The New Stuff
Sharing a piece I wrote on the 17th of January 2014. I do normally like to stick to positive posts but unfortunately tragedies are part of life. We cannot pretend that we have it all made and our lives are perfect because no matter how badly we wish that was true, it is not the case for most of us. It is sometimes important to share or write about your feelings which is part of the healing process; a process which never truly gets completed in case you are hit by a major catastrophe such as losing a parent. This is indeed one of the greatest losses in this world. And no matter how much one tries to move on in life, one never really gets over it.
Today it has been exactly two years. Two years to the worst day of my life. To the day his hand was in mine and I witnessed his life line turn straight. My memory in general is pathetic but the tape of that moment has replayed itself thousands of times…. I can’t walk out of it. It was destined. I desperately gazed into the doctors eyes. He avoided all eye contact and spoke just two words “I’m Sorry” . What? Is that it? It was so easy for him to utter those two words and just walk out. We were shattered. We were broken. There was no earth beneath our feet. ‘No this couldn’t be happening! This isn’t real! How can this be happening!’ was pointless; because it had.
People came. Spoke words. Cried a tear or two. Tried to offer us food, drinks and tissues. Sat with us. Talked about how important drinking juice and milk is for us. Nothing mattered. Unfortunately nothing they offered, said or gave could comfort us at that time. They tried to start a conversation, about what happened, how it happened, who was there, how they knew papa, how they loved our dad and how hurt they had been when they heard this, and then moved on to how the weather is…. and then naturally, the conversation drifted to other things like work, universities and parent teacher meetings. I stood there hearing their conversation realizing how little this loss meant to them in their own lives. It’s true that no one can know how you feel except someone who has been through exactly the same thing. They asked us not to cry and said that it will be okay. No one ever said, it will never be the same again and that this void will never be filled. Nothing was ever going to be the same again.
Food, Clothing, Shelter and Weather were all meaningless to me. Honestly, I never felt hungry, thirsty, cold, or hot. I was numb for months. Lost in a world where it was over. Everything was a mess. There was a state of emptiness and fear. I had to fly back the same week and return to my desk. One week, I cried while talking to clients and then lied about hay fever changing my voice. Then achieving tough targets got me busy during the day but the nights were painful. I cried every night for months. I didn’t want to close my eyes because there were flashbacks, there were scenes which I couldn’t bear to see. Yes it has been difficult, hard and at times impossible to survive. My mom singlehandedly completed the house papa was building for us, fought multiple battles all alone with the help of Almighty Allah. Hard is an easy word. It has been impossible. Tears is an understatement, there have been outbursts.
Death is a strange phenomenon. The hardest part of it is realizing the person will never return to this world. I mean someone who was here, with us, in our house, is suddenly no longer there. He does not exist anymore. A father builds the pillars of a house. Without a dad it feels like one’s living without a roof, it’s very difficult. But one learns that provision is from Allah not human beings. There has not been a day when I don’t think about him or miss him. His memory, words, and gestures are always with me wherever I go. He has been the best father and will always be. Although mama is doing everything that the man and the woman of the house does, no one can ever take his place. May his soul rest in peace.
Life is unpredictable. This week, I lost one of our closest Chachis. When I went for so called condolence, her son was crying and said to me “Only now, I can feel your pain”. Take out time, be there for your parents when they need you and if any one forbids you to do so, then choose your parents because they chose you over everything else and because Allah wants us to look after our parents. I have learned this lesson the hard way. It is true one can take parents for granted but if you’re lucky to have them, love, respect, cherish and value them before its too late.