a month of sorrow, a life lesson

Ever since ayeeyo has been hospitalized I feel as if we’ve been handling something bigger than us. It seems that in the past 2 days everything was flipped upside down and we don’t know what to expect. The doctors say that her condition worsened suddenly and that she is terminal. Terminal – isn’t it a cold word for describing a very emotional experience such as the transition towards death?
I don’t know what else to offer to her except for my time and prayers.
I pray sincerely for Allah to bestow his mercy upon us, for Him to grant ayeeyo a miraculous healing, for her to be forgiven and her sins to be forgotten, for her transition to be as sweet and painless as possible, and again for her mind and body to rest in peace, in this world and the hereafter.

Good things are those that bring you back to God and the good muslim is the one that returns to Allah whenever she/he is facing difficulty.
I thought I always knew the meaning of these words, but I’m only now understanding them fully.
I’ve never faced a bigger hardship than this. Witnessing the slow decadence of my grandmother is getting at me – and I know I won’t be the same after this. I miss talking with her and I feel like I’m loosing her slowly in front of my eyes. I hate how she’s becoming weaker and how her periods of unconsciousness are getting longer – I wonder what will I do if she doesn’t get better. I can’t help but hope that she stays with us just a bit longer but at times I find myself hoping that she ceases to suffer as well. They say that people go back to their previous schedules no matter what tragedy takes place. “The show must go on” or whatever. This scares me enormously because my entire schedule at home was filled with her, and without her what will be there to go back to?

Ayeeyo was discharged from the hospital and brought home to spend the rest of her days with us. The bitterness of this is endless. The doctors said that she can pass away anytime now and every time her breath catches my heart sinks.
I already know I’m getting a trauma from this, but alhamdulillah I’m finding a strength in myself that I didn’t know about – my mum, my uncle, my entire family is an incredible example when it comes to this.
We all stay home as much as we can, we hold her hand for hours even if she doesn’t hold ours back, we wake up from our sleep whenever we hear hastened footsteps, we run upstairs every time our phones rings, every time our names are called, always ready to read surah Ya-Seen whenever required, making sure that she doesn’t feel any pain when leaving and that the promise of paradise carried by this surah reaches her.
And yet she lays there, either sleeping or unconscious or just too tired to react.
I think that’s when this big family of mine feels the loneliest.

In this family we all cry when no one is looking and we reassure each other silently. We argue and make peace impetuously, and the love that we share is a fire that never dies.
Ayeeyo is the biggest link of the chain that holds us together. She’s the parent of us all.
Last week, nearly all the people who ayeeyo loves gathered in this house to accompany her in her last journey, and it’s sad to know that it took the news of her imminent death to bring them together but as they say, better late than never. Luckily in the past days she woke up a couple of times to witness this and I bet she’s happy now even if she doesn’t have the strength to voice it.
We’re all taking turns to take care of her, and while no one says it, we’re all afraid that the worst happens while we are asleep or away. She had a respiratory failure twice yesterday, not to mention all the ones before, and the doctor from F.A.R.O. told us to be prepared as it won’t take long. I am so worried, so sad, so tired that I only pray for the best to happen because I no longer trust my judgment. I pray Allah to let me be at her side when she needs me most and I put my complete trust in His plan.

Ayeeyo passed away two days ago.
The hastened footsteps in the corridor eventually brought the dreaded news. Despite all the preparations it still shocked me and for a moment I thought I’d never recover from this. Just like I feared, ayeeyo passed away few minutes after I left to do something completely irrelevant – when I wasn’t looking, when I wasn’t praying, when I wasn’t worried. I would’ve never forgiven myself for not being there when I was most needed if not for the notion that we all belong to Allah and that to Him we shall return.
Her death, after all, had been a processes that happened slowly – slowly, while I braided her hair, slowly, while I told her about my day, slowly, while we gossiped together about all the weird things that the other patients in the room did, slowly, when she stopped responding, slowly, when she had a hard time breathing, slowly, when she finally lost every contact with our world.
I didn’t cry at first – not until a small inconsiderate word from someone insensible cracked my walls for a moment, and even then I quickly held myself together – because ayeeyo never cried except in her sleep, and neither will I.
I think that Allah knows us best, and that this is the best ending for her and for us.
For her because InshAllah He made her endure all this to let her enter Jannah without further trials, and for us because I’m looking back at one month ago and I know for sure that had she suddenly left then, we would’ve all suffered unbearably – especially my parents who were away for their holiday.
During this month we all had a chance to reconcile with the idea of her absence and we got used to not communicating with her before actually losing her physically. All of this got us closer to Allah. This month was a blessing from Him and for it I’m grateful beyond measure. I can’t say I wouldn’t have it any other way because that would be a lie – I wanted my grandmother to witness my second graduation, I wanted her to see me growing up and showing her her grand-grand-children, hearing her approving my life choices and such. But this is just the wish of a human being who doesn’t know any better and surely the Best of Planners knows best.
So alhamdulillah, this is the end of this emotional race.
I pray Allah to make ayeeyo’s time in the tomb pleasant and to welcome her in Jannah.
And may we meet again there.


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