So this blog was meant to help me in some way so I could put my thoughts down somewhere and this post is the one that means the most to me.
Tomorrow will be the start of the New Year. People normally evaluate how their year has gone and so on. I can honestly say the last two months of this year have been horrible. So many events have taken place that has forced me to re-evaluate my life and my relationships with people. It’s also made me think; am I the person I want to be or the person that exists to please others.
Eid-Al- Adha took place in November, 2 days after Eid on a Wednesday I came back from uni to receive a phone call from Pakistan to hear that my daadi (grandmother) had passed away. I could tell you the exact spot I was stood at and just thinking of it brings back all the flooding emotions I felt. It’s still as raw as if it was only yesterday.
Loss is a peculiar emotion; it has the ability to totally consume you, if you let it. The thing is there is no solution no fix-up once God has taken someone that is it. We simply can’t have them back. To be honest I’ve been struggling greatly the last few months. It’s weird Although I’m over the shock it’s as if when we go back to Pakistan she’ll still be sitting there on her manji. It just doesn’t seem real.
Whilst I was in Pakistan last year it was very hot so we used to sit in the veranda looking out onto the yard. My daadi used to usually sit there too and I would sit on this wooden chair near to her. To someone else there was nothing special about this chair it was wooden and had a slight rocking movement to it. I loved it, the base was woven with bamboo and I would sit on it for hours on end whilst reading my book. I asked my daadi where the chair was from. She told me that it was extremely old and had been given to her by her parents as part of her dowry. She said I could take it if I wanted but even though I had fallen in love with it I declined. I couldn’t possibly take something of hers that had such sentimental value attached to it. It fills me with sadness to think that once I enter the front door of our house I’ll be able to see the chair and the manji, they will be sitting side by side in the veranda but without my daadi.
Some people complain about the overpowering presence of their grandparents, I could never have said the same. My daadi always made us feel comfortable and at home. And that’s why we loved her and being her presence. During our couple of visits to Pakistan, she was always awake before everyone sweeping the front yard or feeding the chicks. She liked being independent even during the end of her life, as she became quite ill she still refused to become dependent on anyone and would do everything for herself. I suppose I could take comfort in the fact that even till the end she was so strong and independent.
She was a strong and independent Pakistani woman. She had raised 7 children during tough times. My dada (grandfather) had died quite early on before I had been born. After his death my daadi continued to be the heart and soul of the family.
My aunty once told me during the partition my daadi used to live next to a Sikh family. The area had a majority of Muslims and one day a group of people were out searching for the Sikhs. I never asked where the parents were but they had a little boy. My daadi took the boy and hid him in a basket. Subsequently the little boy was never found by those out for blood. I never got to personally ask my daadi about this and I wish I had. I wish I had asked her to tell us stories of her childhood and her early years. There’s so much we can learn and discover from our elders.
My daadi always encouraged us to study. Even as girls she wanted us to become educated women, this meant a lot seeing as she was from a different generation of ideology in Pakistan. I know she would have been so proud to have seen her first grandchild graduate from university. But I guess I’ll never get the chance to show her that.
I am yet to find peace within myself, I realise it probably going to be a long journey; perhaps a journey which I have already begun. A good friend recently told me not to cry and focus more on praying. Surely I would want to meet her in the hereafter. In the end that is all that is left; prayer. I can pray that some day I will get to see her beautiful smile again inshaAllah. I can pray that I can reach a point in life where I can talk about her and smile and remember all the good times without the tears.
Following the death of my daadi, a couple of weeks later my little cousin came into the world. To remind us all that; every second a human being is born, taking their first breath . Although in another place somewhere else in the world someone is taking their last breath, its the cycle of life.
We never know if we will survive the year ahead of us, so we should simply Pray, Live, love & Laugh.