Eid is a month of celebration for Muslims, for having gone through the test of Ramadan. It’s the time of year where you share and celebrate with your family and friends. It is during those happy moments, that I usually find myself remembering, those that we have lost.
A few years back, my family grew a little bit smaller, suffering through three consecutive family deaths. Since then, nothing’s been the same, especially on the first day of Eid. There’s a certain tinge of sadness that accompanies the cheerful greets between all of us. And despite the happy grins, there lurks a dark murky sadness within. Things, no matter how much we plaster on a smile, are simply not the same.
This thought is often unsaid, but even years later, it’s still there.
Death leaves a lasting impact. Not to those that have passed; death resonates with the living. It’s an aching pain that resonates inside, something that’s been buried, but now unearthed. Almost like a dark hole, that resides and hides within, always present, never really gone. It’s a stifling emptiness, a void that can’t really be filled.
It’s as if when they went, they took a piece of you along with them.
Many say that it gets better with time. That there will come a day, where you’ll be able to walk and do as you were before. That the gashes inflicted by the brush of death’s claw, will heal and scab over.
Here’s a newsflash: It doesn’t.
Time doesn’t fill the glaring hole in your life. It isn’t the one-size-fit-all solution to healing that deep wound inside your heart. It doesn’t let you be numb over time, it doesn’t make you whole.
In fact, there will be days that you will wake up and there seems to be a glaring headlight that highlights their absence in your life. It’ll be so jarring, that the sudden impact in your chest will leave you breathless. These are the days that you feel like you’re still reeling from the loss, and you can still feel the horrifying wound the loss has left behind.
Time isn’t the solution. Because, this isn’t a problem. No; feeling this despairing feeling, is not the problem. The pain you feel, in all it’s gory grip, is merely the price of having loved and lost someone.
We have to come to terms, that life, life was never permanent to begin with. That we, as living things, are just mere tourists in this world. That for all our dreams and ambition, it is not up to us when or how we leave the living.
“We are from Allah and towards him is our return.” – Holy Qur’an (2:156)
Time isn’t the solution, because grief is the cost of love. And as you have willingly loved someone, so dearly, you will in turn feel the sorrow when you, inevitably, lose them.
Knowing this, doesn’t ease the grief, though. You will still feel the deep pang of sorrow, when you think of the past. There will still be a welling of tears, as memories of your loved ones swim into your mind.
As life carries forward, as it always does, you too will have to move forward. But know this; that despite the days of despair over those that have gone, you will have days when you will still be able to fill unbridled joy. Because you see, despite being physically gone, you will always carry with you a part of them, perfectly captured in your memories. You will still be able to be with all of them, through memorized lessons and kind words.
So when the takbir sounds on the morning of Eid, and the chilling sensation of loss creeps up, hold on. As tears slowly well up, just remind yourself that everything is by God’s will. Remember that the people you love, don’t really leave you. That a part of them will always be with you, no matter what.
This is to the strong grandmother, who greeted death calmly and reassured. This is for the uncle who was taken too abruptly, forever remembered with a laugh on his face. To the brother, who was snatched from our grasp too soon.
This is for all who are gone, all who we have lost.
Happy Eid – May Allah bless you and may you be counted among the pious believers. You’ll never be forgotten or less cherished. Amin.