Taking off my Grief Glasses
When my husband passed away, I donned a pair of grief glasses. It wasn’t by choice – they just appeared on my face, promptly perched themselves on my nose, and made a home there.
Everything I saw was tinted by the lens of grief. A cup of tea was no longer a cup of tea. It was a missed chance to chat with my best friend. A load of laundry was no longer a load of laundry. It was a reminder that I’d never need to help him do laundry again.
Then heartbreak seeped into every single thing.
There were people who tried to snatch the glasses right off my face. They tried telling me, “don’t be sad – he’s in a better place!” They tried convincing me that seeing the world tinted by shades of grief was a terrible thing. But when they tried to grab the glasses from me, all they did was leave scratch marks around my eyes. Those glasses were super glued right to my face.
Even when I tried to yank them off by being completely absorbed by projects or tasks, the grief held onto me for dear life – taking root in me and promising never to let go.
But over time, the glue beneath the glasses lost its strength and it all came undone. I was able to take them off and see a cup of tea for what it was – warm comfort. I was able to see laundry for what it was – the bane of my existence. Not everything was tinted by grief anymore. And I was glad, so very glad, that my Lord helped me reach this point.
But you know what? Those glasses that so forcefully perched themselves on my nose and so proudly laid claim to a space on my face…I needed them. I needed to understand what it meant to be broken and to see everything in life differently than I did before. Because what is the point of grief if it doesn’t fundamentally change you?
I saw beautiful things through those grief glasses, too. I saw people love me and hold me up. I saw a side of Allah’s Mercy I had never seen before. I saw my duas being answered, again and again. I saw the words of the Quran come alive in my heart. I saw this life for what it truly was - temporary.
It was because of my grief-tinted vision that I experienced those things.
If you see someone with those grief glasses on – don’t try to snatch them away. It won’t work. Let them see what they see and feel what they feel. Extend your hand towards them, gently remind them of Allah’s plan and ability over all things, and patiently wait. They’ll loosen over time and with the permission and assistance of God.
Even though my grief glasses have loosened now, looking through them for so long changed the way my eyes see and heart feels. And that’s not a sad thing. That’s a beautiful thing. Alhamdulillah.
We all see the world through some kind of lens. No one is completely free of bias, or hurt, or personal perspective. Whatever lens we look through will tint our vision and change the way we view the people and things in our lives. Sometimes we can choose which glasses we put on, and sometimes we can't.
When you're able to choose, always choose gratitude :)
"...And they will say, 'Praise to Allah, who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative - He who has settled us in the home of duration out of His bounty. There touches us not in it any fatigue, and there touches us not in it weariness [of mind]'" (35:33-35).