I’ve spent the last few days grieving the loss of my friend’s husband. Yesterday as I spoke to a mutual friend who recently lost her mum, we discussed the expected type of grieving in Zambia.

During her mum’s funeral she was told to ‘let go and cry’ and no one could understand her when she assured them that she had cried and that she wasn’t holding anything back. The thing is in Zambia, people expect you to be inconsolable and wailing your lungs out. But they forget that everyone grieves differently.

No one who has ever lost a loved one can say that you only mourn in the moment. Grief stays with you forever. You have good days and bad days. A loved on is never forgotten. I’m not an advocate of ‘being strong’ in times of mourning, not that I ever listen to my own advice, I think you have to allow yourself to grieve, whether that’s by throwing yourself on the ground and crying until you’re sore and have a headache, or whether it’s through quiet reflection and stillness, or whatever it is that allows you to feel. The pain of losing a loved one is nothing anyone can explain so how can they be a manual as to how to grieve and how to pick up the pieces and move on?

Taking each day as it comes is probably the second best advice I’ve heard. You don’t know how you’ll feel or what the next day will bring, so you have to put one foot in front of the other and trust in your faith to get through it.

This is all I pray for my friends because right now,I know they are scared of what tomorrow will bring, but we have to believe that we can and will get through it.