

    As the mother of a beautiful 21-year old killed in 1985, I am here to tell you that the first year is the toughest. The whole unreeling of events that make up a year — Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthdays, etc., will bring up the previous last year, and your emotions are so close to the surface as you go through these events without Abdullah.

    Along with the shock of what happened, the emotional struggle with chemotherapy helped stiffle your own emotions during the event, which was a blessing. Also, since we have always learned to keep going day by day, our own determination helps us get through the days, but everything is there, ready to break through. I have come to feel that God comes to our help by having the shock of what is happening also muffle our emotions while we are doing what “needs to be done”. And then, one day, you realize that your whole future is going to be faced without your love and the heartbreak is fresh and the tears plentiful. But the tears are cleansing and we can’t always keep them away.

    The pain doesn’t go away, it mutes itself into a tender spot in your heart. You will put a careful shell around that tender spot so your emotions do not crop up unexpectedly. It’s amazing, but eventually, you will see somebody who speaks, or walks, or smiles like your beloved, and your heart will skip a beat because you’re not prepared for this sudden vision right before your eyes.

    What DOES happen is you will have beautiful moments in your future that will be rewarding, and events that help you realize that you’re living your life as well as possible in spite of the absence of the one that meant so much to you.

    And, you know that your love would be proud of you.

    You’ll always miss that closed door to what his future with you could have been. But, God gives us new opportunities and you know that Abdullah will always be looking over you. And proud of how you’ve been able to grab onto whatever you need to cope, survive and continue.

    May God Bless you and keep you well.

  27. O Allah give our sister a fast & a speedy recovery from cancer & her husband Jannat-ul-Firdous. Aameen

  28. The parting of a loved one is indeed very difficult and it gets worse before it starts getting better.

    Sorry I could not write earlier as I was having my own issues. My dear father left this earthly life today. It is devastating news and cannot come to terms with it.

    I can understand your loss last year clearer than ever. My prays are with you and your beloved husband.

    May Allah swt make it easier for you. I know how much you miss him. I miss my father terribly and pray for his eternal peace. Ameen.

  29. Sorry for the delay, Carol, but I am sending all my love and support and you remain in my prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I, too, hurt for you, even amidst all my own issues this year.

    Love and warm wishes

  30. Sarah, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  31. Thanks Lynn. Appreciate it very much.

  32. Dear Sarah,

    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved father. No matter how prepared we may believe we are, at the time of passing our strength is tested by our grief. Don’t hold your grief in and do not hesitate to share with me anytime. admin@americanbedu.com

    Hugs to you, Carol

  33. @Sarah, I am sorry for your loss.

  34. Carol, you don’t know how much your words meant for me. While I am alone in my grief, I suddenly feel I have sisters who genuinely care and share my pain. The grief is intense especially because my father had asked for me and I could be there in time.

    You are in my prayers and so is Lynn who had also suffered a loss not too long ago.

    Thanks Carol for your encouraging words. Big, warm hugs to you.

  35. Thanks, MoQ, it means alot.

  36. Sorry for your loss, Sarah. ((Hugs!)) 😦

  37. Sarah, I’m glad you no longer feel alone in your grief. Thank you for the prayers. I hope you can push away all the regrets at not being there in the end with good memories of your father’s life.

    The morning that my mother died I had stopped by the hospital on my way to work. She was sleeping peacefully after what the nurse said had been a hard, restless night. So, I left , thankful that she was able to finally get some sleep and I called my father and some other family members and updated them and told them not to bother rushing up to the hospital that morning. Thankfully my father didn’t listen to me and she died shortly after he got there. I felt so bad that I HAD been there but left.

  38. Thanks Susanne, for your concern. I value it.

    Maybe a time will come when it gets easier to bear the loss. It must have been terrible for you, Lynn that you had only just left your mother before she passed. I can understand the pain.

    A tiny tear trickled down my father’s eyes while he lay in my mother’s arm . She wiped it away and fed him his last bit of norishment before he passed away. Was that tear a goodbye?

    I know Carol is still feeling the pain of emptiness, a void. She too could not be with her beloved husband at the last moment, It is such a sharp pain. When, I read your story the first time, Carol, it touched me so much that I cannot count how many times I read it over and over again.

    If you get over the feelings, does it mean that you finally have accepted the loss, that you are ready to forget; does it mean that your love is somehow fading away? I wouldn’t want that to happen. I feel guilty when I think of a day when I won’t be feeling anything.

  39. Sarah, you won’t feel ‘nothing’ you just won’t feel the extreme sadness that you are feeling right now. In time the sadness will be replaced with just good memories of your father and I’m sure that he would want that for you. In time you will be able to just be happy for the time that you had with your father and cherish the memories that you have. Right now you just take the time and grieve and know that it will get easier with time. At least that’s how it has been with me with my mom. My son though….I don’t know how THAT’S ever going to get easier. :”-(

  40. @Lynn, Sarah,

    I understand your moment of sadness and would like to bear the pains togather but life is like this. All will go one day and live this world permanently. What we can do is to do as much good things and help the needy as we can till the time we alive.

    Hope ur pains subside soon. My prayer with u all.

  41. Lynn is right. YOu have to grieve your dad. Eventually the grief will give way to feelings of joy for your father in knowing where he is. The grief is our sadness at the loss of him. I can’t say yet when it fades. I know I can talk about ABdullah easily now without breaking down in tears like before. I further believe it helps a lot to talk.

  42. Thank you Carol for this good message and peace to you during this hard month.

  43. Thank you, Jean. I appreciate your words.

  44. […] at other times they have gone by so fast.  I still remember so clearly taking care of Abdullah as he battled against his insidious leukemia which took his life on 08 February 2010.  He put up such a strong […]

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