Finding Strength In Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story

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The day after Mohamed Bzeek turned 62 years old, doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer. This time in his life could not have been lonelier, as his wife had recently passed away, and his son was unable to provide support due to his disability. Mohamed found himself without a soul to lean on and in the hospital scared. Unsure if he would even survive, fear consumed him and so did the thought that perhaps he would die completely alone.

Mohamed Bzeek survived his surgery and beat the cancer, already a life-changing success. More so, he was a changed man after conquering fear with no one by his side. He decided he would do everything in his power to ensure the most susceptible of society do not endure what he went through.

Finding Strength In Death: The Mohamed Bzeek StoryMohamed responded by opening up his home to more than 80 terminally ill children over the years so they feel love instead of fear in their final days. 10 actually died in the loving and caring arms of Mr. Bzeek and in the comfort of his home. No one should ever have to die alone. So, he has brought these scared, discarded children loving peace. In a YouTube video that went viral, Mohamed explained as he held a terminal child in his arms, “There’s many kids, nobody wants to take them because usually the ones that are going to die, nobody wants to deal with death.”

Strength is not only an external identity but also an internal reward resulting from overcoming personal challenges. According to a study on Strength through adversity: Bereaved cancer caregivers’ accounts of rewards and personal growth from caring[1]:

“The participants were able to identify positive and beneficial aspects of caring. These included the discovery of personal strength, through adversity, acceptance, and necessity; the deepening of their relationship with the person for whom they cared; and personal growth through altered relationships with others and altered perspectives on living. Many participants gave accounts of focusing on these positive benefits when they reflected on their caring experiences.

We concluded that benefit finding in the face of adverse events serves an important function in allowing individuals to incorporate difficult experiences into their worldview in a meaningful way, thus maintaining positive beliefs about the world. This has implications for the development of interventions for informal cancer carers[2] and for those who are bereaved following caring.”

Mohamed Bzeek’s strength is embracing children without families or parents and not only caring for their ailing bodies but also providing them with love.

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I am nowhere on the same plane as Mr. Bzeek, but I know firsthand the power in caring for others. Over a decade ago during my undergraduate years, I worked in a group home for at-risk youth. Many of the children had disabilities that resulted in severe behavior problems. There was nothing glamorous about the job, and to this day, it remains the hardest thing I have ever done.

It provided a great deal of personal satisfaction knowing that I was making a difference in these children’s lives. And I proved to myself that I was mentally as well as physically stronger than I ever imagined.

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The greatest gift we can give each other is love, which can come in many forms. The greatest of these is caring for those who are unable to care for themselves. In this duty, we find strength.

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My Gratitude List: Participating Bloggers

Lao Tzu StrengthFinally, I’d like to thank the following bloggers for sharing their personal stories on strength. Feel free to read their posts.

Tajwar Fatma

Jane Love

Jothish Joseph

Barb Caffrey

Addison D’Marko

Nicolle K

Ajibola Sunday

Sonyo Estavillo

Mylene Orillo

Camilla Motte

Manal Ahmad

Ipuna Black



The Bottom Line

I hope you had a fabulous 4th of July and you were able to share it with the ones you love. Many people in the world, like dying children Mohamed Bzeek, welcomes into his home and the many group home children I once worked with, do not have close loved ones to share in celebratory holidays or to even hold their hand in death. So, it is a blessing to spend quality time with those that love us.

Find strength in the enduring love and compassion for others.



[1] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/palliative-and-supportive-care/article/strength-through-adversity-bereaved-cancer-carers-accounts-of-rewards-and-personal-growth-from-caring/8A9649B2E00BDB85B48F1FED4921964C

[2] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/carer

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51 thoughts on “Finding Strength In Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story

    […] Sonyo Estavillo @ Lil Pick Me Up: Finding Strength in Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Nicolle said:
    July 5, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story! I agree that the greatest gift with can give is love. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      Thank you Nicolle, love ultimately helps to fortify us and make us feel strong during our weakest moments.

      Liked by 2 people

    […] Sonyo Estavillo […]

    Liked by 1 person

    motgpr2014 said:
    July 5, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    The greatest gift is LOVE. I really enjoyed Mr. Bzeek’s story. Very generous and caring of him to open his home to those kids on their last days. Thank you. #keepwriting

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 10:31 AM

      I think it’s an example of how life is too short and how the simple things like having family or loved ones, we take for granted. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    Jainey said:
    July 5, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    What a touching story! He is indeed a man of great strength. You’re so very right. The greatest gift we can ever give or receive is LOVE because it goes a long way.
    Thank you for sharing this piece of inspiration.

    “Find strength in the enduring love and compassion for others.”
    If only more people in the world could do this.

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 10:29 AM

      I know, what a big hearted man. I was really touched by this story. I worked with child abused kids for 7 years and can empathize, but it started to become draining. It takes real internal strength to keep giving like this man does. Strength and love.

      Liked by 1 person

        Jainey said:
        July 5, 2017 at 3:56 PM

        Yes. Completely! He’s a real MVP.

        Liked by 1 person

    Strength: Single Parents – Ipuna Black said:
    July 5, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    […] Sonyo Estavillo @ ‘Lil Pick Me Up (“I am here to champion anyone from the successful and confident folks, to those that are clinically depressed.”) Finding Strength in Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Ipuna Black said:
    July 5, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Sonyo, you are on the same page as Nicolle on this one. Strength and love + add children. Man, I love it. It takes ridiculous strength to take care of dying children. I had never heard of Mohamed Bzeek’s story. What an amazing human being. I love the diversity of the posts. Thank you for participating with us.

    Liked by 3 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 12:08 PM

      Yeah, the hubby shared it with me when I was trying to think up of what to write on this subject. When I found out about this man, I was floored. He has seen 10 kids pass away in his home and many more go through there for care. All of them unwanted with no one to see them in their last days. ❤ Thank you for having me participate, I look forward to the months ahead! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Ipuna Black said:
        July 6, 2017 at 11:34 AM

        This is what life is about. Helping each other. What an amazing story and man.

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        July 6, 2017 at 8:41 PM

        I know, it’s mind blowing. The man is an angel on earth. A real hero.

        Liked by 1 person

        Ipuna Black said:
        July 7, 2017 at 2:09 PM

        That’s right. A real silent hero. (Not so silent now that it was put into media but well deserved.)

        Like

    iamthatgirl23 said:
    July 5, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    Thankyou for sharing the beautiful story

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 5, 2017 at 2:53 PM

      I am so glad it touched you in the same way that it touched me. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

        iamthatgirl23 said:
        July 6, 2017 at 3:21 AM

        Stories like these need to find their way to an bigger audience. I’m glad you did that.

        Liked by 1 person

    YellowCable said:
    July 5, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    A very heart warming story!

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 6, 2017 at 9:05 PM

      It touched me at my soul, you know, it really did. This man is amazing. I’m so glad that I can share it with those that haven’t yet discovered such a man as Mohamed Bzeek, he gives us hope that not all of us are monsters. We’ve lost sight of humanity with all the school shootings and shootings in general, plush violence and the increased riots we’ve experienced. It makes us realize that there are real people out there that still have a heart. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        YellowCable said:
        July 7, 2017 at 10:26 AM

        I think these days there are many more ways to learn what are going on around the world than before. We probably are hearing much more news than before that include bad deeds as well. I believe, there are still a lot of good people out there.

        Liked by 1 person

        Sonyo Estavillo responded:
        July 7, 2017 at 1:44 PM

        So very true. We really do hear more bad stuff now days. I think it’s the way social media shares make such a huge impact on how we communicate.

        Liked by 1 person

    Rayne said:
    July 5, 2017 at 11:35 PM

    This is so beautiful. It had me in tears. Thanks for sharing. ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 6, 2017 at 9:13 PM

      Rayne, I know…same here. For those of us who deal with mental health and feel sort of “thrown away” by society. It gives me hope that there are non-judgmental and loving people out there that care. Those that love unconditionally the “throw aways” the sick and the dying. Thank you for reading. Your eyes reading my words are very much appreciated. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    Author: Sadaf Siddiqi. said:
    July 6, 2017 at 2:32 AM

    What a great story of Mohamed Bzeek. Well penned down, shows your compassion and strength like Mohamed Bzeek.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 6, 2017 at 9:16 PM

      Sadaf, it’s a story compassion and empathy that deserves to be shared. I am glad I was able to help share it. Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate all that read what I write. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    momknowsbest15 said:
    July 7, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    This one amazing guy. What a kind heart he has.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 7, 2017 at 7:56 PM

      I definitely agree, it takes a special person to care for the chronically ill. Especially to open up his home like he has done. It’s amazing.

      Like

    Sarah Bailey said:
    July 8, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    I remember seeing the viral video of this man and it brought tears to my eyes – such an amazing man to be helping these people at such times.

    Liked by 1 person

    natalielovesbeauty said:
    July 8, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    Wow what an inspirational and kind-hearted man. Opening his home to those who are going through so much pain, pain that he has gone through himself.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 9, 2017 at 1:23 AM

      I totally agree, it takes a kind man to open up his home and heart the way that he did.

      Like

    nlampert said:
    July 8, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Wow Mohamed Bzeek sounds like an incredible person. Everyone deserves love and support, particularly when dealing with life’s biggest challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

    Terri Ramsey Beavers said:
    July 8, 2017 at 3:43 PM

    Mr. Bzeek’s story is so amazing and what a great inspiration to others. It would be terrible to go through any illness alone.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 8, 2017 at 8:33 PM

      I know, I feel the same way. It would be horribly terrifying dealing with terminal illness alone. 😦

      Like

    Lily Ashley said:
    July 9, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    I just love your line, “The greatest we can give each other is love.” I agree with you. Love in anywhere, anyhow, anytime. The greatest thing being taught by God.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 10, 2017 at 12:58 PM

      So very true, love is so powerful it helps us to become selfless and more empathetic towards others.

      Like

    Marielle Altenor said:
    July 9, 2017 at 9:35 PM

    The story of Mohamed Bzeek is quite inspiring. Going through such a scary illness must have ben tough. But he didn’t let this stop him. He’s an excellent person for opening his home and his heart to these children.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 10, 2017 at 12:56 PM

      I know, right? 80 kids over the years and 10 or so that passed away peacefully in his home. ❤

      Like

    […] Sonyo Estavillo: Finding Strength In Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story […]

    Liked by 1 person

    Charlie Bilton said:
    July 11, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    Wow, what an inspiring story – thank you so much for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 12, 2017 at 1:55 AM

      😊 it is inspiring and not my doing, but I enjoy passing along hopeful and human stories. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    TAJWAR FATMA said:
    July 11, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    This was so motivating Sonyo.
    People like you and Mr.Bzeek are restoring faith in humanity.
    Many more success to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 12, 2017 at 1:53 AM

      Faith in humanity is important, because we can often lose sight and lose hope. Thank you! ❤️

      Like

    Barb Caffrey said:
    July 13, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Sonyo, I’m glad I read this today. Mr. Bzeek’s story is powerful, and moving, and deeply inspiring, as well as a reminder of what is truly important.

    Sometimes it takes an extraordinary event to change your life, and it sounds like his own brush with death changed him for the better.

    I probably will have more thoughts later — I’m pressed for time right now, alas — but I wanted to make sure, before I forgot, to let you know I’d read your post and enjoyed it immensely. Great post; great message.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

      Sonyo Estavillo responded:
      July 13, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      Thank you so much Barb for your insightful comment. I know that his brush of death made him stronger in the long run, strong enough to be there for those children who didn’t have anyone to be there for them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        Barb Caffrey said:
        July 13, 2017 at 3:33 PM

        Yes, and that’s the measure of the man, Sonyo. He realized there was a lack because he experienced it himself, and he decided to fill it. (May the Deity bless him forever, for doing so, too. That is what true strength is all about, IMO.)

        Like

    Samantha said:
    July 14, 2017 at 7:12 AM

    “The love you receive is the love you give to others” (don’t know who said it, but it’s true).
    Caring for others can be hard, but it also teaches a lot about ourselves. I found out I am much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for when I took care of my mother when she had cancer. I remember sitting on my bed at night, just waiting for that inevitable break-down, yet it wouldn’t come.

    Like

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