“Idgesama wanted a vacation, so I went to Pakistan” is how I started off my first article in a series about grief. In the first paragraph, I couldn’t describe the enormity of the devastation in her face as she and her sisters were forced to evacuate their home by our country’s military. It was like the entire population of Kunduz had been obliterated. And yet, still, she managed to capture what she saw. I cannot describe to you the helpless feeling that my mom felt when she saw that; at that moment, she saw her husband dead on a heap of rubble, with all those brave residents of Kunduz fighting to save him.
And yet… despite all those losses, she would not give up, even though it was clear to everyone that the war was going badly. I could see her grief complex growing, as she and I had a bitter fight over what to do next. My mom was very concerned about my psychological state at that time. She said she felt that I needed to get help immediately, if not sooner. She told me that I should consider visiting a psychologist because of my history of depression. She knew that I shouldn’t be there; I was just too young to handle it.
But then I think about her and the memories of my visits. Now, even though I am much older and can handle much more, I still take some comfort from the memories she shared with me. They are something that I want to pass on to other people, in order to show them the real value of love; that sometimes, the war isn’t all that bad. Even if it is hard to look at now.
I don’t think I can describe how awful it is to me anymore. There is nothing that can describe the pain and sorrow I’m feeling right now. I don’t think I can ever recover from what happened to me. I don’t think that I can ever make things better for myself. I don’t think I’m capable of being a normal human again.
Everyone who survived the Holocaust knows the horrors; the stories are too powerful to even try to explain them. What I’m trying to say is that we can overcome our dark feelings and move on; that things will get better. But for now, it feels like something is preventing me from moving on; like a blockage has been placed between me and the joy I once felt.
I spent ten years after the war working as a teacher in a very Christian school. It wasn’t easy to move on, but I did. Now, I work as a psychotherapist and teach at a Christian school. I feel like I have to keep my distance from God, or else I’ll lose him. The guilt I carry is too much to bear, but I still want to be close to him.
That’s why I decided to write this. I wanted to talk about what has happened to me and to see if anyone else has experienced the same kind of loss and grief. I couldn’t describe the way that the loss of my husband’s faith and the feeling of his absence made me feel; I felt like I was a piece of debris now, all ruined and useless, like I had failed somehow. But I know that I am not; that I am a precious person with a lot to offer to the world.
So I’m going to write more, I’m going to write every way that I think is necessary to get through the process of letting go. It’s a process that is both painful and rewarding. There are moments when I think that I’ve completely lost everything, and then I see new possibilities opening up before me. I can’t describe how great it feels to have found my soul mate again, and that she is beautiful and perfect just the way she is. I am so happy I could cry.