Mona Salem: Surviving The Death of Two Children

Mona Salem

Mona Salem, a mother of four, an inspiration to her community and an astounding woman. Mona went through the unimaginable pain of losing not one, but two of her god-given children. She raised them, taught them and cherished them, but unfortunately, her two daughters were given back to Allah where they now rest peacefully.

Grief is unimaginable pain and reminds us:

Let every person consider what they have sent ahead for tomorrow.”

Qur’an 59:18

Through Mona Salem’s inspirational story, we can learn just how lucky we are to be standing here today, and to be grateful for absolutely every moment we have with each other.

Steve Dabliz interviewing Mona Salem.
Steve Dabliz interviewing Mona Salem at Hope and Care Bankstown.

Mona grew up in a broken home, surrounded by her four brothers and two sisters. The family of seven grew up in Sydney, until Mona at the age of five was whisked away to Lebanon for three years, before returning to her home country, Australia, when she was eight.

Mona grew up quickly and became the mother to her younger siblings, before starting her own family at the age of 18, and mothering her first child a year later. Jenan was her firstborn, Mona knew from that day forward she had found the incredible and special connection between a mother and a child, the true meaning of love. Then two years later Jehad, her only son, was born in 2001, Nesrine, her daughter followed two years later in 2003, and one year later her final daughter Sarah was born in 2004.

Those months of four children were a blessing for Mona, but unfortunately, Jenan the eldest daughter had become ill with an autoimmune disease called Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). ITP affects 1 in 10,000 children every year in Australia alone. Because the disease causes low platelet levels, many situations can become dangerous for children – even something as simple as a bloody nose.

“I was heartbroken when I found out she was sick, she was everything to me.”

Mona Salem

Only a couple of months later, her eldest daughter complained of a headache, and Mona instantly knew something was wrong. “She said she had a headache on Tuesday evening, I took her to the hospital, her condition isn’t fatal…I thought it was manageable.” On Thursday morning, the unimaginable happened, Jenan passed away from her illness due to complications with internal bleeding. “It was a total shock to myself and my family, because of the bond I had with her…She was the air I breathe. She was my everything.”

After losing her first child, Mona’s life fell away into darkness. The grief consumed her and she became detached from her family, her friends, and her faith. Her depression did not allow her to form relationships with her children or get close to anyone.

After years of darkness, Mona stumbled upon inspirational videos from popular Muslim speaker Mufti Menk, his messages resonated with her feelings and thoughts at the time.

“I felt an emotional connection like he was relaying a message and I was there to listen, I found god, I found my faith, I found out about my religion.”

Mona Salem

By finding her faith Mona finally understood that she could trust her faith, her connection to her family became stronger, and she had a revelation that her children were not hers, but were sent as a gift from Allah for a set period of time.

On Monday the 16th of February 2015, Allah tested Mona for a second time. Sarah her youngest daughter passed away in her sleep. There was no underlying cause of death or any pre-existing conditions, but unfortunately, Sarah passed away from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. Only hours before she went to sleep they were at Mona’s brother’s wedding dancing and laughing the night away and in the morning, mourning the death of their child.

But this time, Mona didn’t break. She became stronger, as Allah took the apple of her eye even quicker than before.

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…”

(Qur’an, 2:286).

Mona understood why he had tested her, and knows she will see her children again.

“10 Years and a half years later, I had finally accepted we don’t own our souls, they belong to our creator, life is a test. We are here to do as many good deeds as possible as the only thing guranteed in life is death, everything else is uncertain.”

Mona Salem

Mona was changed by Sarah’s sudden death, she decided to walk in her daughter’s footsteps instead of being broken by them. Sarah was called the mini-mum, she was the go-to friend for a shoulder to cry, or to make you smile, Mona decided to do the same.

“I love to help people in every aspect of my life, in every way. I want to have my daughter’s legacy to live on in me, by helping others… I want to extend my help to people in the community, to the people that want a friend.”

Mona Salem

Sarah taught Mona, who is now teaching all of us that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, we do not own anything but our deeds, and to be humble. Allah could test us all, in the same way, tomorrow, or we could not live to see tonight, we do not know what will happen. But strong inspirational women like Mona Salem teach us to give back to others and be grateful for every second we have on this earth and with others.

“Be strong, have complete faith in Allah and his plan for others. What smooths my heart, is that Sarah and Jenan are with our creator, who loves his creation more than any creation could love her child.”

Mona Salem is now the Co founder of an amazing company called Hope and Care which helps disabled people in their everyday lives. Mona is driven by the legacy of her daughters and will continue helping the community as much as she can with Hope and Care, which already makes dozens of lives improved every day.

“If my story inspires at least one person’s life, I’ll be happy…My ultimate dream is to come together as a community, with no hidden agendas only to help one another, for the sake of love.”

Mona Salem

Visit Mona Salem’s company Hope and Care on their facebook page, or learn more about their amazing company through this article:

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