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'My life changed after the death of my boss'


A readers who wishes to remain anonymous asks: I think I have some problems. Let me describe them to you.

I was a very good guy with lots of friend, enjoy life with all my friends and family. Used to go to India frequently to meet my parents. The bad part was that I was not that religious, I used to offer namaz two to three times in a day; I was very career oriented and looks for opportunities.

But an incident happened in my life: My boss, who was a very good guy, died recently at the age of 45. He met me two days before he died. After that I have become very calm, praying five times a day. I am not able to get back to my usual self and enjoy life. I can't  take any decision regarding my career. I thought things will be back to normal, but two months have passed since then and I am still caught up in the same mood, can you please help.

Carey Kirk (M.Ed, Counseling Psychologist, Program Coordinator Raymee Grief Center, The LightHouse Arabia Community Psychology Clinic) replies: What you are describing sounds like a very common response to grief. Often, when we experience the death of someone close to us - be it a family member, a friend, a mentor, or a boss as in your situation - it shakes the foundation of our world. It makes us reflect upon our own life and our own mortality.

This is especially true when the person who dies is close to us in age, part of our day-to-day life, or someone that we met with shortly before they died. When we are made more aware of our own mortality and that of those around us, it can naturally bring up questions in our mind about spirituality that can change our religious convictions.
Common symptoms of grief can include:

  • Sadness
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Guilt
  • Lack of interest in things previously enjoyed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Numbness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of energy
  • Stomach aches/digestive problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased
  • Changes in sleeping/eating patterns
  • Indecisiveness

As for the duration of grief, this is unique for each individual. Many people expect to be 'over' grief in a short period of time, but this is often not the case. Grief is not a finite point in time that we 'get over' but a journey that changes throughout our lifetime.
However, if you are feeling stuck in your grief, I would encourage you to speak to someone about what you are experiencing. Do you have any close family or friends with whom you can talk about your boss's death and the impact it is having on you?

Sometimes family and friends are enough, but sometimes we need something more. If this is the case for you, I would encourage you to join a grief support group or to seek help from a licensed mental health professional who has experience working in the area of grief and bereavement.

If you are living in or near Dubai, Raymee Grief Center holds free bi-monthly grief support groups for children, teens, and adults who are grieving the death of someone in their lives. If you would like more information about this service, you can email or call The LightHouse Arabia clinic at 04 380-9298.

Write with your concerns to and selected questions will be answered by a panel of qualified psychiatrists and psychologists. Your contributions will be modified for length and appropriateness, and will be open to other Gulf News readers to comment and suggest solutions. Let us know if you would like to withhold your name from your letter should it be published.

Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of psychiatrists are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.


  • A. Sam Mathew

    Dec 31, 2012 9:07

    So heartbreaking to read this story of a suffering person who lost his closest friend. In this world of selfishness and greed, having a friend like his boss who was very genuine and sincere, very rarely found, and it was like a jewel of his life. I pray that GOD may bring some other person in his life to erase this deep sorrow and pain.

  • haf

    Dec 31, 2012 2:47

    it is a warning call for u and u answered 2 it ryt.we hav 2 always be carefull dat anytym death will cum 2 us and Allah has sent us 2 dis world not 2 enjoy but get ready for the lyf here after which is we dont know hw much.we can tell in dis lyf dat he died wen he was 45 or 50 or more or less but the lyf after death is very very as we hav lotof necesities in dis world and we fulfill it wid money or any other way but after death der no dirhams or dinars can b used only our good deeds will be we want food our namaz will b used as we want water our sabr will b used as we want house our fasting our sadka will b used.sowe have 2 b prepared.its good dat ur boss death made u so make use of it my friend.mayb Allah wants u 2 b close 2 him.sorry if ur hurt by my talks.

  • ryan

    Dec 31, 2012 2:46

    Loosing someone very close to us really divert our emotion into a complete opposite. no matter how much we prepare ourselves by that moment it will still be difficult to deal with. but life has to go on, we can choose how to deal with the healing process if you continue to remind yourself with what happened then you'll be in same clouds, stuckin the same situation. cry outloud give it all and by the time your eyes stop from tearing. stand up and fixed yourself, you have done your share we've alot more to thanks for than to cry for....

  • AMNA

    Dec 31, 2012 2:11

    the solution lies nowhere but Quran and lots of sujood, inshaAllah

  • Israr Ahmad

    Dec 31, 2012 1:44

    Dear read the holy book with translation in your mother language. and Think in your mind that world is temporary and we all are in queue waiting for our turn. some went early some will go later to the eternal be ready for the successful after life. Once you believed firmly that this world is temporary and the permanent place is the other one then you automatically feel calm in your mind.

  • Imran

    Dec 31, 2012 1:30

    Thats the final destiny of evey soul. Everything thing on this planet has end and so do this world will end.

  • haider

    Dec 31, 2012 11:47

    Read the Holy Book Quran with translation.

  • Roshan

    Dec 31, 2012 11:32

    Are there any divorce recovery groups here in Dubai ? In a similar case, you lose the one you lived with for many years and often undergo grief.

  • Suhail

    Dec 31, 2012 11:26

    I recommend to you a beautiful book called Dont be Sad its available in many places in Dubai & Sharjah and even online.

Latest Comment

So heartbreaking to read this story of a suffering person who lost his closest friend. In this world of selfishness and greed, having a friend like his boss who was very genuine and sincere, very rarely found, and it was like a jewel of his life. I pray that GOD may bring some other person in his life to erase this deep sorrow and pain.

A. Sam Mathew

1 January 2013 14:59jump to comments