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  • Writer's pictureSaira Sufi

Gotta be lots of celosia, right?

I put an orchid on my office desk and it is beautiful. It makes me wonder about all the different kinds of flowers there are in Jannah. I truly am looking forward to spring but I can't deny that I have no idea how to feel about March Madness this year. I would so love to be filling out a bracket with Hadi and trying to figure out if it is worth getting tickets to watch any games at the Verizon Center, sorry, Capital One Arena. I know I have discussed how grief comes in waves but man, today knocked me over. I asked Zakaria his thoughts on some days being harder than others and in true Zakaria fashion, he looked at me and said, "I just think about being reunited with him in Jannah." Pretty sure the kid will school me for the rest of my life. Maybe it's the fact that we have hit the 500,000 Covid death mark, maybe it's that I want there to be more vaccines available, maybe it's that I just want to put my child on a bus and then hear all about his day and interactions with friends. Maybe it's that I want to see my nephews and nieces (and my brothers) and go to a game at Allen Fieldhouse. Maybe it's listening to Dr. Fauci say we will be wearing masks for...awhile. Maybe it's because I want to truly hug and squeeze those that have lost family members to Covid. It's just been a rough day. Ok, a few rough days. Heck, a few rough years halwa wala quwatta, illa billa, there is no power or might except with God.

I have my gratitude journal that makes me write down three things I am grateful for everyday but I kinda think it is gonna start shouting at me that I can't keep writing coffee and need to come up with new items. I am grateful for the fact that I wrote about Hadi's journey with aplastic anemia and I am able to continue to write about my journey with...whatever the heck this is. I kinda laugh at myself with how creative I have become telling my story (I am still awkward, either being very reserved or explaining everything to a stranger (wonder where Zakaria gets it from) but one thing I do want to address is this comment I often get: "Well, many marriages don't survive after the loss of a child." I usually respond saying that I need to look into that research. I finally decided to do so.

In a 2006 study commissioned by The Compassionate Friends, parental divorce following the death of a child was found to be around 16%. The findings were consistent with an earlier study conducted by the group that showed equally low divorce rates among bereaved parents. Interestingly, less than half of those who were divorced following the death of their child felt that the death had contributed to the disintegration of the marriage.

I will leave it at that.

You know what else I am grateful for? One, that I ended that sentence with a preposition and I don't care. It might not seem like it but that is growth on my part. Two, resources out there to deal with grief. However, I do wish there were more Muslim support groups for the loss of a child. I started one on Facebook and so if you are reading this and feel you know someone who might benefit from it, please do let me know.

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