Did This Really Happen to Me?

The shock of losing a loved one

By Zena Khoury


                                                           Did this really happen to me?


           I think it is fair to say that we all know that there are bad things in life but do we ever really think it will happen to us; or do we think we are immune? I must admit I was one of those who thought they were immune until I got a massive reality check. What happened shook me right to the core and made me hit rock bottom before I realized that getting back up and taking every day as it comes is the most important thing when getting through the shock of losing a loved one. So how does one get over it and move on?

           My only uncle dropped dead in front of the emergency room late last year due to a massive heart attack. I still get goose bumps every time I think about the way we found out. It was a cold day in October when we got the phone call at around 10 pm to come to the hospital because he was there; I told my siblings and hurried out the door and I started driving, I honestly do not know how I got to the hospital with all the things going through my mind.

           After finally reaching I parked my car in the emergency parking lot and saw his recognizable red van parked a few spots away, for some reason that gave me hope, until I saw the police around it wondering how they will be able to move it with the dog in it. After eventually entering the emergency room area we were asked to wait in a dark lit room with no windows, I literally felt like the room was getting smaller and smaller as I looked around the dark lit area.

           The doctor stepped in and told us he has done everything he could but it wasn't fast enough to save him. You might be thinking why was it so dramatic he's just her uncle, but what many of you don't understand is that I left my family and friends in Jordan in order to come here to have a better education and the person who was here to take care of us was my uncle. He was my second dad, my friend, the man I could trust and go to for anything and in an instant he parted us.

           This was the first time I had ever received such shocking news about a person so close to me and that is why I think it took so much out of me. I was in so much pain, so much hurt and I was unable to do anything to make it better. I could not eat as much as I did before, horrible ideas kept going through my head about something happening to my father or my mother, and that how at any second any one of the closest people to me will get seriously hurt or die.

           I finally had a break through after getting my first anxiety attack while driving to school. I just felt like I was having a heart attack, my whole body went numb and my heart started beating really fast and I felt like I had no control over my own body. Nothing could calm me down and I just had to stop on the highway shoulder in order to take deep breaths and wait for it to pass.

           After going through my own traumatic experience I realized I had to talk to someone; I had to express my feelings and cry should be mad about how I felt and what had happened to me. I decided to go talk to a councilor were I was comforted with knowing that I had not been the only person in the world with this problem; it comforted me it know that I was not alone, that it was okay to feel mad he left and that no matter how hard I try I cannot prevent things from happening. I slowly started understanding that I cannot keep living in fear of death , instead accept that I need to live in order to make the best of it and appreciate what life has offered me.

           My advice to anyone who has been in a horrific situation is just to vent, to let it out. Instead of living in your head and having sleepless nights, you should live the life you should be grateful you have to change the things you hate and dive into the things that amaze you and make you happy. Appreciate the people who are still here instead of keeping to yourself and not let them in.

           I lost who I was for almost five months, I tried to block everyone out and pretend I was strong in order to convince the people around me that life does go on, but the person that needed the most convincing was me. I am now a believer in listening to what you preach, in order to be there for others you need to understand what you want and allow yourself to feel the pain instead of burying it somewhere in your mind because, trust me, it will come back and it will be worse than anything.


           death is hard but it is a part of life. Thing will come and go but after my experience, I like to think that without experiencing the bad, we can never appreciate the truth. Life is unfair but it is beautiful and living everyday as it come without thinking of the unknown you will find happiness and you will enjoy life much more. Trust me, I've been there and I will continue growing knowing that all my uncle wants is for us to be happy and content.

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