As I have mentioned in one of my earlier posts, there are five main elements that I have to abide to while in 'Iddah:
- I cannot marry another.
- I cannot leave the house to pursue unimportant matters, including social visits.
- I can only accept male visitors in the house while my muhrim is around.
- I cannot go back home (Malaysia) during this confinement period.
- I cannot don any attractive clothing or apply make-up as to avoid fitnah (Al-Ehdad).
Having gone through 4 months of my 'Iddah period now, I understand why the period of grieve was necessary. A woman is made so feminine; emotional and sensitive that a devastating news such as a death of a spouse would definitely shake her down to the roots. Thus, the period Allah has set for her to grieve (note: grieving period for other family members is limited to 3 days - nothing more!) is a long enough period for her to adjust her life and get back on her feet.
For instance, take me - a person most people consider very strong (??!). I still cry thinking of the lost of my dear husband. I do not cry of regret, but I cry of sadness and disbelief; to actually think that he has left me - for real! Every time I bump into an ex-student, colleague, friend or acquaintance while I'm out running an errand, and they extend their condolences, I'd be spending the next hour or two feeling nostalgic and sad.
This morning, as I crossed the street after exiting the library, I met my ex-landlord - Mr. Majeed. I told him of my late husband's departure and immediately, his eyes became misty. We only lived nextdoor to him for three months, but he sort of had a bonding with my late husband. It was difficult to find people who could not get along with the late Mr. D, I must say. After bidding farewell to Mr. Majeed, I turned and walked in the opposite direction with my cheeks streaked with tears.
Being totally independent in this foreign land, without close relatives or chummies, I run my confinement days with minimal contact with the outside world. Yes, I go out shopping when the need arises, to work, and to some friends' houses for discussions or friendly goodbyes. But I do not accept invitations with crowds around. That would be categorised as unnecessary.
To some, I have been like a recluse - hiding in my house when the outside world is blooming away (well, not so much during winter though...). I know most people mean well but my situation does not permit me to accept such invitations. My apologies... Please understand that I still find it difficult meeting people - because I no longer have my late husband next to me. If people cannot agree with my stand, then perhaps just try to understand me - try fitting into my shoes, even though our sizes may vary.