Talking to Ammi is the hardest thing in this world these days.
For a week past the tragic day, my brothers did not have the courage or the stength to tell her. Eversince she had heard that Fasih was unwell, an 80 year old Ammi of mine, weak and frail, had suddenly gathered some horse-power miraculously and sat down on janamaz, praying for “Bobby” as she called him, day and night.
It was heartbreaking to decide whether to tell her at all or not. But the zest with which she was praying day and night and every now and then asking my brothers, “Bobby mian ki khairyet aayi?” was too strenous to continue without telling her the tragic news. Otherwise, she would have gone praying forever…
I cannot thank enough my brothers Hilmi & Subhi, who managed it very tactfully and broke the bad news to Ammi, and literally carrying her in their fold, as she broke down.
For a couple of weeks, I was not in a state to face Ammi even on a video call so would talk to her on phone.
And both of us faked strength on each side to reassure that “I am strong, you must not worry about me.”
Today, I took the courage to talk to Ammi on a video call.
She was speaking, praying and was the bravest to not cry, but she was constantly looking at me, deeper than my face, as if trying to see through my brain. And I could see through her eyes, her heart was crying within. Sometimes, she paused for minutes, not say anything, but kept staring at me without a blink. ;(
Meri Amma, I am so sorry for all this pain that you have to go through at this frail age and uncertain times. I wish we could help ourselves and help you too. I wish I could hug you tight, so we could cry our hearts out on your chest.
I so wish I could hug my daughter and her daughter too.
Special love to my husband’s sister-cum-mother Kosar Baji who is also grieving a very personal loss. She is as hurt for Fasih as my own mother is. I wish I could hug her too.
One thing that angers me all through this grieving process is the single ritual one-liner ‘RIP’ or ‘Inna Lillahe….’ (He has gone, where he belonged to)& period, or the associated preaching that comes with it that “its haram to mourn for more than 3 days”, with little or no sensitivity that the person who went ‘back to Allah’ was someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s father, someone’s husband or even someone’s very dear friend too. And their hearts and lives were intertwined with the ‘departed’s’ heart and life too. And that those grieiving are not heartless machines that can be switched off and on with a timetable.
No one from us wants these people, who are not hurt to feel hurt. But at least quietly acknowledge our grief and tragedy.
Will these people say the same heartless one-liners or time and switch off their grief after 3 days when their own dearest ones will pass away too, prematurely and suddenly?