No one can possibly imagine how shattered my heart has been for the past two years, my baba was truly my whole life.
A man whose life was that of a fairytale--whose character was that of pure honor, dignity, and truth--whose faith was that of deep convictions and submission to the will of Allah (SWT)--whose heart was so full with love that it poured through his body and consumed his entire being--and whose elegance and class were truly unrivaled.
It's funny, you know. Before my first year in college, I fought with him to let me live on campus in a dormitory. The first night I spent in my dorm, I realized exactly why he didn't want me to leave home. I missed him coming to my room before he went to bed, spending 15-20 minutes just talking about life and family. I missed his warm hugs that spoke volumes that words simply could not capture. I missed his calm aura that I found myself constantly basking in.
I am so blessed to have known, since the beginning of my consciousness, exactly what he meant to me. Days before he passed, he picked me up in his arms and spent several hours talking to me about everything he wanted me to do in life, and how proud he was of what I had already done. I was so blessed to be so connected to him--I literally saw us as part of one and the same being. His absence is a pain that never leaves my being, poking through my soul and into my heart like a jagged dagger that knows its purpose. As time goes on, the pain seems unmovable. His absence cuts through my heart with each moment that passes. AH, I stay strong for my mother, for his soul, and all those around me, but I can't help but lose myself into the deep abyss of uncertainty and despair that awaits me every night before I close my eyes to sleep. His absence is truly unbearable, in every imaginable sense of the word. Loneliness is now my only friend, even in the midst of many. When his image comes to mind, my heart sinks through my chest as my tears burn my face. When his voice comes to mind, my entire being stops functioning for a moment in time--a moment that forces me to drown helplessly in a sour pool of agony. When his distinct, genuine laugh comes to mind...all I can do is close my eyes and gasp, because the memory of his laugh is enough to end my life.
I brave through the day, overcompensating for my grief through dramatic tendencies and constant humor. What lies beneath this thick layer of deception and drama is a pain so tender and raw that its only non-religious cure is to thicken the layer of pretend. Living in a world of triviality and disdain, one is constantly reminded that 'no one really cares'. Four words so bitter, but so true. Four words that have become so tangible for me in the last two years, that I can almost taste them. Four words that are so antithetical to the way baba lived his life. He was the most successful, most handsome, most religious, most caring, most loving, most affectionate, most gentle, most friendly, most cultured, most humble, most genuine, most righteous, most kind, most just, most pious, most athletic, most understanding, most intelligent, most well-traveled, most fashionable, most warm man I have ever known, and I am sure I will ever know. With each and every one of those adjectives boasting several stories of his life to back them up as evidence, he was truly as close to perfection as Allah has made human beings.
I really can't explain the searing pain that strikes me every now and then, all it takes is for me to be at a weak moment when I see or hear something that reminds me of my father. Suddenly, I can't breathe, my body stiffens, and I feel like everything around me turns black: it's truly, truly the lowest emotional point that a human being can possibly be at.
BUT then, after a few painful minutes of absorbing the concentrated bout of pain that slices through my chest, I go back to the routine that I've gradually built my 'new' self around. This is life, you know? This is simply how it goes (for some of us).
Our Almighty Lord (Allah, 3aza wajal) has given us such peace in His Holy words of the Qur'an. His infinitely strong words are the glue that hold my soul together. Some ayaat that have had an especially deep impact on me:
"O my People! This life of the present is nothing but (temporary) convenience. It is the Hereafter that is the Home that will last. "(40:39)
"Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with God is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things)" (31:34)
"And if ye die, or are slain, Lo! it is unto Allah that ye are brought together." Qur'an (3:158)
Oh Allah! When I lose hope because my plans have come to nothing, help me remember that Your love is greater than my disappointments & Your plans for my life are better than my dreams. Ameen.
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ 2:155
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ 2:156
أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
---Translation of these verses---
'And most certainly We shall test you by means of danger, hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labour's] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are patient in adversity.' (2:155)
'Those who, when calamity befalls them, say, "Verily, unto God do we belong and, verily, unto Him we shall return." (2:156)
'It is they upon whom their Sustainer's blessings and grace are bestowed, and it is they, they who are on the right path!' (2:157)
In the end, I am so consoled by the deep righteousness of my baba's soul. He was very close to his deen, and he never missed a chance to read Qur'an or say his prayers. Because of the purity of his soul, Allah (SWT) continues to bring him to me in exceptionally positive and beautiful dreams. May Allah (SWT) bring my family together in the eternal life of the Hereafter (the aakhirah). Ameen, ya rab ul 3aalameen.