Sunday, May 06, 2018

I spoke with a lady and she lamented about how she was not allowed to mourn her late father when he died. Family friends and visitors came around and made statements such as: "be strong, you don't need to cry, such is life, be strong for your mother, etc".

Instead of going through the process of mourning before the healing starts to take place, she just numbed the pain and formed strong. About 10 yrs had passed and she realised that she didn't heal 'cos she was not allowed to mourn.

When her cousin lost her dad, she was with her and allowed her to scream out and cry. Most of what she did was to hold her close in a bid to comfort her. But she didn't stop her from crying and coming to terms with reality.

She told me: " I won't let my cousin go through what I went through. I was not allowed to mourn."

In most religious circle, when we get sick or are overwhelmed by challenges of life, we are sometimes not given room to express things as they are. 

We are expected to say things such as:
"It is well"
"I'm okay"

Others may advice the distressed:
"Let the weak say I am strong"
"Speak the word to your situation"
"It is the enemy that has the sickness"

While faith-filled words are necessary, how do we strike the balance?

Why should I go for counseling and instead of explaining things as they are, in a bid to get help, I bore my counsellor with motivational words.

A patient goes to see the doctor. Based on clinical observation and diagnosis, the doctor genuinely tells the patient what the problem is. 

The next thing we hear is: "It is not my portion. I reject it."

Remember that in most cases the doctors are just doing their job and often don't even know the patients personally. 

How do we strike the balance between coming to terms with a medical report and subsequently praying to God for divine intervention?

There are women who vehemently say Caesarean operation is for my enemy, when the clinical prognosis indicates that her life and baby's life is at risk if an operation is not done.

When is the right time to say "it is well"?

When do we have to say things just the way they are?

If people explain their challenges to us or we visit those mourning the loss of a loved one, what words do we dish out?

Is it soothing to the soul or capable of causing more hurts?

In some situations, silence is golden. Just your presence is worth more than words.

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Grace A. John-Ugwuanya is a human development strategist, public speaker, an author and Biomedical Researcher. She helps individuals breakout beyond certificates and become a better version of themselves. She is also the director of Amara's Hub Concepts, an event management, content writing and capacity building service provider.

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