Sara’s father, Abdelfattah Qasem was one of the 51 people killed in the March 15 terrorist attack. Three years on, the grief of losing her beloved baba has remained nearby to her, like a shadow.
“If I’m being completely honest- the pain is exactly the same, the biggest shift is in the sense of fog that lifts, that allows you to take further steps to move forward in your life, just as your loved ones would wish for you to,” says Sara.
“For me, it felt as if I’ve had two lives – one before March 15 and one after. I am now only three years into my ‘new’ life and am learning how to be me in the world all over again.”
As part of processing her grief and sharing what she learns along her journey, Sara started @thegoodgriefgram.
For Sara, the so-called stages of grief haven’t been her reality; not in the order people commonly think it flows in.
“The grief can hit you like a wave when you least expect it. It’s unpredictable. The more you think you know about grief, the more you realise how little you do know. That’s the funny paradox of it all.”
While her grief is significant, there are things that have helped Sara keep grief at bay, aside from her family, community and friends.
“Being active helps me find flow, a space where I am not thinking, just doing.
“I’ve ticked off my first half marathon and have signed up to do a full. I’ve also found a lot of peace in my yoga journey.
She credits the various communities of good friends, the Muslim community, kind strangers and professionals around her for being a constant source of support that she can call on anytime.
Sara would like to see people honouring the anniversary of March 15 by doing something kind for somebody else and showing they have an interest to learn more about their life story or background.
“The immediate aftermath was such an incredible outpouring of love and genuine care and concern.
“This anniversary, and for each one that follows, I would love it if people turned to someone who they really value, or even a complete stranger, and expressed that same outpouring of love in their own unique way.
“Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how valued they are and how much you love them.”