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Grandmother is Sick; I Regret Not Visiting Her

25 June, 2021
Q My grandmother got sick a year ago. Her health started deteriorating sharply in the past 5 months. I did not take her illness seriously; though she would get okay like always. I last met her in February 2018. Even though living in the same city, I did not meet her for 3 months due to a mere reason of study.

Now, I went to meet her today and she is not able to speak or eat or even recognize me properly. I am filled with so much regret. If only I could have met her 2 weeks ago and told her how much she meant to me. Now, what if I never get the chance how will I live with this regret. My eyes fill with tears every time I think of this. She must have been so hurt that I never came to meet her while she was conscious.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• Everything is destined by Allah. Keep praying and have faith in Allah’s decisions.

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• You can still take care of her physically.

• Pray for her.

• Write down everything you ever wanted to say to her and imagine that your message has been transferred to her.

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As-Salamu Alaykum Sister,

I am sorry to hear that your grandmother feels sick. I hope that she gets well soon, Insha’Allah. You have expressed your sorrow and grief regarding not being able to meet your grandmother while she was conscious and letting her know what she meant to you. You have also mentioned that you feel guilty of not meeting her and feel like you will not be able to forgive yourself.

Sister, it is important to understand that health and sickness are part of life. They are sent upon mankind as a test of life. We often take things for granted until we lose them. It is then we feel our loss and regret having taken things for granted. This is not just you, rather it is human nature.

Do not burden yourself with guilt that if you had visited merely two weeks ago, you could have talked to her normally. Perhaps that was not the Will of Allah. You did not know your grandmother’s condition was deteriorating and did not avoid visiting her on purpose. So, ask Allah for forgiveness and be there for your grandmother now, as much as possible.

Stages of Grief

What you experience with regard to your grandmother are the various stages of grief. When a person close to someone becomes chronically ill or passes away, the dear ones go through stages of grief. It includes shock/disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression and finally hope or acceptance.

Similarly, it seems that you are experiencing the stages of grief simultaneously. You are in a state of shock/disbelief that your grandmother had become so ill suddenly. You are also denying its gravity and the consequences of the disease. Yet, at the same time, you are also bargaining. Bargaining involves making an attempt to negotiate with the higher power.

Grandmother is Sick; I Regret Not Visiting Her - About Islam

For instance, you would ask Allah to grant her health so that you could visit her more often, or grant her health in exchange for something you would do, etc. Further, you are also experiencing guilt and anger at yourself for not visiting her more often.

I admit that this is a difficult time for you. However, sister, everything is destined by Allah. Keep praying and have faith in Allah’s decisions.


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Rights of the Sick

Only Allah knows whether she will be ever conscious again or able to respond to you. In the meanwhile, you can pray for her health and ease of the difficulty she is going through.

In addition, try to visit her often. You can also take care of her physically. For instance, massage her head/legs softly, take care of what is being fed to her, give her water if her mouth seems too dry etc. You will find solace in doing these little things, but even your grandmother would be able to feel your love for her. Allah will reward you for serving her.

According to Hadith, Prophet Muhammad said,

“Visit the sick, feed the hungry and free the one who is imprisoned (unjustly).” [Sahih Bukhari]

There are several supplications which can be recited for the sick that can help your grandmother cure by the Will of Allah. Such as:

“I ask Allah who is the Lofty and the Lord of the Mighty Throne that He cures you”.

Become a Source of Sadaqa Jaariyah For Her

Sister, when a person becomes sick, or passes away and is not able to perform their own good deeds, it is up to their kin to perform good deeds so that the good deeds are transferred to their parents/grandparents and their account of good deeds keeps growing.

Abu Huraira (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu) reported: Allah’s Messenger as saying: When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity or knowledge (by which people) benefit, or a pious son, who prays for him (for the deceased). [Sahih Muslim – Book 13 – Hadith 4005].

The same thing goes for an ill person as well who is not able to perform good deeds on their own. So, performing good deeds like praying, reciting Quran, and doing good with people, you can become an indirect source of good deeds for your grandmother. What better way is there to show her that you love her; and that she means a lot to you.

Cherish Her Good Memories

It seems that your grandmother was very close to you and played a big role in your life. Therefore, it is essential that you keep her legacy, cherish the happy times you have spent with her and try to become a person that your grandmother would be proud to see.

Write to her

Another way to dissipate your pain about not communicating your feelings to her is to write letters to her in the form of journaling. Write down everything you ever wanted to say to her and imagine that your message has been transferred to her. It will help you feel a lot lighter and it will ease away your pain, InshaAllah.

May Allah help you in a difficult time, give complete recovery to your grandmother and keep your family strong.

Ameen.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How to Explain Grandfather’s Death to My Child ?

I Wish I Had Cared More for My Sick Grandma

Guidelines For Non-Muslim Grandparents

About Zainab Farrukh
Zainab Farrukh is a Counseling Psychologist. She is deeply inspired to bring about change at the individual, interpersonal and global levels.  She can be reached on her Facebook page – Thrive Now