My uncle passed away today and life never stopped. My kids still woke up. My baby still wanted milk. My husband still had work today. We still had to go school.
In fact, my uncles family’s lives never stopped either. They were still breathing, talking, weeping, moving, eating… they will go sleep today and wake up to live another day, Allah willing.
That’s the thing with death. It comes unannounced and is greeted with reality. Reality being that death is a sure thing- every soul shall taste death. Yes he has died but we are all going to die right? Yes he has died today but we can die any moment right? Reality.
My uncle was unwell for a bit now. He’s death was expected at any time. We were all just waiting. Last night he was unable to recognise his family and the today in the early hours he had passed away.
He was in his fifties and I guess though still young, he was approaching the “times that death was near”… and with his illness that became more certain.
I guess more than reality hitting home, it was a realisation that this jolly, funny uncle (mamu, the best kind of Uncle) of mine was about to pass away any time now.
Il tell you what is reality. Reality once hit me hard and has never left since. It was when my cousin died in a sudden car accident, coroner ruling a probable high speed limit or a possibility of him falling asleep at the wheel- it was 2.40am.
I think the truth was it was his time to go. Whichever way it happened, it was his time to go. But man, I still can’t get over it…
He was younger than me, one of my closest cousins and a popular guy in the area. He was recently engaged, just graduated and about to step into the big world. I got a phone call at 3.30am, I was 9 months pregnant. The first call was my mum saying he’d had had a bad accident and was in hospital. Five minutes later she phoned me to say he had died. My young cousin? Died? But he’s still young? It was playing in my mind over and over again. He was so young? He wasn’t unhealthy, Had no long term illness. He just died? No matter how much you tell yourself “you can die at any age”… you don’t fully comprehend it until you see it lying in front of you in the form of a lifeless body unable to hear your last goodbyes.
Never have I felt sad as I have felt at his death. And to this day I don’t know what it is that makes me this sad. Is it because I lost my cousin, the guy I’d had considered my younger brother. Was it being a mother myself, seeing his parents lose their first born, the son who was just about to take over and now repay them with support in old age-gone? Or is it that it was the first time I realised death was staring me right in the face, it could take me, my husband, my parents, my kids whenever the All-Knowing deemed best. Because there is no denying that regardless of the pain we feel, everything happens for the best.
His funeral was attended by hundreds of young people as shocked as I was. Friends, family, neighbours, strangers… all attending a display of the reality of Death. The funeral of a regular normal guy loved by many- now gone. I will never get over it and will never stop thinking of him. May Allah forgive all Muslims known and unknown to myself, and grant them the highest rank of Jannah.
“We must learn from death, for the secret of life is hidden in the message it has to teach us. Death shows us that we are not our own masters; that our stay on earth is only temporary; that the world is no place for the realization of our dreams. Death teaches us how to live; it shows us the way to real success”
To Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return.
Nabila la land