Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Art of grieving


Today I received a phone call which helped put things into perspective again. Alhamdulillah. I owe it to Auntie M.

It's very easy to get distracted from the realities of life. As we become absorbed in the day-to-day life episodes thinking we are so into reality, the truth is that we are moving away from it. The reality of life is not in living, but in death. And in remembering death.

It's been quite a while since Auntie M lost her only doting son. But grieving for a loved one is not time bound. She said she called because she missed my voice, but in truth that's one of the ways for her to articulate her grief. 

Not many of us are as talented as Joan Didion who could articulate her grieving in a book, so good that just reading an excerpt of it could make you cry. Joan Didion started writing 'The Year of Magical Thinking' soon after the death of her beloved husband and got it published almost exactly a year after. She commemorated her mourning with a book but for many people like Auntie M, quiet mourning is an uncelebrated form of art.

Her "quiet mourning" was by making a phone call and telling someone how she's been missing her son around whom her life used to revolve. Now the axis is missing. Gone too soon. 

"A" left me with plenty of money Za...but I don't need it - she said sobbing. So I cried with her. Glad I didn't skip her phone call because I was busy at work. It would have hurt her deeply. 

"A" busied himself with work. I know now that's why he could leave me with plenty of wealth. But I am all alone now Za - she said, still sobbing. Auntie M is the wife of one of my late ustaz. The ustaz who said to me: "Yes, you can be a Sufi, if you want to." That was 12 years ago. He passed away in the same year.

Allah....her phone call has knocked some sense into my head. Never mind those people who make us feel bad, as long as we are loved and missed by people who matter to us. It's very touching that Auntie M chose to cry on my shoulder. Little did she realize, that in sharing her grief, she's in fact sharing her love.


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