Monday, February 05, 2007

sad stories down memory lane

Every time I hear the word DEATH, a shiver runs down my spine. I have learnt to despise the word since I was small. I know that all living things must meet death, regardless why or when. I know that each being must return to the creator, Allah. Yet, the loss of someone close shatters the soul and breaks the heart. This entry is a thought that I wish to share after reading one of the blog sites I frequent on the same issue.

When I was four, my mother passed away. I was the youngest of four. When she went, I couldn't feel the sadness and effect. I don't even remember crying. Perhaps it is mainly because I have always been a very sensible person, since young. Yet, as time passed, I often felt sorry for myself, feeling that I was missing a precious part of life. My aunt used to ask me whether I remembered my late mom. And I said, I do with the help of pictures. She would then tell me that Allah takes those He loves most. I would be contended with that.

6 years later, my darling old grandfather left us. He was the dad to my late mother. He was the one who showered us with gifts before Eidulfitr, and brought us on holidays to Port Dickson. The incident happened in a rather complicated way. The whole family was away for an umrah trip while grandpa was in the hospital. A few nights earlier, the older ones had a meeting while I wasn't called to be a part of it. My two elder sisters cried their hearts out but I was left in the dark, only thinking of a million bad things that might go wrong. Was it me? Did I do something wrong? And then, after a call home a few days later, everyone was crying. My sister called me and told me that grandpa was gone. I remember nodding. Ten minutes later, I was playing with our hosts (an arab family who had cute little children). My sister came back to me and asked her to sit close to her. She told me again, "Grandpa's dead. Do you understand?". It was then, that it really struck me how bad the news was. With my sisters and brother, I sat in the corner and wept my heart out. By then, we had lost 2 people we truly loved!

At 14, I lost my brother who was 19. He was the only boy in the family - our hero. His death came unexpected as the angel came to take him in his sleep. I can still remember the vivid scene of his last night, and the moment dad discovered his death. We were taken aback. Usually, every morning he would take my dad's car to perform his subh prayers at the mosque. Somehow, he didn't get up that morning. Even I woke up late, with my stepmom knocking on my door. I went down for breakfast after my prayers. Before leaving for office, I heard dad knock on my late brother's door. There wasn't any answer. Dad opened the door, and then I heard him shout. Was dad mad at bro for not getting up? What was wrong? Then, I realised, it wasn't a shout. It was a wail. I ran up, and dad was already crying. There, on the bed, was my only brother, as still as a dead body. And he wasn't breathing. My sister shot from her room, awaken by her doze with her baby. We stood there, touching him in disbelief. The tears began to roll. Dad positioned him accordingly and asked me to make a phone call to a neighbour. He sat by the bed trying to digest the situation.

I was trembling already and I ran to the phone. My sis tagged behind me, and she was asking me questions: "why? how?". Suddenly, I was no longer the 14 year old girl, but a grown up taking control of the situation. I just shook my head. When I told the pakcik that "abang dah meninggal", he kept asking me, "abah ke abang?". I guess it was difficult to accept such breaking news. Dad was 54 then, while my brother was 19. It was perhaps more acceptable if the older went away first. The rest of the day was tiring for me as I was often beckoned by visitors to relate the actual story of how it happened.

As a teenager, I used to ask the question, "Why do the people I love most leave me?" And, upon pondering, I remember what my aunt said: "Allah takes those He loves".

By now, I have lost more people throughout the years. My grandma (my late mom's side) passed away in 2005. Uncles and aunts, cousins and friends. Still, I don't know how I'd cope if the people very close to me left me to meet our creator. Even the thought can make the tears roll, the body tremble and the mind amiss.

Pause to reflect:
Let memories of good moments be kept in the heart, while new steps taken for the future. Although great people bring such enormous impact to your life, the loss is nothing close to losing in a battle. It's a different loss.

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