Episode description

In this moving episode, Faizah from Malaysia shares her deeply personal story of grief, after losing her beloved husband only a few months ago. Faizah speaks of grief and love, through her religious perspective of the Islamic faith. 

A content advisory that this episode discusses: grief, sudden loss and the death of a partner. Support is available in Australia – contact GriefLine 

Produced by Yasmin Raja. 

Dr. Yasmin Raja, is an accredited coach, and member of the 3ZZZ Malaysian Broadcast team. Yasmin grew up in Ipoh Perak, Malaysia and migrated to Australia in 2007.  Yasmin obtained her PhD in Marketing in 2011, and has taught at universities for over 25 years. 

You can connect with Yasmin and follow her projects on LinkedIn

Faizah Bazid holds a law degree, and is a certified coach. Faizah started the Facebook support group Women’s Inspiring and Nurturing Dialogue (WIND), where women from various backgrounds join live online, to share both challenging and inspiring stories to empower each other. Faizah has also written a book in honour of her late mother, Hajjah Sapiah Tawil, entitled Mothers are coaches in motion’ 

You can connect with Faizah on Facebook


The following transcript has been automatically generated and may contain errors.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:00:25] Okay. Hello, everyone. So today we have another special guest all the way from Malaysia, but we are doing it virtually. I wish one day she’ll be here together with me in the studio for Isabelle Said. So welcome and thank you so much to be here in the studio. How are you today? Thank you.

Faizah Bazid: [00:00:45] Thank you very much, Dr. Yasmin. Alhamdulillah, I am feeling great, in fact, this morning and thank you for inviting me as one of the guest speaker for this podcast.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:00:58] Oh, no problem at all. Actually, we appreciate, you know, your time to be here with us. And I think that whatever that you’re going to share today will be very valuable to our listeners. Phaser by Z. She’s a lawyer. She’s also my friend. I’m so glad to know her. We get to know each other for how many years already? About one year. Two years? About two years? Yeah. Yeah. But we haven’t had any chance to meet up face to face yet, isn’t it? Yeah. So Aisha is a lawyer. I used to call her Hijab. Is it okay if I just call you Aisha?

Faizah Bazid: [00:01:28] Yes, please do. Yeah. Friends or call me? So, Eja is a lawyer. She’s a coach and she’s also an author. So she published her first book in 2021 called Mothers are Coaches in Motion. So they can if you are listening today so you can get her book from, um, they can get the book online right from, uh, is there any specific link or probably later you wanted to share the link, but you can just google from Amazon also, correct? Yeah.Yeah. It is on Amazon and for the Malaysians, the books are you can find the book in Kinokuniya and MPH.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:02:08] Wow. Congratulations. You’ve been doing amazing. So well done for you. Yeah. And you’re also a founder. Yeah, a founder of Women and Women’s Inspiring and nurturing dialogue. Um, again, um, thank you so much for being here today. So basically I just want to share with the listener today, um, Aisha is amazing friend and um, you know, during, you know, we are, we are building a good relationship together. However, I’m so sorry, you know, to hear the loss of your husband. And it just happened recently. Yeah. So basically, I think today the topic is very much related to the experience that you just went through. I think it’s very, very recent. So I have to acknowledge, Aisha, again, you know, for you that that courage, you know, wanting to be here and then to share with your experience and also the journey and how you actually handle all those, you know, challenges or that that experience itself. So the topic today is interesting how to say I love you. So so my question here is, um. With with the news, even for myself. Also, when I heard the news, you know, someone told me in WhatsApp, I was like totally shocked. It’s just like my heart is just sank. So I can’t imagine you yourself has to go through, you know, this situation and this situation. You yourself didn’t actually expected it. Yeah. So would you be able to share with us, you know, when you heard about the news about your late husband, what’s in your mind? How do you handle that situation during that time?

Faizah Bazid: [00:03:56] Thank you. Dr. Yasmin, just for for context purposes, my late husband passed away on the 19th of September 2022, which makes today, if my calculation is right, would be my last day of my period, which is four months and ten days for the Muslim for for non-Muslims, for Muslims. We have this period of after our husband passed away, we need to observe the period, four months and ten days. And today is my last day of the period. Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Yeah. And coming back to your question, what what happened to me on the day I got to know or on the day I found my husband passed away. Yeah, I was, I was in the office at that time. I decided to go back home earlier than usual. My usual time going home was around 530, 6:00 in the evening. So I decided to go back at around four. And when I was about to reach home, my son called me on the phone and told me Baba fell in the bathroom. Baba fell in the bathroom and I couldn’t get into the bathroom. Right. So the moment I heard that, my heart kind of beat, you know, skip a bit. And I said, Never mind. Mama is just around the corner. So I got home. Got home. And I asked my son Naim, because he was about to fetch the twin brothers at school for 30. Right. And I said, Naim, you go back, you go and fetch your brothers. And I rushed upstairs in the my bedroom and I found him basically lying on the floor. And the first thing I did was to basically touch his body. And it was cold already, actually, so it was really quick. So the moment I touch his body and the body was not anymore warm, it was cold. I had my daughter with me. I knew he’s no longer around. So what was happening in my mind at that time? I think my mind basically stopped. Stopped thinking for a moment, just just very, very short time. And then once I. I knew he’s no longer around, my brain started to work. What? What should I do? You know, the questions popped up very fast in my mind. How do I bury him? I went straight into what would be the next process. How do I bury him? Who do I contact? Where do I get the grave? Lots, you know, Where do I, you know, get the plots to to bury him, etcetera, etcetera. My daughter, of course, she was screaming his name in the hope that Baba would wake up. And I knew. I knew he’s no longer, you know, he’s no longer around. And and and I said no call. Inform everybody. Our WhatsApp family WhatsApp group. Tell them that Baba is no longer around. So then slowly the fire brigade, apparently my my boy Naim called the ambulance and the fire brigade because actually he fell in the bathroom. The door, you know, got stuck. And he called this to. To group to come. And not long after that, the the bomber, the you know, the firemen came and to bring him downstairs and the doctors came to put all this gadget to confirm that his heart is no longer beating. And I could hear. The machine from the from the gadget is saying, you know, it’s a it’s a machine saying, um, do resuscitation. Do resuscitation. Do resuscitation. So I wanted to scream at the doctor, resuscitate him. I mean, it was like a battle in my mind. But at the same time, the other part of my brain is saying, you know, let them do what they need to do. So I was just like sitting there and watch things happening around me. Yeah. And then. And then. Um, the police came and police said, um, ma’am, you have to go to the police station and report. Otherwise, the body. Otherwise we could not take the body out of this house. So reflecting back upon that statement. I thought. Why did he say that? Because when he said otherwise, we could not take the body out. My response to that statement was, How am I going to bury my husband if I could not take the body out? Yeah. So I rushed to get my car key to do the police report. So I must say, if there are, you know, regrets, one would be I was not at home during that very crucial time because I was out wanting to do a police report, which actually anyone can go and lodge the report. So that crucial moment in the house. I wasn’t there and my twins came back. I was in there, you know, to hug them or to console them. So I was out for quite a while because it was peak time. People coming back from office about 530, 6:00. So I was stuck in the on the road. By the time I got back, it was almost Margaret time, about 730, 740 and my twins were there reading Yasin and you know relatives. Alhamdulillah some already arrived. Surrounding and my the body of my late husband was already brought down from upstairs to downstairs. But I missed that crucial hours in the house. So and and what happened that night? Some of the friends I could not remember the names when reflecting back. I was just looking at the guy and I said, Who is this guy? I know I should know the guy, but who is he? So in that moment, my brain think was operating really haywire. Write some names I could not remember. And I. Yeah, and I was just doing what people asked me to do, you know, like go and do the police report. I went straight. I was I my brain function I think at that time was not working properly or you know, normally you. Feel like very confusing during that time as well. So as what you’re saying, you know, like in terms of you yourself, you know, you have no idea what is actually happening. I can imagine that it’s a especially you are a mom with four children. Yeah, with four children. So I can imagine because I have four children as well. So as a mother, you know, with that situation happen, I can imagine, you know, you yourself trying to be strong because your children is is with you as well. And then they are with you, you know, watching together. And I can feel the you know, how the difficulties of you yourself, you know, balancing in terms of what you need to do in terms of your feelings, emotions during that time. Yeah. Yeah. I think what what what’s maybe I could use the word what was interesting at that time, whatever that people asked me to do, I just I just did. For example, when I came back from the police station, I was still in my work clothing, you know. And at on that day I got up like 530 in the morning. I was traveling from my hometown, Malacca, to come to to come back to Semenyih, my hometown. I was still in my 530 work clothes and at 730 I got back and someone was saying to me, you know, just go upstairs, do your maghrib and come back down because people are here. You don’t need to take your shower yet. And I followed. I didn’t take my shower because that person said to me, Don’t take your shower yet. So my subhanallah, I mean, I was in that clothes from 530 until about almost one in the morning because that person there was one person who said to me, Don’t take your shower yet because there are so many people. Don’t waste your time upstairs. Yeah. So there’s another. So you’re not you’re not questioning it. You’re just like, follow the instruction. So thank you so much for for, for the sharing just now. Um, I can feel, you know, the. The discomfort is one thing, but also the emotions that that is running inside you. And I’m sure that there’s a lot of things that we can take away from the experience that you are sharing. So thank you so much for that, for being vulnerable and have that courage, you know, and strength to share with us with the experience and so on. So then you were saying that about that, that period, right? So you you went through probably you might have to go through a multiple cycle, um, you know, like share with us what’s happening after that and then how you went through, you know, from something which is very picked, something which is very sudden and then how do you manage, you know, yourself, your children or everything else until you reach to this point. Yeah. So Alhamdulillah the. On the day that happened. I got to sleep very well that day because I was really tired, so I didn’t have any issue of not being able to sleep the day before the burial because the burial was the next day. So on the on the day of the burial, then there’s another challenge that I faced, the ADA period, which is alien, you know, to us women, we won’t we won’t go through or we won’t need to experience that if our husband does not pass away. So what do I do? What is a period for for someone, you know, husband passed away? Because there is a difference between if you are a divorced and husband passed away because for divorce is three months, three months and ten days maybe for someone who’s passed away. My husband passed away is four months and ten days. So longer period. So on that morning, on the Morning Sisters, friends, relatives came to the house and then started talking about, okay, now today is already your period and said, okay, now what do I do during the period? You can’t go out. You can. You can’t wear lipstick. You can’t wear. Well, you can beautify yourself. You can. Yeah, you can beautify yourself. You can go out. You can, um. Even someone was saying, you know, don’t wear all this. Don’t wear rings. Take off your rings. Take off your. Your bracelets, your bangles. In fact, to the extent of wearing brooches on your hijab can also be be an issue. So said. Okay, this is something new. So but of course, you know, I said, I, I have no issue whatever that I need to do. Inshallah, Inshallah. I will do. I will I will follow, you know, the the Islamic principles or Islamic whatever that I need to do. And so the Janaza had to be brought to the mosque for for to wash. And I want I want I wanted to go because I think my last service to my late husband would be to wash him as a wife, as a muslim wife. That would be your last service that you you could give to your husband. And people are saying, no, you can’t go out because now you are in your period. You just stay at home. Allahu Akbar. So I said so. And Allah, I can’t I can’t do that. And you can’t go to the. Cemetery. You know, you can’t be at the at the cemetery said, okay. So that was such a big thing for me because some sisters are saying you can’t go either go, you know, this is the last thing that you would want to do for your husband. I said, Yes, yes, this is what I you know, there’s nothing else after this.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:18:04] Yeah.

Faizah Bazid: [00:18:05] And then some says, no, you can’t. And then say, okay, what do I do? And then I said, Never mind. Um, I’ll just say stay at home. So that became big to me. I wanted to know what is actually the answer. So the answer really is I can go, I can go out. I can go out. I mean, to the mosque to wash his body. I can go to the cemetery. Even I can even be by the kobo when he’s buried. I can even be there. I just found out this about this. Um, what I can’t do during the four months and ten days. Uh, are the things that I can’t do. I cannot go out shopping and mingling with men with bad intention because now, you know, I’m a widow. That one. I can’t within that four months and ten days. But if I want to go out of my house, for example, even if I want to go, um, brisk walking, take a walk. Yeah, I should be able to do that. But I have been confining myself. In my house. But of course I do go out to buy groceries, send my kids to schools, but really restrict myself from doing shopping, which I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be, you know, doing those kind of stuff. So anyway, so that’s that’s another challenge, big challenge that I need to say to myself. What has happened has happened. Let it go. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s done. It’s done. So so that’s the burial day. So.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:19:51] So what is your feeling when you found out? Because I can feel when you sing that you really want to do the last thing for your late husband. I can feel that something is screaming inside you and at the same time I can hear what you’re saying. It’s like the society, you know, like they they kind of like, you know, frame especially as women that, you know, like telling us that this is what you’re supposed to do, this is not what you’re supposed to do. I can feel that in you, like you wanted to do something, which is, I mean, like intentionally, it’s good for you. And for the sake of your of your late husband, isn’t it? So how do you tackle in terms of in terms of your feeling during that time? I mean, like, do you feel angry or you just let go? What’s happening?

Faizah Bazid: [00:20:41] Wow. Um, if I were to bring back my emotion at that time, I would say it was it. It is. Um. Apataki It is. Um. What’s the word in English? Um, what’s the, um. Does not disappoint. Dismay. Disappointed. You know, when you feel, um, you are not able to do the things that you can do, that kind of feeling, is it. more like a regret as well?

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:21:15] Yeah. Yeah, that’s. Yes. Regret. Huge regret then. So I had to deal with that huge regret because and then, you know, and the fact that I was prohibited from giving my last service to my late husband and, uh. And then I said I need to. I need to continue with my life. I cannot live in that frame of mind. It will eat me up. I’ve got four children in front of me that I need to be strong for. Yeah. Um. So it’s just so beautiful when, when you are speaking about, you know, that that feeling, regret you are actually aware and you have actually tell yourself that, you know, you can’t be in that particular situation, you know, feeling regret for the rest of your life, you know meaning that you are aware what is actually happening and then you just want to move on. So as I said, you know, the strength, the courage that you have in you, um, I just got to acknowledge you again, you know, and and thank you so much, you know, for for sharing all this journey. And I’m sure that all the listeners out there can can learn or there’s a lot of takeaway from from your story. So is there anything else that you would like to add, especially because you, as I mentioned just now, you know the process itself. So how how are you right now? Because some people were saying that, you know, there will be a time where you should be grieving. Um, you know, then there will be slowly there will be a phase where you’re going to accept. But it takes a while, isn’t it? Because it depends on the individual as well. I mean, like for my I mean like I, I haven’t had any experience like you, but there are times where I went through my own grieving process, especially on the acceptance of that situation, can be quite is very hard. It depends on the individual and sometimes some people might take years to do that. Yeah, share, share with us in terms of that journey.

Faizah Bazid: [00:23:25] Wow. Um, thank you for bringing me to that point that some people take years. So what I did after that, I said I need to I guess Dr. Yasmin being coaches, we are coaches. I have prepped my mind to be aware of what is it that I am feeling at this moment and to acknowledge the emotion and the feeling. Yeah. So from day one I have been having this dialogue. Okay. What are you feeling at this moment? What are you feeling? Is it serving you? Is it not serving you? So I said, So what can I do so that I am supported? So what I did was. Any opportunity that I come across with women who have lost their husbands, I will ask what happened to them. So there was one lady, Marcela. She said she took ten years to let go. Wow. And then said, Did you say ten years? Yes. And then I said And then I ask, When did you know? How did you know that you have let go? And she said. I knew I had let go the day I could give away the clothes and shoes of my late husband. And that was after ten years. And then I said, For the ten years you have been keeping the clothes and the shoes of your late husband. Yes. Allahu Akbar. I mean, wow. Said, Thank you for sharing. Because I don’t know how I will be going through this grieving period. And then another lady, I hope it’s okay for me to share as well.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:25:25] Go for it. Go for it. And then another lady. That I met in the UK or this is another episode three days after my husband passed away, I had to send my second son to the UK, so it was a 13 hour flight just three days after my husband passed away. And I must say, Dr. Yasmin, the the 13 hours did not at all seem 13 hours. And I said, Wow, where did the 13 hours go? I did not at all feel that 13 hours. So I met this lady. Uh, her husband passed away. This is a bit tragic shot being shot. She was in London. Her husband was in Pakistan. Husband went back to bury the father in law. Her husband’s father. And the day after the burial in Fajr time, early morning, he walked to the mosque to pray. And on the steps of the mosque, two men on a bike motorbike shot the husband and the uncle and passed away. What I want to share with Inshallah with us and the listeners. She told me even until now, she lost one year of her memories. She said, Eja, if you ask me what happened during that year, that one year I could not recall. So this is the trauma. You know what we women widows we had to go through and we really need a lot and lot of support.

Faizah Bazid: [00:27:07] Yeah. Emotionally. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah. Yeah. So I can. I mean, like, as I said, you know, that the stories that you are sharing. It’s. It’s, it’s it’s so powerful. It’s so inspirational. And I can feel, you know, that that heaviness even for myself as well. Listening to your story and the stories of your friends. It’s just amazing how you guys are actually the one who is actually coping and how you have to handle it for years, just like one of your friend, you know, like she’s like, wouldn’t be able to let go for ten years. This is such a very inspirational, inspirational story. Yeah. So I have to say thank you so much to you for coming here today and to share with all the listeners. And is there any other last thing that you would like to share or probably from your experience itself that you think that you wanted to help other ladies, especially ladies out there? Um, you know, you wanted to give them, you know, hope or even strength, you know, how they can cope with these situations and so on.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:28:23] Yes, definitely. The one thing I think that I really need to share is it may sound cliche communication now that he has passed away. My God, I have been hearing have meaningful conversation, have meaningful conversations. Now, he is no longer around. There are tons of questions that I wanted to ask him. You know, he he he did his field fieldwork for his PhD in African history in Africa. I wish I had asked him how was his life when he was in Mombasa? How was his life in Lamu? How did he go through being the only non-African there? Gather the data. Meaningful conversations, have meaningful conversations with our spouse and have intentional conversation. When I say intentional. Get really get to know your spouse. Mean I am now only getting to know my late husband. What am I doing now? I contacted now. Now I. I contact all his friends. You know, looking through the phone numbers. I contact all his friends. I am the widow of Hamdan. You know, you were with him when he was in his secondary school. Can you tell me how he was You was with you. You were with him when he was in. So, as you know, he did his master and PhD in School of Oriental and African Studies in the UK.

Faizah Bazid: [00:30:03] How was he when he was doing when he was studying, when he was going through his viva And I think. You know, people grieve differently. Yeah. So so for me, when I when I made contacts with his friends, it’s like I am making contact with him. And it kind of gave me, um. Satisfaction. Calm that. I am still in touch with him and how I am handling. Grieve grieving him and Masha. Allah. I must say, I am so lucky that his friends, being females or males, they are so cooperative. They. Without hesitation, they would. They are now telling me, oh, you know how many then when he was 14 years old, when he was 15 years old, this was his favorite food. Um. Not all sorts of stuff. So, um, so I’m just getting to know my husband and then maybe I want to share as well. You know, the Japanese idiom. Ichi Go, ichi E you know, for this time only to encourage to for us to treasure the unrepeatable time. Treasure the moment now. So to those who are still, you know, in. With husbands. Children. Really? Make your moments worth. Yeah.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:31:45] Maybe just treasure the moment. Yeah. Yeah. That is so beautiful. Yeah. Thank you so much. You know, it’s. It’s. I definitely can see how beautiful, You know, the stories that you are sharing today can can resonate with so many people out there. You know, there’s so much things that people can learn, um, to take away is just amazing. And, you know, all, whatever that you’re Sharing is just.  Too wonderful. Um, very powerful, very inspirational. So thank you so much again for coming here today. You’re amazing. You are so beautiful. So hope we will meet again. You must take care of yourself. Definitely. We’ll keep in touch. Okay. So you take care.

Faizah Bazid: [00:32:28] Thank you. Inshallah. Thank you. So for the listeners who who are actually listening today, thank you so much. Um, I hope what myself and Aisha has been sharing today will be very, very valuable to you guys. So if you have any question or you have any feedback, you can connect with me or you can connect with each other herself. So I’ll definitely provide you guys all the link and all those information. So anytime. Yes, please do and connect with us. All right. So thank you very much.

Dr. Yasmin Raja: [00:32:59] This has been a story of community resilience by three triple Z. Thank you for listening. Want to gain more podcast experience? Have you got a story to share? For more information, email podcasts at three Z Z Z. com.au