In His Late Memory

March, 11th 09
'Why!' she continues screaming, her voice the only audible one above the others.

His children are done with cleaning him and now, they are taking him to his room, the one he used to sit in, with Oman TV switched on at all times. His body is covered with white linen passes across my eyes as I fight to shut my eyelids so that I won't see him like this. I just don't want to.

Some of them are walking in on him now, praying for him and sobbing. The women next to me watches me carefully as I let out my tears drop down my cheeks, not caring, I let them fall and as they do, I feel my heart sinking down to the floor. This isn't supposed to happen, I say inside my head.

'Let her be....'
'This is too hard for her…'
'Poor girl...'
'She can't....'

They think I can't hear their whispers but I can…and I am hearing them.

'Come with me….'
'This is your last chance….'

Her words echo through my ears and I finally make my decision and stand up. The woman who is a total stranger to me and who was hugging me moments ago so tightly let me go as I am standing up now and making my way to my mother across the crowd of weeping women.

My foot carried me till the final inches of his door. People are everywhere so as the tears and grief that are hanging in the air, wrapping all of us, especially his children who were brave enough to actually wash and watch his dead body.

I am here now and all my senses are numb. The next moment, my aunt holds me in a tight embrace and whispers in my ear 'Are you afraid, honey?' she says 'Don't be. It's just like he's sleeping'. And because I am a fool, I believe her and enter the room.

There he is, lying on the floor. Someone says 'kneel down and kiss him...'

'Go on now...'

But I can't. I am too weak to do that. Catching a glimpse of him there, I walk out quickly, thinking of how stupid I am to believe that he is sleeping. He is not, simply.

I go back to where I was before I made the bravest and stupidest decision in my life. I watch my brother, so tough that his face is the colour of bright red without any tears. I look around and watch my two cousins, the same state of face as my brother's. And then, I lay my eyes upon my Dad and my uncles. They are too numb to what's happening that they are not crying, I decide, because only that explains why they're actually holding on.

Where's my grandmother? I ask myself. Then hushed whispers flows in and I know they were about to take him to the grave. I close my eyes as they pass his coffin and out to the door although I catch a slight glimpse of the brown wooden coffin.

I try my best to not think of what this means but I fail to do so, because, for the
first time, it's all real to me:

He's gone….
Not coming back again….
The last time…

And I cry and cry in silence, not letting out any voice out as I am sure there isn't any.

'Allahuma sakinho fi fasee7i janaatik' a woman starts praying for his soul and I keep crying and saying Amen all along. For the first time, I hear my grandmother's voice. She lets out a high-pitched scream that make me jump off my feet. She's crying so loudly that I can hear her even though she's at her room and I'm in the living room, surrounded by strangers.

After the prayers, a woman says to me 'Do you know who I am?' I look at her stupidly. I do not care if I am rude or not but this isn't the time. She just says 'Your grandmother used to bring you to my house and you were running around with diapers' she laughed at a memory of mine that I didn't recognize or didn't actually care to.

Some of the women look at me and acknowledge each other 'She's X's daughter'. I look around once more and notice that I'm the only granddaughter who dared to attend my grandpa's funeral. The rest are not capable of doing this, my older sister included.

Flashes of his last moments with us are appearing in front of my now-foggy eyes.

When I first knew about his condition, I wanted to visit him at the hospital. He has been there for a week and I knew I must visit because I'm usually the one who does. My sister hates hospitals and can't watch sick people sufferings and miseries. I can't too but I vowed to so as to be there for the people I love no matter what.

I entered his room and he immediately asked 'Where's Mohammed?' Mohammed is my brother and has always been my grandpa's favourite. 'He wasn't allowed to come', I said because he's under-aged.

One week later, I heard Dad talking to Mom about his condition and how the doctors asked to take out the respiratory device that is helping him breathe. My Dad's brothers and sisters, Dad said, insisted on keeping him alive.

And Dad made the right decision, because, once, when it was dad's turn to sleep next to grandpa's bedside, he woke up and said 'You're a good son'. He lived another 2 weeks before passing away. Dad still remembers what he last said to him. It means a great deal to him and I'm proud of their relation for eternity.

May god bless his soul, I loved him so much and I still do.


Unknown said...

May God bless his soul.

At times, it is hard to see the people you love just go away like that. there are two people till this day make me cry or feel emotionally hurt when I remember them. My grandfather and my cousin.

Weird part is, I don't remember much about my grandfather since I was only 5 years old. All I remember is his hands, petting my head, and the wide smile he gave me. As for my cousin, she was extremely ill. She had a strong fever and on the way to the hospital she passed away. I remember the last thing I said to her and I wish I never even spoke to her.

We really never know what may happen and what can happen now. All we do is live our lives without thinking about "what if"...

Maryam said...

My grandfather and my cousin are the two people I can't help but cry over whenever I remember them too. They meant so much to me.

Allah yer7am eljamee3 inshallah. It's either now or later, but we'll all die at the end.

Nabaa Baqir said...

Sorry to hear that, my grandparents passed away when I was really young and I've never lost a dear person after that, so I really don't know how it feels. Thanks god, and may they all rest in peace.

Rumaitha said...

Gosh this made a tear crawl down my cheek. The description reminds me of my late grandmother's and fiance's funerals.

Allah yer7ameh w ye'3ammed roo7eh el jannah inshallah.

Maria said...

Tears found their way down my cheeks reading this. I lost both my grandparents from dad's side (wasn't born when my grandfather passed away and can't remember much my grandmother's death. Last november though, my grandfather from mom's side passed away and it was the hardest thing I went through. I didn't get the chance to see his dead body and it hurts so bad knowing I didn't get to say a last goodbye.

Mochness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maryam said...

^ Thanks girls. Allah yer7am eljamee3 wo yeda5alhom fi fasee7 janatah, inshAllah.