First Love

“I trust the red sun setting,
the leafless November trees.
On Monday morning I look forward
fearlessly to Friday’s eve.
But humans are not as reliable
as nature, as trees.
I wonder if you’ll come back;
I trust only that you leave.”

― Ellen Wittlinger, Book: Hard Love

Picture from http://goodmenproject.com/

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Coping With Loss

In the last few months, there have been many deaths of people I know and some famous people. I think death is something real and we have to learn to accept death as part of life. I do still struggle when dealing with death even when dealing with someone who is not close to me. I grew up without a mom, lost my dad when I was 13 and then lost my Grandfather and Grandmother in my 30’s. Every time there is death, I go into this mental processing mode on facts, feelings and spiritual healing.

I believe there is no right way or wrong way to personally deal with death. Individually we do our best to equip ourselves with possibility of any loss. The most important thing is to accept the differences and give a lot of understanding. The one thing not to do is to deny it will happen at any time. At some point, you have to start thinking about the preparation.

I do not know how I would cope with a loss the next time around. It could possibly be someone close. Although I feel I am always prepared, I think I would probably be in some deep sadness period. I pray I will pass that period gradually but fast. There are so many ways to learn on how to cope with a loss. I am certainly not an expert. I do feel at this point of my life, writing down the best way I handle loss is a way to share and reminds me when the time comes again. Below are what I prepare to face any loss…

  • Acknowledge how I feel.
    I think it is important to acknowledge how I feel. It is not how I should feel but what I am truly feeling. I do not want others to tell me what I should feel or how to feel. I must figure out what I am feeling on my own. By doing this, I concentrate on my own feelings and me. In the end, it is simpler. For as I heal, I help the people around me heal together.
  • Stay Healthy
    You can be sad and mad but stay healthy. There are cases where society plays an important role in this. How can she eat during this period? What other people think is no important. I know from experience that when I am not healthy I do not function well, miserable, unable to communicate or think clearly. When I am unhealthy, I am mentally unhealthy and will not be able to heal properly.
  • Good Support System
    This usually falls back to the closest people around me. Emotionally I do depend a lot on my friends as I only have one sibling. This is the part I worry the most, as I do not have a large support system. I hope they will be there to listen when I need them and encourage me to physically and emotionally heal (or smack me when I lost all hope!!). I think it is important to converse about loss with family members. I do ask myself some questions like how many aging people who are close to me and tell myself this is part of life. You love them but they will not live forever.
  • Faith
    For me, finding comfort and solace can only come from my faith. In every faith, there are methods one can learn to cope with a loss. I find that that being spiritually strong helps in the search of ways to mentally deal with all thoughts. Prayers and zikr can help to reduce stress. Sometimes it is good to talk with our religious teachers. Being closer to my Creator makes me calmer and able to think clearer.
  • Understand that healing takes time
    I find some time that people try to move on with their life too soon. They put aside their feelings, physical health and project a “strong” front. Discussion on the loss is required, if not it will possibly lead to depression. I do not want to be strong when all I feel is grief and sadness. All I want to do is deal with the grief and sadness. Cry if I want to. Take leave and be alone if that is what I feel to do. There is no target date to heal but remember the target is to cope with the loss and finally moving on.

Many experts talk about many stages of coping with loss. Usually it is the 5 stages:
a. Denial
b. Anger
c. Bargaining
d. Depression
e. Acceptance

The stage that I am afraid the most is the depression stage but those stages are not something that a person has to go through. It just varies from one person to another.

When we lose someone we love, we are face with many unexplained feelings, thoughts, questions, blame, anger, sadness and so much more. Although we say we cannot prepare for death, we have to accept death as part of life. We have to remember that it is more painful for those left behind; therefore, a little preparation will ease the loss.
Will it ever be enough? I do not know. I do the best I can with the knowledge I have.


Picture from: http://galleryhip.com/growth.html

The Other “F” Word

JK Rowling on the other F-word — “Fat”:

‘Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
— J.K. Rowling

I am guilty of this sometimes. I am so used to saying someone looks great first then comments about other matters. I try not to mention about a person weight..I do when they comment. Some people expects a compliment that they have lost a lot of weight (or a little). I have to do better…

Adele5

Memorial Benches of Richmond

I have not been writing about my travels. Only one word to describe that….procrastination. Sigh.

I want to write part of my travel…those that I felt left a beautiful mark on my heart. I love nature, people, and history and maybe just a little bit of art. You cannot see and visit everything when you travel but I think we do our best to visit slightly unknown places.

My sister in law lives in London…..a big plus when travelling to this ridiculously expensive part of the world. For so many years, I have been confused when referring to England, Great Britain and United Kingdom. Found out it is really simple:

• United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (though most of Ireland is now independent).
• Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales
• England is just England.

Anyway, I visited England . My sister in law lives in Richmond; naturally I visited many beautiful places surrounding Richmond. I wrote a little bit on Richmond Hill last year.

One of my favorite things to see is the benches. Most of the benches in Richmond are memorial benches. The first time I sat on one of those benches, I imagine myself taking a picture of one bench a day for 365 days! The inscriptions were beautiful, funny, heartfelt and very personal. Although it is not cheap (I was told the price is above £1000 per bench), it is a brilliant way to remember your loved ones and support the city council too!

These memorial benches can be found if you walk along The Thames, in Richmond Park, Richmond Hills and even at Hampton Court. If you’re in a hurry, you just won’t be able to appreciate these benches. Go for a stroll. Here are some of the pictures taken by me….enjoy!

Below: Richmond Hill (I was told one of those homes belongs to Mick Jagger. I was hoping for him to walk his dog so I could see him…no luck).
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Below: My husband with one of the bench dedicated by a man to his wife who happens to be “Nora” just like my nickname. Errr….
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I love the location of the bench near this pub by The Thames. Beautiful. 7704106098_4bbc6057cd_k

And this one which really makes you want to sit and read a book or just watch the river flows, birds flying and the ducks play. Can you imagine how beautiful this place would be during other season?
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Do visit my my flickr with more pictures of the benches – Wooden Bench of Richmond

In My Arms

As I scatter rose petals onto the wet soil
I wonder if you are resting
I wonder if you can smell the roses
I wonder if you are well.

As I scatter the orchids on to the wet soil
I wonder if you know I am here
I wonder if you can feel my hand touching the soil
I wonder if you could see me.

As I raise my hands to pray
I wonder if you know how much I love you
I wonder if you can feel how weak I am
I wonder if you can see my heart.

My heart
Broken and mended
Wounded and healed
Broken and wounded repeatedly
Mended and healed repeatedly

I miss you, my first child
I will be there with you when the time is right
When the Almighty decides it is time
I know you will be waiting with a big smile
And you will once more be in my arms.

Nura
13th February 2015

It was really hard to be so far from my friend and not be able to be there in person to help her when she lost her son (her eldest). And it was harder to speak on the phone. I put myself in her position and as a mom; I would probably just want that time alone – me, my family and God.
There are no words or understanding or gestures which would make someone heal from such a tragedy in a short period of time. Heartbroken would be a word to use but it really does not explain how the heart feels and how physically exhausting it is.

May Allah bless you with solace, strength and steadfastness. May you find happiness daily. May your family be strong together.

I love you, Julie.

La Tahzan Innallaha Ma’ana
“Don’t be sad; indeed, Allah is with us.” [Surah At-Taubah: 9:40]

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Salt Body Scrub by Dr Neesa Amran

I have not seen Dr Neesa Amran for 3 years and we finally met up on Saturday Jan 31st. She has 2 children now and was still on maternity leave. It was good to see her although we do keep in touch via social media.

She gave me a jar of her homemade salt body scrub – Coconut Moroccan Rose. It smells heavenly. I have been using it quite often on my feet, knee and elbow. I just love the smell and the smooth feeling it leaves on my skin. The coconut oil makes my dehydrated skin very supple. Love, love, love the smell!! Good job, Neesa!

Now to order more scrubs!!

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