Monday, March 27, 2023 | Ramadan 4, 1444 H
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What is life after all if not a dream?

Friendship is a form of love. It's different from the love of parents or brothers, as is the case for a wife and children, but it certainly remains a form of love.

As such, the older we get the more we need our friends and it becomes clear that it’s hard to keep them forever. Do you know why?

Because I think life gives and takes, separates and draws closer. Life has so many strange paradoxes that we can't find an explanation for no matter how hard we try!

Just as we gain friends, we also experience losing some. In fact, this is a kind of universal experience for everyone as humans are social beings. We experience this at different points in our lives, whether it's the kid we grew up with or the ones we met at school or even at work.

The most painful loss however is not that you've fallen apart and just stopped talking. This situation somehow can still be fixed if the friendship really is that important. But when you lose a close friend to death, you suddenly feel that your happiness account balance may be frozen.

Perhaps when the news of the loss arrives, it seems unreal at first and you suddenly feel severe numbness in your limbs, as you think it is a dream and everything will be fine, but when you come back to your senses the situation becomes more painful. You think that the next day he will call you, or you will hear the good news about his health. It's actually very difficult when you go to pick up the phone to call them to tell them about your day and then when you start calling their number, you remember that they are no longer alive.

This kind of loss makes you feel helpless and as it passes without you properly addressing it, the situation gets worse because your mind tells you to accept this, but your heart condemns it.

In a way, sadness here is different for everyone. It manifests differently in different people and no one’s experience of grief is the same. People often experience grief reactions in waves — if I may say so —, that come and go and oftentimes, the grief is most intense shortly after losing someone. But some people don’t feel sad right away. They may feel shocked or disbelief. In fact, it may take time to realize that the person is gone.

Whatever it is, we weep for the departed even though they have moved to another life and are waiting for a second life. For those who remain, there is also a stark realization that we are moving in that direction whether we like it or not.

We grieve for our dearly departed for two reasons. It's not just because we will miss the good times or their advice or their mere presence. But other than losing them, we also grieve for ourselves because they left us alone. It's not everyday we find someone who gets us, who is our person, who understands us before we can even say a word.

In the end, when you lose a loved one or a friend, the blackness dwells in our soul. We wake up every morning wondering why the universe continues to move and why the sun keeps rising. But this is life. It doesn't stop for anyone, not especially the dead.

To those who've gone, sleep well my friend. You and I, we are both waiting for the day that we wake up from life. For just like one of those tunes, what is life, after all, but just a dream?


Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.

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