September 18th, midnight

Tonight I learnt that the body goes through labour both in birth and death. The soul arriving, the soul departing.

I don’t want to say this bc I can’t take it back, but it’s an inevitability. My grandma passed and it’s surreal. She’s so beautiful and I’ve never seen her so glowing in all these months of sickness and suffering. In the end, she was surrounded by all her loved ones, reminding her of the shahaadah, her raising her finger, and in the end she relaxed into eternal rest.

The difficulty is for us, not her. She’s released and relieved. This is the end of an era and I don’t know what this means. I don’t know who I am without her. But I’m so so so so so so grateful for this past year and a half.

I’m lying in the same room. People tried to get me away but really, I don’t feel there’s any difference.

I had a dream a few weeks ago where her soul was levitated above her body, in the process of death. It was so smooth. I was told her death had been postponed so many times, for us to find closure. I guess we were ready to let go.

She’s not only a grandma, but a mother figure. I’m so beyond grateful and blessed to have had this incredibly kind and caring matriarch in my life.

I don’t know what I’ll tell my nephew who is sleeping over at our place.

Can I Mourn Another Morn’? 


Earlier today I was told of the abrupt passing of someone I met once a few months ago, and who last emailed me last week . I don’t know how to cope.
 His name was Mattias, a tall and dignified gentleman in his late 30s, early 40s. He was the coordinator of a rehabilitation project geared towards young adults 18-29 with psychological distress to reintegrate into society through helping them with whatever connections, networking, training they need. I keep remembering the last email he sent me after I had to cancel our second meeting, “ it’s ok Mulki, let me know when you feel better and we’ll make a new appointment.”
I’m in denial. I don’t know how to react. I’m not a crier but I’m crying, in short bursts whenever I remember our first meeting where he was listening very intensely to what I had dealt with and what dreams I wanted help with. And how he was so validating and warm. And amazed at my intelligence and wisdom. 
I keep asking myself, how is it possible? He emailed me a couple of days ago…

The first meeting was an intial assessment of my needs after which he’d convene with his colleagues to see if they could take me on ( they are like a support group that helps you with customized and inclusive plans) . I didn’t make it to the second meeting because my ptsd was triggered and it sent me into an intensely painful episode that I’m still engulfed in, 3 weeks on. 
In a way, I’m glad I couldn’t make it because if I had met with him more times, I don’t know how his death would affect me. 
I’m very very sensitive. I feel so connected to everyone. Just today, before I got the bad news , I was at the local pharmacist’s to order my antidepressants and a Somali auntie was there who didn’t know much Swedish. She was fairly new to the country and she asked me to translate for her as she had prescriptions she wanted to take out. I said alright.
The pharmacist was an old white lady with a faint eastern European accent to her otherwise impeccable Swedish. She was completely cordial with me, but when she turned to the Somali auntie, she became a stone-hearted bitch. She was rolling her eyes and sighing and showing frustration. 
She even told me to explain how to take the medication to her since there was no point for her to explain it as the Somali auntie was most probably going to forget. 

I said, you don’t know that. Explain it to me and I’ll translate it. 
She dismissed me saying that the directions are written on the package. 

I told her not to dismiss me and explain it, it wasn’t my obligation to read. 

She told the auntie the total price and as I was explaining to her – she was also illiterate btw- the pharmacist snapped and told me to wrap it up as she had customers!
I fucking blew my fuse and told her that she had no goddamn right to treat that auntie that way JUST BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T SWEDISH! I told her that she was also a customer and had every right to take her time! I told her I didn’t like the way she was discriminating against her. 

The auntie isn’t getting why I’m fuming and I told her let’s go. I had only met her 10 minutes prior but I felt so protective of her, and after we parted I thought of creating a support group for Somali immigrants. I couldn’t imagine what they must be going through, all the passive aggression and covert racism and condescension.

I was in those thoughts when I got the email. 
I say that to say, I have a bleeding heart and my empathy is so extreme that I end up experiencing people’s pain as if it were mine – even from pain I glean from what’s left unsaid. And setting boundaries to protect ME has been an uphill battle. 

I always end up numbing myself, keeping my pain to myself. I guess this post is my way of telling myself that I have a right to feel broken and sad. That my feelings are more than fleeting inconveniences or afterthoughts. 
So yeah.

miscarriage

Being a woman…is a lonely battle.
A close friend recently told me that she was a couple of months pregnant. I was so elated, about to cry, but then I was upset that she had waited so many weeks to tell me. She said she didn’t tell me because ‘you’re supposed to keep it a secret for the first 3 months because the risk of miscarriage is so high, and I didn’t want to tell people in case it didn’t work out.’
Bullshit, I told her. If the pregnancy terminates does that mean it didn’t count? A baby can be stillborn after 9 months – should the entire pregnancy be kept secret too, ‘ in case it doesn’t work out’.
But I understood her.I’m not a mother, and I can’t fathom what that entails. But I’ve seen what mothers go through.

The miscarriages that are mentioned in passing, void of importance, the post partum depression suffered in complete isolation.
When a woman falls pregnant, it’s not like an oven you pop dough in and wait for it to turn into bread.
As the embryo is growing, the woman’s body is flooded with hormones and her entire being is in fluctuation. Her body doesn’t belong to her anymore, another human in the making is draining her.
And yet, in between the terrible waves of sickness that strikes most women and the bloating and swelling and crying spells, she’s helping the baby grow by sending it thoughts of love and hope. For those first months before the bump appears, the miracle in making is a secret between her and the baby. They communicate by feelings and morning sickness and pregnancy cravings.
Her life flashes before her eyes. She will now and forever be in second place. Will it be a healthy baby? Will I be able to be a good mum?What if I fail?
So imagine all those questions, feelings, hope, – and the sad news:
“I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat. You’ve lost the baby.”
The hearts that were beating in tandem – abruptly returns to be a solo act. And what a heart wrenching song.
And because she never told anyone, she has to mourn in secret, continue with her daily life, greet her neighbours with a smile that never reaches the eyes, and walk past mothers with their strollers in the grocery store without breaking down in tears.
And if she did tell people, then her wounds will be ripped open over and over again:
– Oh it’s nothing. You’ll get pregnant soon enough
– OMG what did you do? Did you carry anything heavy?
– You have to be careful! What were you thinking?
– At least you didn’t go full term. Imagine if it was still born?
Darling, I don’t know what you felt in those scarring moments you lost your child. But your child mattered, your pregnancy counts. You will always and forever be a mother – even if your child doesn’t remain with you throughout your life. They will remain in your heart. You lost those first steps you envisioned, their 3 year birthday party, their high school graduation… I think sometimes the mourning no one can relate to or feel is the worst…So be your own best friend, and allow yourself to cry and grieve for as long as you are emotionally pregnant.

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