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The Impact Life Changing Events Has On Siblings

A traumatic experience changes the way you operate no matter the age. Divorce, death, a health scare, and job loss are life changing events. When I hear the words you’ve changed, I now say thank you because it’s impossible to remain the same. These events alter how you deal with similar situations in the future.

Within the last year, I noticed how losing my mother impacted my siblings and me differently. The biggest shift has been our personalities. This is the part of the process many people don’t think about because we assume people will react a specific way. It’s absolutely not true because each person is their own individual. I was guilty of assuming if my siblings didn’t grieve the way I did they didn’t care. Let me tell you now to throw that mentality away because it will only hurt you in the end.

This is my family. My sister Khaleelah is the oldest, followed by me, and lastly my brother Daa’ood II. We are not only siblings, but we run the family business together called Salaam Seafood.

Siblings at family restaurant smiling
(L-R) Khaleelah, Daa'ood II, and Safiyyah

Personalities Before:

Khaleelah: an introvert, mild mannered, process-oriented and reserved

Safiyyah: an extrovert, social butterfly, creative, and brutally honest

Daa’ood II: introvert, quiet, observant, and a great sense of humor

Together, it was a great mix for running a business.

Personalities After:

Running a business is difficult but running a 33-year-old family restaurant after losing the glue is devastating. It’s been some trying times grieving publicly in the space our mother operated for many years. However, it’s amazing what happens when you are determined to carry on a legacy.

Khaleelah: The First Born

For 33 months, my sister worked alongside my mother. I know without a doubt her career led her back to the restaurant in order to gain knowledge that can’t be found in any entrepreneur book. She was my mother’s right-hand woman. It’s true, everything happens for a reason.

My reserved sister developed her voice when she lost her best friend. She was no longer the quiet sister. She became vocal in business affairs and personal situations that affected us. She began speaking up for herself, setting boundaries, and developed a level of confidence I had not seen before. She is every bit of our mother.

Maid of honor walking down the aisle

Safiyyah: The Middle Child

When we entered the hospital on Mother’s Day 2016, I thought we would all be home by my birthday having our annual family dinner. We buried my mom two days before my 31st birthday.