“Pockets of kindness.” – Shuiab Khan
I have followed John for some time now, but one thing that always stood out was how he communicated kindness and love. But in 2020, I came across a poignant and heartfelt Tweet from John commemorating the life of his late mother and sister.
We rarely talk about grief when it is the eternal dance partner for love.
You see, I lost my little brother, Kasim, last year. It was sudden; he was young and my best friend. After the funeral on Eid Day, the cemetery began to empty; for my family, the grief had only just started.
A year on, what I call the ‘pockets of kindness’ have helped me carry on and continue to commemorate Kasim. The strangers who have allowed me to sit with my grief without fear of sanction, judgement or giving unsolicited advice.
Those who have said:
· I have made time for us to have a chat
· Have you eaten?
· I won’t pretend I know how you are feeling, but I will always listen
· I am so sorry to hear about your loss
· You take as much time as you need
These pockets of kindness are all around us, and once the intensity of grief becomes calmer, they will appear like a ray of sunshine in a cloudy sky. They will appear. I promise grief has no linear stages.
We are merely learning to adjust to a reality that we never asked for or wanted. But one thing that grief has taught me is to be kinder to myself. To continue working on myself and learn more about myself. I have become more energy conscious and built boundaries like never before. I do so out of love, self-love and my endless love for Kasim.
As our bond as brothers continues, albeit in a different way, I long for the day I see him again. Until then, I must take a trait that Kasim had in abundance and make it an integral part of my own life; kindness.
Life is so precious. We all want to be remembered, don’t we? Not for our status, income, wealth or power but by our character.
So, before every interaction, I do what Kasim would do and ask myself,… ‘Is this kind?’
This has become my shining light, and as Mark Lemon reminds us, ‘I cling onto your memory, not to wallow in the darkness, but to remember the light you brought into my world.’
To everyone who has lost a loved one – when we are reunited, our story together will continue.
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Thank you for your kindness
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