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  • Shawn Ullah

Grieve : سوگ

Shawn Ullah : Edmonton, Alberta




“I don’t think anyone should ever deny themselves their right to grieve. Nor should they let society tell them how to grieve and for how long. You do you.”

"‘I love you so much bro. Shawn! Say, ‘I love you’ back!’ Those were the last words I heard him say before he handed the phone off to our friend. Little did I know that those were the last words I would ever hear him say. Today marks one year from the day my dear friend Zohaiq passed away. He was someone so close to me that, there was nothing about me he didn’t know. He knew me better than I knew myself. I’d enjoy his sheer presence, even in silence. He would go out of his way to make me smile when I was sad. He was the one person who would send me parcels on my birthdays. You would think we were childhood friends, but no, I had only known him for four years then. Yet, I don’t think any of my friends loved me as much as he did.

Two years before his death, I lost someone else who was also very dear to me. A friend, who just like Zohaiq, was very much family to me. Her name was Sumbul. I had the misfortune of finding her dead in her apartment kitchen. I was devastated, torn, but I was able to ‘continue on with life’ fairly quick.

Not this time though. After Zo’s death, it felt like my life just got turned upside down. I’d unintentionally go days without eating. I would sleep for a few hours at a time, that too after every day and a half. I spent a lot of nights in denial hoping that he would come back. I had dreams that he was still alive, and would wake up to the unfortunate reality that he wasn’t. There literally wasn’t a split second where I wasn’t thinking of Zo.

My friends didn’t understand my grief, nor the magnitude of depression I was going through. There were a lot of people who told me that I needed to get over it, move on, that I needed to just accept it, and let go. Some people even told me that I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to grieve for this long. After many months, attempting different coping mechanisms, I eventually made peace with his death. I miss him dearly, and there are days where I feel submerged in the sadness of his absence, but I’ve made my peace. I don’t think anyone should ever deny themselves their right to grieve. Nor should they let society tell them how to grieve and for how long. You do you.”

(Shawn Ullah : Edmonton, Alberta)

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