This one is all about losing your loved ones and facing your emotions during this process. It is about facing those feelings about which you cannot discuss with anyone.
These are feelings and questions, which actually surmount to regrets or wishes.
You see, on top of all that sadness of loss of my father, Abdul Rahim my cook, passed away exactly a month after my father. (You bet on it, there will be a blog post on him too!) But for now, I’m dealing with death and the feelings afterwards.
So, during the last month, as visitors kept coming for condolences, and came for Abdul Rahim. People kept consoling me with all that I had done for my father, and for my cook. But at the back of my mind were other emotions too.
One thing struck me. Everyone has been hit by this experience of death of a loved one. Each guest brought in the personal story of a death in their family, of a brother, mother, father or child. Some spoke about it. Some didn’t. But it was hanging in the air, the mutual feelings of sadness.
I have a hunch, there are always some unmentionable feelings that adds to our sadness. We want to make up for some things we did or didn’t do during the lifetimes of the departed soul. I do recognize that it is part of the ‘blame’ stage of grief, but –
As you know, we accept death as Allah’s verdict. That He took back the one whom He had blessed me with. He belonged to Allah anyway.
So, I put myself at peace with it.
Yet, there was this nagging feeling of helplessness at not being able to ‘make up’ for certain elements, that were left unsettled in my relationship with the departed souls.
Now, it felt it was too late. Perhaps, this is why it becomes harder to be at peace with the passing of the departed soul.
Thanks to Mahjabeen, I know now, that it is not too late. (I’ve had a hunch but coming from a wise aalima, it really felt great!) This is why I want to share it with you. Perhaps, you too have some ‘unfinished’ elements with the departed soul.
Now, we both have a way to make peace with ourselves and them.
My mentor Mahjabeen:
So, when I rang up my mentor Mahjabeen, (yes the same one for whom I had prayed desperately , when she got ill here, ) she is the one with whom I can speak about anything under the sun. She will not judge me. (Well, all my mentors are non-judgmental!)
So, she said,
‘First of all, do not talk about it to anyone. If you feel that you fell short in any way in their lifetime. You know you can’t bring them back now. But what you can do for him is to pick any small action which is pleasing to Allah, and do it for that person. Be careful to pick on something so small, that no matter how busy you are, you can do it daily, ask Allah/God to give the reward to him.’
I felt such a relief. Now, I knew how to make-up for any shortcomings in my relationship with the departed soul.
Mahjabeen said, ‘you can give food to the poor or do any social work, whenever possible, perhaps once or twice a year, but what you can do daily is the best. Choose something like reading Surah Akhlas five times daily, or two naffals.’ I mentioned how I gave food to two or three persons daily for 1.5 years for my husband. She said, ‘it is good, but it can’t be done forever!’ So, take on something you can do forever.
Great! Mahjabeen always has a knack of making me feel so good!
I was flooded with ideas:
- Donating a wheelchair, bed or respirator for a hospital.(One can ask them what they need.)
- Paying school fees of a child’s schooling in Mashal or CSS school or any nearby institution for handicapped persons, or even an old people’s home.
- Giving free tuition to street children of one’s community.
- Putting a water cooler next to one’s home for people passing by, yes, summer is approaching, it will be badly needed.
- Giving any extra food cooked at home, to a beggar.
- Giving food to unemployed and homeless.
- Planting a tree in the person’s name.
- Getting water boring done for a community.
- Getting an ambulance.
- Help in publishing a book for an author.
We need to understand that the more sad we feel, shows how good it was when that person was alive. It is something to celebrate, and be very grateful for.
Stay blessed lovely and handsome ones.
Oh Shireen. How wise you have become. Love you to pieces.
I’m sure you’ve become wise too, life has a knack of teaching one a thing or two.
Lots of love, my friend.