“I know my presence can be felt by others, even if I don’t speak. Their hearts speak to mine and I listen.” ~ Vishant Poeran
I regularly get messages from different people dealing with life’s hardships. Some have read my posts, my blogs and others have heard me speaking.
I want to share my experience of one week with you and exemplify how I connect with people.
In need of pictures to share my messages
Some of you may be wondering if I’m a model. Not really. I shoot pictures to emphasize my messages. Two weeks ago I had planned a shoot to create content for my future posts, it was a Sunday. This was planned since the beginning of the week with one of my best friends, Giovanni Madari, who shoots most of my pictures. Because most of our previous shoots were outdoors we decided to shoot indoor this time. We choose for CY Coffee. We had booked a table for 60 minutes, but we were 30 minutes late. So technically we had 30 minutes. No harm was done. We had enough time for what we had planned.
When we entered the room where our table was, there was a woman who seemed occupied with her work. I greeted her and she asked if she needed to leave, but we had enough space so I told her that it’s ok and that she could stay. Gio took some shots and halfway during the shoot, while Gio and I were busy discussing a setting, I saw her taking a picture of us. I smiled and asked if she wanted another shot, she smiled and said ‘Yes!’. After she took the picture I introduced myself to her and told her what our goal is with the pictures. She asked me: ‘What do you write about?’. I told her that I write about life in a spiritual sense and that these writing are based on thought processes about the fundamentals of humanity. She asked me: ‘Can you inspire me? I lost my only child and he was cremated at the beginning of this week. I feel fine when I’m around people and when I’m busy at work, but when I go to bed I weep a lot and all the feelings pop-up. I lost that person to whom I was engaged seven years ago too.’ I told her that there is nothing wrong with her feelings and behavior. When we lose someone who we love dearly and were emotionally attached to, the pain cuts through our soul. Loss happens to everyone and grieving is a natural process. I don’t know the reason why it happened, but I do know one thing: you don’t deserve it. But, we cannot change the past nor control death, which happens to be an irreversible process. I stated: “Now that your son is gone, hopefully to a better place, you will need to continue living. For him and yourself. We did not meet by chance, we were meant to meet and now that I’m here I want to tell you that you are not alone. As of now, I am your son. And not only am I your son, Gio is your son too.”
I had some tags with my quotes on it. I searched for one and wrote my name and number on the back of it. The tag contained the following quote: “Someone is always ready to help, just ask”. I also walk around with a stack of cards which I got from my other best friend Simon. The card states the following: “Whenever we begin to feel as if we can no longer go on, HOPE whispers in our ear to remind us that we are strong. ~ Rober M. Hensel”. Immediately after that, she gave me a hug. I told her that she may feel alone, but never is. And she does not have to face the pain all by herself. That’s what we are here for. I told her that I could help her out with a book, from which she could read and understand that bad things happen to good people. Later that week I brought that book for her.
An unplanned speech on Hope
Thursday, of that same week, I was invited to speak at an event where a book on Hope was being launched. That evening I was one of three speakers, including the author himself. I started off by informing them that my best friend, Karan Gokoel, was initially supposed to perform as a speaker, but couldn’t make it. He had asked me to replace him, so I did. He’s a psychologist and I’m a software engineer. We may differ in our professionalism, but our main purpose is the same: to provide Hope. And in order to do such, one doesn’t need to have a certain title, image or status. One just has to be HUMAN. I continued my presentation and spoke about my perceptions and beliefs on HOPE, explained through some individual cases.
After my speech, a lot of people came to me and told me how my words had affected them. One of them was a woman who said the following: “You know, your words struck me and it really gave me some hope. I lost my son, whom I loved so dearly. Although seven months have passed, I am still in pain. And ever since, I have barely been able to sleep. For the past two weeks I was able to get some sleep due to the pills the doctor had subscribed to me. People tell me that I should forget the past, but he was my son. I’m a widow and I loved my son dearly. He was such a caring person. Call him anytime, any day and he would show up and be ready to help out. When he passed away, his friends did everything that needed to be done surrounding the burial. It confirmed what kind of a person my son was. I too was like that, but since my son passed away I stopped with everything, even attending church”. I told her that she has every right to miss him, think of him and should take her time to eventually give the bond she had with her son a place. “In your eyes, you’ve lost everything. Someone you loved with all your heart. ” I stated. I continued and told her that I have no answer why it has happened, but that we can’t do anything about the past. I could understand how extremely difficult it was for her, a parent seeing their child preceding them in death. No parent would want to go through such a cruel ordeal. I asked her to envision how her son wanted to see her living her life. Were it sad or happy? She said: “Happy, of course”. I continued by asking her if her son would be happy with the fact that she stopped with all the things that made others and herself happy. She said: “I guess not, because he loved to help people”. I suggested her to consider resuming activities she loved carrying out. I also told her that I could understand the pain she was experiencing and told her that her son is in a better place now. Immediately after, I asked her how she would feel if the roles were reversed. If her son had lived and she had passed away and if she would want him to be in a continuous state of pain and grief. Tears filled her eyes and she said: “No”. I took her phone number and told her that I would stay in touch with her and that she may have lost someone, but she had also gained me. Not to replace what she had lost, but to help her find the beauty in life again. The first thing I that within that same week is by contacting her by giving her a call.
Keep the following in mind:
- If you are going through a difficult time, I can guarantee you that someone nearby is going through the same. The only thing you need to do is to open up and talk.
- I never would’ve guessed what these women were going through when I first saw them. What we see on the faces of others might just be the cover of a book. Start a conversation and maybe you’ll get the chance to read some of the chapters.
- There are a lot of people who have lost someone and are facing it all alone, which can prove to be quite a burden. If you know such a person, reach out. Your presence can make a difference. Even if you don’t know what to say, you can always choose to be there and listen.
- Death knocks on everyone’s door and not necessarily in biology’s order.
- Grieving for the deceased is a normal process and takes time. If you’re still grieving a loved one after three to four years where thoughts about the deceased are dominant in your daily life functioning, seek out professional help.
- We often forget to include our children in the grieving process when someone close to us (like a parent) dies. Contrary to popular belief, children and adults experience similar emotions and reactions when they face the loss of someone. Since they’re children, they may not fully grasp what is happening, hence they are unable to express what they feel and are going through. Involve them, have patience, and regardless of what has happened and how difficult it will prove to be, show them love and warmth. Unconditionally.
- I promised myself to be there for people. Especially those who cannot feed themselves, the parents who don’t have children and the children who don’t have parents. If we’re not going to take responsibility for these people, who will?
- You don’t have to do something out of this world or extraordinary to be a hero. A hero is someone who does simple things to give people hope or to speak out for them. Asking a colleague how her/his day was, opening a door for someone, smiling at someone, listening, being kind…
- Everything we own will someday be taken away from us, sooner or later.
- If you reach out to someone, your life will get more meaning. You will do everything to help that person out and that person will have something to hold on too, which is you. They know that there is at least one person who cares and is willing to listen to them.
- Your words or deeds may not touch everyone; one is enough.
The way I connected with people was not new. I’ve been connecting to people in this way for a long time, but every time I can connect and reach out to someone it feels like a miracle.
I don’t write about every connection, but I’ve written about such a connection in my blog How a simple act of kindness can mean the world to someone. It may feel like miracle (perhaps it is), and it’s not hard to achieve this. The most important thing is to be yourself, listen to your heart and let go of all that is holding you back (hate, envy, grudges, etc). When you reach that point, you’ll feel free and you’ll get answers to all of your questions, from your heart.
You are a gift,
- Sasha for providing me with the needed assistance and rewriting the text when needed
- Giovanni Madari for capturing all the awesome moments
- Karan Gokoel for referring to me
- Everyone who has supported directly or indirectly with this article