For My Mother...

  • 04 Dec - 10 Dec, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

Can we ever be ready to say goodbye to our parents? Can we ever be ready to cut off the umbilical cord and be set afloat? Can that moment ever be handled with emotional control and maturity? Never! It is not even possible for one single moment. It is just not something humanly possible.

There are just some things in life that we can never be ready for. We cannot prepare beforehand for them. Is it denial that keeps us from that? Maybe.

Whenever I would encounter someone who had recently lost a parent I would wonder how they are coping up. I would look at them and try to read what's going on in their beautiful minds. How are they filtering the grief, how are they managing so well after such a huge tragedy? Are they pondering on the stages of grief for help and support. Or are they turning inward and looking for some spiritual meaning or insight. If it was appropriate I would even ask how they are doing and what they are feeling. I was always collecting some mental data just in case...

But I don't think we can ever be ready for something like this. In all of life’s heartaches and trials and disappointments, we can never be ready for this one. I don’t ever think our minds give us enough capacity to be ready.

We are constantly living in a world where ignorance is bliss and we act and behave as if things will never change and always be the same. We kind of live in this blissful foolishness that it will never happen to us and life will go on because we are grateful and we appreciate things and people and we are not making any chaos for others or ourselves. We continue to live as “children” over the safety net that our parents have spread out over us. But I don't think the universe works like this and we definitely were not there when the universe was reading the script for us to know exactly what's happening next. We can never really know.

Life seems like such a huge lie when we suffer a tragedy. And in all of this Death is the ultimate reality and Death will come unannounced and suddenly. It will not knock and wait to be let in. It will be at your doorstep and walk-in whenever it wants to. I am not so fondly reminded of Emily Dickinson’s famous lines; “Because I could not stop for death; he kindly stopped for me...”

Death touched me not so long ago in such a similar manner.

I lost my mother a few days after Eid. We all fell sick during the Eid break. We all tested positive. When did she fall into that slumber that took her away I will never know? When did she become so sick that we had to take her to the hospital; I cannot fathom it.

I don't want to remember her in those few days of feebleness or pensiveness. She became quiet and recollecting in those last few days and yet she never ceased to be a mom. She took care of us even in those last few minutes. She made sure we were comfortable and taken care of. She was my hero, my rock, and my inspiration.

I want to remember her like she was. Full of life and vitality. Full of energy. I mean, there were bad days too; don't we all have them when she became overwhelmed and exhausted and even frustrated. But that was all because she knew we could do our best and we could give more than what we were aiming at and she wanted to push us further.

A person who had lived such a full life of adventure, a person who had so many experiences in life; good and bad, she was not just an icon but she was a warrior and till her last breath, she fought. She wasn't fighting for her life; she was fighting for death. She knew her time was up and she didn't want to be defined as a statistic attached to a machine. She wanted to leave the world with grace because throughout all her trials she was full of grace and royalty. She held her head high even when her soul was being crushed. She was always aware of God’s presence and she knew that God would pull her through.

But she leaves behind a void. I have lost a mother and in all honesty, I couldn't even grieve her properly. I became the woman of the house. I have had to put the weight on my shoulders to take care of so many things. I cannot even take time off to cry and silently I started the journey to heal with that grief on my shoulders.

I see my dad and I wonder what he feels. Maybe there are regrets and maybe there are moments that he wishes he could have one more day. But sadly death will not be told to wait.

I guess in the end, all he can do is remember the good times. I know he is counting the days till he can join her. But he also knows that I need him and I will not let him go.

If there was any reality that was real; it is the reality of death. I think out of all that has happened the only lesson that I can take home is the lesson that life is too short for regret and for pain and for anger or frustration. If we cannot let go we cannot move on to the better and happier days of our lives. Holding on to grudges and to pain is futile. In the end, life goes on and we will be left behind stewing in our own venom.

On 4th August 2021, the world lost a brave, powerful, and immensely beautiful soul. She left behind a whole community of well-wishers, of loved ones. People who fondly remember her in the angelic ways in which she touched them. They will grieve her and they will miss her but most importantly they will give a testament to the fact that she was a person to reckon with. A woman who was not bowed down by anything that life dished at her and she went on just as strongly and bravely as ever before. She kept the torch burning for us all. She spoilt everyone who came in her way with love and care and kindness. She was not just my mom; she was an angel that the Heavens called back. She was sent on earth only so that God could bless us personally through her spirit.

She made sure that everyday was a celebration for us. Either through her wonderful cooking or through her small gestures of love. She made sure that we were all happy and content and we could take on the world with that strength that she imbibed within us.

If we look at death not as goodbye but as a transition till we meet again, then it will be easier for us to bear and it will give more meaning to life.

I will never forget my mother and I will always miss you. Everyday. She leaves behind a beautiful legacy of unconditional love and hope and kindness.

A dedication to my mother, who was my greatest fan and my greatest support. Thank you.