Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Him Gone for the Third Night...

The third night after my uncle’s death, and I’m finally realizing that it’s true.

Something about loss does not strike us immediately. As the knowledge of it fills the mind, a thin line forms, a crack, and then leakage.

Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.
Lethal; right to the heart!

The heart begins to fill up. Memories. Pictures. Sounds. Smells. Songs. Places. Black spots. Black. So black that we struggle & fight to recover and see the images beneath. What happened here? Who was there? What did he say? Where? What were we wearing? Which year?

And just like that, on the third night, our hearts become full of it; the realization of loss; the recollection of everything that has happened and that did not happen yet. The weight of memories befalls our chests, and we grow afraid of closing our eyes and loosing it all to the night.


"His carefully chosen perfume.
The close shave.
The GMC he loved to ride because it can take up the entire family and whoever wanted to come along.
The “half moon” beach, and the rubber boat. My cousin and I riding. Him
pulling the rope. “The sharks!” he shouts. We falling for it every
freaking time.
Him shouting, “Hold tight to your breasts so they don’t fall
out the windows!” as he swerves on and about the sand dunes with five women
blushing from embarrassment and screaming with excitement.
Hands as huge as my face, heavy as that of an armor, patting my shoulder. Me sucking up the pain every time and playfuly mentioning how strong he is.
How the “okal” falls off his head no matter how tall on the toes I stand while I kiss him. How he makes me believe he is angry, every freaking time!
How his large feet cross when he’s sitting on a chair.
How huge he is, yet small, soft, and “didn’t mean it” is the child in his
hazel eyes."



And as the third night grows weak, and the light falls strong. As dust awakens, and clarity fades away. The question stands:

What is not selfish about mourning? And as we grip onto the memory of those who have left us, are we not mainly holding onto ourselves?

15 comments:

Prometheus said...

My warmest condolences, Aysha. ‎
Death is a fact of life, and we have to come to terms with ‎that fact, no matter how sad and disappointing it may be. ‎
I have realized this for a long time, and as time goes by I ‎no longer feel that death is a serious threat or a very bad ‎thing. ‎
May your uncle's soul rest in peace, inshallah.‎
عظم الله اجرك والبقية في حياتك.‏

Viscous said...

My condolences as well. May Allah give you patience.

Aysha said...

Prometheus,
As I grew up, the deaths that have taken place in the family have happened whilst I am away. Being away helps loose touch with the reality of the situation, and instead of fighting the pain, one tries to immerse in it, and instead of trying to forget, one tries desperatly to remember.
That triggered my thougts on loss, and memories. When trying to remember do we see those who left, or do we mostlys see ourselves? And while the remembering was carried on by two minds, does it sadden us that it has become our responsibility alone?

Aysha said...

viscous,
Thank you very much. I truly appreciate your coming by.
I thought your "shared" blog to be very intense, and explores some of the areas that fascinate me. I'll be swinging by often.

Abu Daoud said...

God bless and keep you and your family Aysha in this time of grief and mourning. "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."

Regarding your favorite authors, please do check out TS Eliot. And not "Wasteland," which was brilliant but decadent. Rather the material he wrote in his old age after his conversion to Christianity is much more satisfying. Especially his great masterpeice "Four Quartets."

That's where I got my e-mail address from actually:

winterlightning
a+
safe-mail
do+
net

audere sapere
Dare to know.

Lawrence of Arabia said...

i am very sorry to hear about the death of your uncle. my thoughts are with you and your family.

from god we come and to god we return.

LoA.

Met3eb said...

..Today .. an Hour ago a friend was trying to convince me that Arabic language is much stronger and more "emotional" than english ..

and i just came home .. to read you through your english and i feel it's never been stronger ..i was really touched ..felt like it was my own uncle ..i feel really sorry for your greif .. i might not be able to heat my english letters to be as warm as yours .. so ill just write you ..what was written for me .. once upon a death ..

الحزن مثل عاصفة ، قدر لها ان تنزع الأخضر واليابس في وقت محدد ، لا تمنعها ان تخبر أخبارها وتعصف كيفما اتفق ، إن لتوقيتها السر في تأريخ لايصح لنا ان نعبث به ، تأريخ سنتكلم عنه وقت تصير الارض اكثر اكتمالا بزينتها وقت يغدو انساننا الذي اطلق حزنه في وقته ، جرد ، وتجرد
أكثر خضرة ونبلا وإنسانية .

.
انتهى ـ

دعواتي له بالجنة ،حيث يمكن ان يسقط عقاله مجددا على كل الملائكة الطيبيين الذين يتسلقون على أطراف أصابعهم
..

Aysha said...

abu daoud,
"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted."
Phsychologically brilliant!

LoA,
Thank you...

met3eb,
Soothing words.
As for "language debate", I think that the shortcomings of any language are mainly cultural shortcomings. We don't need some words, so we don't use them. We don't use them so they are not common, or familiar to us anymore. Eventually the language is identified according to our usage of it, and blamed for that as well...

Abu Daoud said...

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

Perhaps it is psychologically brilliant, but that's not why I offered that quote from the Gospel. Rather because I believe it is a true and certain promise from God.

I think we all know people who refuse to mourn, or who mourn falsely. But if we mourn in truth and with all our being, this is the promise: we will be comforted.

أبو سنان said...

May you and your family be comforted, may God shine mercy on him.

Aysha said...

abu daoud,
abu sinan,

Thank you...

Um Naief said...

i'm sorry for your loss. may your sadness be lifted in God speed.

re: your question of being selfish to mourn... yes, i think it is selfish, altho... true loss of love, the memories, the smells, your every thought being flooded w/ their being is such a precious gift to give yourself... being able to remember, to love that deeply, to feel the sadness and despair, i think it's a true act of selfish selflessness, if that makes sense.

i've not felt this sort of pain from losing someone, other than an animal. my father died when i was very young and i don't remember it mostly, my aunts have passed but this pain wasn't present, and my grandmother passed when i was a teenager. i cried and felt sad, but not like you say here. i know i will feel this when my mother passes, which i pray that it's not for 40 years or longer.

you have a beautiful way of writing. i find that when i'm in sadness, i write in a way that makes me long for sadness.... it's a strange feeling.

again, i'm deeply sorry for your pain and your loss.

Entropy said...

عظم الله أجركم
ورحم ميتكم...
وأحسن عزاؤكم

Deema said...

My deepest condolences dear. May his soul rest in peace forever. You know, since the first time I went through such an experience, losing my grandma, I I had developed a personal belief or strategy to deal with death. I see it as if it was not there, as if it was invisible with no power at all. Now somehow I'm convinced that all my passed-away beloved are not really passed-away as long as they can see me and I can feel them. True as the cry of a child and as the joy of a dream..

Aysha said...

um naief, entropy, deema,
Your speak light, not words. Thank you!