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Coping with the Loss of My Son

Questioner

F (37-female-Canada)

Reply Date

Sep 17, 2017

Question

My child Zachariah 4-year-old has died after a tonsils operation. I have experienced an extremely difficult situation, and I cannot cope with the fact that he is no longer with me. He was very attached to me and we were very close. Night time he often came to sleep with me. When I read the Qur’an I feel strong but after a while all I could see is my lost child. I would like to know more about death. Where is my son? and how can I live with this tragedy?. Thank you

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“Find someone who will let you talk about him or share memories.  Often, people think if someone experienced a loss like this, it’s best to avoid the topic.  But I imagine you always think of your son, and perhaps you want someone with whom you can share the happy moments of his short life as well as the sadness.  Turn to one of your relatives or close friends for this support.”


As-salamu `Alaikum sister, 

You are going through a tremendous trial, sister.  It sounds to me as if you are being very strong in the face of this adversity. You are reading the Qur’an and turning to Allah at this difficult time.  Surely Allah will reward you for your patience and strength.

Allah has given each of us a lifespan.  This is stated in the following hadith:

When the drop of (semen) remains in the womb for forty or fifty (days) or forty nights, the angel comes and says: My Lord, will he be good or evil? And both these things would be written. Then the angel says: My Lord, would he be male or female? And both these things are written. And his deeds and actions, his death, his livelihood; these are also recorded. Then his document of destiny is rolled and there is no addition to and subtraction from it” (Muslim)

Allah grants each person a lifespan.  In our limited knowledge, we cannot understand why some people are allowed very long lives while others are taken when they are still young. I can’t give you answer for why this happens.

Allah knows best.

Remember that Prophet Muhammad lost three young sons.  We know he cried after the death of his young son Ibrahim.  Crying and mourning are natural expressions of release that accompany grief.

My advice to you is to keep reading the Qur’an, trying to find peace in the words of Allah.  Keep making your five daily prayers, and ask Allah to give you the strength you need to face this trial.  Do not sit and recycle sad feelings about your son. Motherhood is not about possessing another life, but nurturing another life and knowing when to let go.

Find someone who will let you talk about him or share memories.  Often, people think if someone experienced a loss like this, it’s best to avoid the topic.  But I imagine you always think of your son, and perhaps you want someone with whom you can share the happy moments of his short life as well as the sadness.  Turn to one of your relatives or close friends for this support.

With time, you will have good memories of him and in this way, these good memories will remain as a part of the positive side of you. No matter how many years pass, you will remember him. He was a part of you.

Stay close to Allah, and allow yourself to grieve.  At some point, you will be able to stop crying and simply remember your son with love.


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