God be with you.
Losing one’s father is tough. I have now realized what my children went through seven years ago.
Last Thursday morning, 21st February, I rushed my father to PAF Hospital. His helper Sabir had carried him to the car in panic. On arrival in emergency of PAF hospital, my father was admitted in ICU. The doctors told Waliya and myself that he was critical.
This time, the doctors were right.
The next day, Friday, 22nd, around 3.00 pm, my father peacefully met His Maker. Inna lillahe wa inna ilaihe rajiun. To Him we belong, and to Him we return.
Thank God I remembered to say Alhamdolillah. Just so grateful for having my amazing Dad in my life till now. He spent the last six years in our home. There are no regrets. Waliya and I did our best. Nadiya, Nataliya and Anya came every year, spending a lot of time with them. He overlooked whatever got missed out. He was always sporting and gallant, only giving us advice when asked, and it was always great advice.
I’ve shared a lot with my followers in Instagram and Facebook. Also, two years ago, when I was in Seattle, my father got unwell, in 2016. This is what I wrote in my post then.
Sharing a few details from last week:
- Only a day earlier, my father came to my room, and spoke so lovingly to me. It was on Wednesday 20th February. I couldn’t get out of bed, as I was unwell, suffering from dizzy spells and a back sprain. So, my Dad walked all the way from the lounge to my room to sit there and pray for my well-being. He said, ‘I’m praying that you get well soon, my Bittu. Meri dua hai, keh aap theek ho jao! Ap ki tabiyat theek rahay.’ (I pray that you may get well soon, and you may remain well.) These have turned out to be the last words he spoke to me.
- As an only child, I had to take care of everything. Thank God, Hasan Jafar came within minutes to the hospital. He helped me make decisions of burial etc.
- The officers of the army and friends, and relatives all rose to the occasion and did so much for us, that no words can ever be enough. My mother, my daughters and I are so overwhelmed. They took over all requirements of burial, Qul and guests. Specially, General Qamar (of 8FF) and 111 Brigade took over the burial formalities out of my hands. Col. Zahid my cousin’s husband, took care of details. Alhamdolillah, it was great having their help and consoling words.
- It is important to note that MPCHS, (Muliti Proffessional Cooperative Housing Scheme) had also made all arrangements for me, they had prepared for burial in B17 graveyard, also all formalities, including namaz-e-janaza at local mosque near our home. They also arranged for the gents during Qul to read siparas there and sharing of memories.
- Receiving messages of condolences and phone calls from all over the world and locally, made me realize I wasn’t alone. Instagram, Facebook was full of so many assurances and support. Our home was full of loving and hugging friends and relatives.
- One thing amazes me most. I realize why Allah didn’t give me any siblings, as He surrounded me with better persons than siblings even. The fraternity of friends, relatives, families, and literally strangers, all made sure I received more care. My uncles, aunts, cousins,friends were all there to take over. May Allah bless them all. A special thanks to my cousin Hasan and Chachi Shahnaz, Amina, and their girls. Ayesha my friend, and Zoha along with so many others. Many traveled from far, to be with us.
- The men who came from far and wide, even from DIK to attend my father’s funeral rites. Gen. Qamar, Gen. Saeed-uz-Zafar, sons of my father’s friends, Brig. Ajab and many others. I thank all those who came to attend my father’s funeral.
- My special thanks to Col. Zahid who is husband of my cousin, who went into tears when I offered to pay for the grave. He said,‘your father called me his son, let me be that son now!’
- Everyone had a tale to share. Everyone felt the pain. Even persons from our locality who watched him go for his daily ‘walk’ on his wheelchair, (he would return with flowers in his lap, handed to him by children playing there.)
- I had to tell myself that I did as much as I could. Things were getting difficult in spite of the amazing care by Dr. Fayaz Bangash managing his UTI, and Dr. Mehmood. I was on the verge of having to making some difficult decisions putting a PEG directly into his stomach or putting a food pipe, as his food intake was suffering.
- Loving the fact that my college friends, Fairy, Riffat and Ayesha came all the way from Lahore, just for the Dua, (special prayers) and returned afterwards. (So, they traveled ten hours by road to be two hours with me!) in fact Fairy was the one who said the special prayers. She mentioned such pertinent points in her sermon, everyone was quite struck by it all.
- We humbly accepted the food arrangements by my chachi Shahnaz, phupi Aziz and Chacha Mumtaz. Even my neighbors sent me food.
- Suddenly, it has dawned on me, my father has been taken away by my Allah to a better place. Allah kay hawalay.
- Alhamdolillah, my precious father has been taken by my Allah to a place free of all these physical hardships.
- Going on a Friday, would make him free of hardships of the grave, Insha Allah.
- As a Ghazi from two wars, he would InshaAllah be making a smooth journey to Heaven.
- Thanks to each one of you, my father is now standing so much of a better chance of reaching his heavenly abode, due to all your prayers and good wishes.
- He truly lived by the four elements that bring success in this life and the next. I’ve written a piece on it in this blog post. It is based on a sermon by Tariq Jameel.
I realized, that since I was emotionally very charged and upset, I needed to step back and remember these things first. To be very careful I don’t say anything that may hurt anyone. Many who came or messaged me, shared the fact that they too had recently lost a loved one, a grandmother, father, or brother. So, I suppose we all need to remember this:
- Forgive ourselves for any inadequacies. Death is final and inevitable, no matter what. It is natural to feel that I didn’t do enough.
- Remembering strengthening words: my friend Tahira shared with me these words the day my husband passed away:
‘ You must not say, ‘I wish!’ you will accept everything that happened, as the will of Allah; The time, the place, the way… everything happened by the will of God.’ So, you need to accept it as such.’ Remembering these words made me feel strong again.
- Treasure good memories, and focus on the positives.
- Appreciate all help given by near and dear ones, and by total strangers.
- Do not overdo anything, stay within your means. As Fairy said, ‘my mentor told me, ‘apni istataat mein rehna chahiye.’ Do only what Allah expects from you. – Not overdoing anything. (On the day of judgment you won’t be asked about many things for which we keep running around in this world. So, why get into them?) Keep things simple, as everyone understands.
- Saying Alhamdolillah, at every step. Starting from the moment Allah chose to take away my loved one. To not saying anything that I may regret later on. So, it is best to say the least.
- Take it easy, this is a tough stage in life, so be kind to yourself. Sleep and rest whenever you can. Even if sleep evades, you just relax. Take a warm or hot shower and take mini-breaks and relax.
- Be patient: Step back and avoid getting angry. Remember you are under severe stress. So, cool down, and be very patient. You need not speak much, most of those who come, want to share their own similar experiences. It is good. You know you aren’t alone. Listen to their problems with full attention and patiently. Many lost their dear ones recently. They, too want you to share their story, and give them sympathy.
- Do not miss any prayer: Be vigilant in saying prayers and any reading of duas.
- Give sadqa at every opportunity.
Thank you, my beloved Readers and followers in Instagram and Facebook as well . Thank you for being by my side. Stay blessed. ( I certainly am blessed by your strengthening words.)