I’m not okay

“How are you? Are you okay?”

A friend of mine sent a text message along such lines, and I wanted to answer, “I’m not okay” or “not good at all”.

To be polite, I still responded, “I’m okay. It’s not bad, and I’m fine.”

Usually this can save the dilemma of being questioned further. Can I be not okay? Speaking about something bad is often so difficult. I remembered my mother when she was sick, I left my job to become her caregiver. Friends I hadn’t seen in a long time would send me messages like “How are you?”

I had a lot of apprehension in my heart, thinking, “How can I be okay at this time?”

It felt like every query was like an irony, like a needle sticking in my heart.

I’m not okay. I’m here because I’m not okay; because something bad happened at home – mom got sick – so I’m not okay. I’m not okay because I quit my job and stayed at home full-time to take care of my sick mother. I’m not okay because I don’t have a regular income, and yet the medical bills are so expensive. I’m not okay because I have to rely on my other siblings to sustain me so that I don’t have to worry about finances and focus on care.

I’m really not okay.

What about you? What do you do when you are not okay? We are surrounded by viral infections and you have to be careful when going out. Now even if one has to dine in and continue to work out of convenience, I run the risk of being reprimanded. In the midst of the pandemic, it makes people feel uneasy to open their doors to conduct business because every action carries the risk of infection. In such a climate, how are you doing?

I’m not okay, what can I do?

  1. Do whatever you can at the moment

For example, eat well, sleep well and keep your diet as normal as possible. This may seem easy, but not in this time of pandemic. For some, their income might be affected, and it is not uncommon for them to be unable to eat or sleep. Do whatever you can at the moment, meaning measure what you can do at the present and do what you are capable of doing. In our caring society, there was a white flag campaign not long ago, which was also a way to help ourselves. When there is a need, speak up and let others help. One day when we are able to stand on our own, we can be the one to lend a helping hand. In this way, take one step at a time, support yourself till a time when your ship comes in.

2. Be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself, the same way you would treat a good friend or family member. When a friend or family member you care about suffers a misfortune, how would you treat them? Treat yourself that way. For example, treat that person to an ice cream, or pour him or her a glass of warm water. At this time, treat yourself the same way; pour yourself a glass of warm water, hold the glass to feel the temperature, and feel the care you give yourself. Be your own best friend, be that compassionate and empathetic friend and ask yourself if it is annoying to be in this situation. Think about how you would respond.

3.Be in the present

What is the present? Am I not in the present? In view of this, you may be confused. However, how many people are truly living in the present? Our minds are constantly wandering between the past and the future. If the current pandemic is making us so uncomfortable now, we will long for the good times of the past. At the same time, we worry about how to move forward. When will times get better? What we are seeing now is that the number of confirmed cases is increasing each day. Many people believe that they are the only ones staying at home and tune out their loneliness. However you should always remind yourself to return to the present and even if you are lonely, it is the safest protection guarantee for you.

I’m not okay because I’m not good so I want to take care of myself. Not okay, like a fully charged battery that suddenly leaks. Many external encouragement or positive information are completely not absorbed, and you feel completely powerless everyday. Have you ever been in such a state? If so, how did you recharge yourself at that time? If this is a new experience, what is different about this experience? If you can’t find a way, ask a friend!

If you can’t find a friend, please call 010-9896954 or write to griefcare@nvasia.com.my. Grief Care provides hospice, bereavement and loss care counseling and guidance services. For individual grief counseling, group support and life education outreach, please contact us during office hours. Our case studies have shown us how comforting it can be to talk to strangers. If you’d like to, we’re here.

Nirvana Care Grief Care Department

Nirvana Care – Grief Care department, cares for your grieving journey. We provide individual counselling, group support and life education awareness. Contact us at griefcare@nvasia.com.my or 010-9896954 (Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for appointment or phone and email enquiry

Nai Seow Hong, graduated from Taiwan University in Master of Thanatology and Health Counselling, major in death and life, volunteer in Academic of Silent Mentor as Pastoral Care, she is now works as a grief care officer.

Stars in the Night Sky

Stars in the Night Sky

we will become a star in the sky, becoming one among a sea of twinkling lights. We can always see our loved ones and friends in the night sky, so we won’t be alone

Worship offerings: Preserving tradition and keeping up with the times

Worship offerings: Preserving tradition and keeping up with the times

there is a traditional proverb for worship, that it is hoped that people should drink water and think of the source, and to pay careful attention to one’s parents’ funerary rites and to worship one’s ancestors. The children and descendants must remember that they owe it to the sacrifices of their ancestors that they get to enjoy the shade of the great trees and the fruits of their labour!

The Way to Recall Memories

The Way to Recall Memories

You need the internet to download software for your mobile phone. In a similar fashion, I think there is a way to recall memories. You can recall the times you spend together in your mind through the connective points between you and that person; such as the food he likes, the places we’ve been and the things we’ve done together.

The Final Portrait

The Final Portrait

Many people tend to think they don’t need to have their pictures taken or they dislike the notion because they are too old. Later however, when the time comes to prepare for the funeral, there simply isn’t a suitable or presentable photo that can be used as a funeral portrait.



“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
Nirvana Center Kuala Lumpur built their unique columbarium that is touted to be unlike any other found in Malaysia – the Rhyme of Life, embodying American journalist and novelist Chuck Palahniuk’s quote above.

Why are funerals needed?

Why are funerals needed?

Every ritual at a funeral is a way to accept the fact that we have lost a loved one, and the loss of a loved one is an unavoidable life experience for everyone and it is also a process.