I do not know how to quiet my mind
I do not know how to hush my soul
They are speaking yet words are hard to find
Nothing can ever stitch it back to whole.
I will never know perhaps. The answer will always be too blur and my irrational thoughts will always be too vivid. Perhaps my irrational thoughts will always appear too rational to me. This is perhaps the third post I am making about death. First it was Amjad Sabri whom I was connected to through just some qawwalis he recited. Then it was Junaid Jamshed whom I was so much more connected to, because of his inspirational speeches, transformation and naats. Then it was my maternal grandmother’s (nani’s) turn (whom I did not post about). The first two were not related by blood. The third one was surviving through those extremely feeble days of age when one has accomplished most of the goals if not all. It was still bearable. I had no memories with the first two people I mention in the post except that they were public figures. With my nani, I had enough memories, more than I will probably ever recall in life.
But this death….it just hurts so much. Or perhaps it always hurts the same.
First it is the drowning. You get the news and seconds later it is all going down. Not like someone pushed you into the ocean but more like you dived in and are making no efforts to move your hands or legs. Calmly, yet unwillingly you are going down down down into the the depth and darkness. Few minutes later, you are okay; you are not crying…obviously because it hasn’t really sunken down. Too hard to believe. Too unusual to believe? Then the realization strikes that it has happened. You will never ever ever see that person again. They are gone. Forever. Your mind produces continuous images of them lying dead, sleeping peacefully, eyes closed..coffin? This is when a deep and strong heavy wind of grief encircles you and just stays there. You sit with it, stand with it, move with it. And along with the exasperation of this heavy air the feeling of helpessness starts to cave in on you. You cannot do anything. It is as it is. Everyone has to die. All are equal in the eyes of death. You have no excuse to complain. Complain to whom anyway? It is no one’s fault. But I feel so hurt. Perhaps it is the only hurt in the world which you cannot blame over anyone neither yourself. It is just a hurt one has to bear.
In my personal opinion, there are two types of deaths or let me say deaths of two categories of people which hurt the most. People we are dependent on: emotionally, financially, in every way. We are so extremely dependent that it almost feels like one or more tendons of the heart are invisibly attached to theirs. Honestly could be anyone, usually your parents, siblings but could be an internet friend, best friend, husband, wife, teacher. Anyone. Just someone very very close to one’s heart. And then the second category is those of children and adolescents. No matter who the child or teen is, his/her death claws on the heart in an eccentric way. Simply because they have been just too young too die? Specially the ones who have been so enthusiastic about their lives. Have had so many amazing goals and dreams in their eyes and on their minds. They have yet to experience the viles and ecstacies of this world: heartbreak, graduation, betrayals, marriage, job…life. they have yet to experience life but it ends.
I try my best to not get too over taken by this phenomenon of death. Perhaps I am more disentangled when it comes to death. I realize it has to happen, I try to swallow the bitter tablet, perhaps with a little more ease. I am aware of the fact that, I could just die the next moment or tomorrow and I believe in the uncertainity of life. Of course it brings shivers down my spine to envisage someone else, someone very close to me..walking down that lonely aisle. But it is there and I try to accept it.
My cousin, 15 years old, student of 10th grade aspiring to become a doctor, one of the sweetest and competitive, patient girl I have known, Areesha, passed away. Medical problems? Sure she had them, ever since she was born. Those are the best excuse anyway. But she had improved, she was leading a healthy perfect life just like anyone of us, going to school and studying hard. She had to sit for her board exams this year and I am sure she would have aced it. But life..sorry, death happened. Six months ago, her health starts to go down, a kidney has failed and transplant is not possible. She’s bravely averaging three dialysis per week, nothing but astonished at the sudden course her life has taken just before the final exams. She insists to give her papers even though everyone knows her education cannot really continue anymore, at least not the normal way. But she was ambitious, she wanted to live, she wanted to live like everyone else, like she had been living for the past 14 years. Determined as she is, she buys four dresses for Eid. I am still moved by the level of conviction she had about living up until it came. She gives her Physics practical, upon returning home she calls her mother to bring along a gift from work because it is her friend’s birthday the other day. And she dies that evening on her way to hospital, the gift still sits on her side table.
Medically, she was having great difficulty breathing, they had the oxygen cylinder at home and she was still breathing from that cylinder in the car as her parents rushed to the hospital when she breathed her last. Actually, this was all the time she had to live in this world.
I do not have the emotional strength to talk about the beautiful memories I have with her. How she always looked up to me as her elder sister. I cannot imagine to explain how she told me elaborate details of what subjects she wanted to choose in college or how she always appreciated me taking Psychology in A levels. All I can probably manage to type is that she had once said, ‘I want to be like you. You are my role model.’
Obviously enough the reason to write this is not exactly share the grief. How can it be shared after all? It is not to gain sympathies either of course, because hey she is gone. And although the real real most painful grief is what her parents are going through right now (her younger brother is too young to even understand I suppose) but it’s just awful. It hurts me. I need to write it out. I need to blatantly announce that once again I am left utterly hopelessly sad. Sad for her, sad for her parents-and grief stricken for her younger brother who was so close to her. I am wondering how would he sleep alone in the room now. And it is just more horrible becuase she was young. She was ambitious about living. She had dreams. Such deaths may not be a rarity in this world but it sure was the first such case in my family.
Can I say I feel so dreadful, with the thought of it could be anyone next. Anyone very close to me? That it could be me too? It doesn’t make me anxious or upset..but it just makes me so so rueful about the fakeness of this world and life.
May she rest in peace. May Allah grant her jannah. Ameen.