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The Year of Grief and Heartache

I imagine people dying all the time. Not in my sleep as a part of my nightmares, but in my every day, while I am monotonously washing dishes, doing laundry or playing with my son, admiring his lovely brown eyes that remind me of my father. In the mundane, in the mind numbing, in the every day, I imagine people dying. Scrolling through social media I come across an influencer I admire and I imagine what she’d say if her husband were to die. I see a picture of someone with their mom and I wonder what they’ll post about when their mom dies.

I don’t wish death upon anyone, but I imagine our reaction when it shows up on our doorstep, ready to receive. Maybe it’s normal to have these thoughts in this Year of Grief and Heartache. The fleeting nature of this world has never been more clearer to me. Death is truly the only thing that is guaranteed. It is a surety, rock solid, set in stone, immovable, unavioidable, a one way street with only one destination. Ignore it or throw money at it, death is untouched. I knew this in theory. I understood the concept, but i wasn’t prepared to have a crash course in acceptance.

I went from expecting bad news with every phone call to now daydreaming about myself crying over corpses. It sounds morose but somehow feels normal because it is a reality that I know will come to pass without doubt. Dying of old age is not guaranteed now, and it never was. When my son asks me “Mama, when will you die?” I don’t say “when I become old”. That’s a lie. Instead I brush the hair from his forehead and say “No one knows when they will die. Only Allah knows.” It’s not an answer he wants or can possibly understand. As painful as it may be for his little four year old self to accept it, I tell him the truth. What good will it do to dance around the unknown?

One of the core beliefs of my faith is belief in the unknown. While I may schedule, plan, pre plan and organize my life in a way I see fit, I also have to believe that some questions have no acceptable, verbal answer. As much as I love words, I cannot structure a sentence explaining the unknown that my son will be able understand at his tender age. At thirty one I don’t understand it myself, but I show him my heart which beats with faith and bleeds with love, hoping that he feels it even if his intellect can’t perceive it.

Even in my morbid daydreams I have the ego that is human arrogance. That I will be one the crying over my loved ones like as if it’s inconceivable that I may not die first. In a lecture I was listening to this afternoon, the speaker talked about how we are just a number of days, whenever a day passes then a part of us is gone. Every dawn and every sunset takes me further away from this mirage of a world. It’s not that I am looking forward to death, but that the veil has fluttered a bit. I have now come to expect it.

Every time I leave my house I send whispers invoking divine protection. It is my only hope that when I am invited into the unknown I go with faith in my heart and the whispers still lingering on my tongue.


Sent from my iPhone

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