I went to Madinah.

Do you know what it’s like to anticipate an experience for years, to relive it in your mind a thousand times. I imagined seeing Jannatul Baqi where my father lies a thousand times….thinking about my emotions. Finding closure….

Yet being there …smelling the Arabian air..feeling ┬áthe soil under my feet, was nothing like I imagined.

As my flight touched down, …I cried like never before. I cried knowing that these were my father’s last sights. I cried knowing it was the last time my parents were together. They were happy.

I cried because this is where it all began. I cried because I knew that this was where it all ended.

As we approached the city, my heart ached and sang all at the same time.

I was here…how long I waited.

I was finally here.





The Grief Pill.

I haven’t written for such a long time. I’ve told myself that it’s because I feel healed. There is no longer that gaping hole,an invisible crevice deep in my soul.
I feel whole again after a very long time. And writing down my thoughts,my fears,my anguish was the therapy I needed to get to where I am now.
I miss the lives lost almost daily,but there is serenity in my thoughts.
The years have passed,and in the process of healing I have found myself again.
I wish there was a pill that could be taken for grief. How many people go through life and never find themselves again?

Grief Pill.
Take one pill every morning after experiencing great anguish.
Can be taken daily until relief is felt.
This pill will help you through the stages of grief. It will make you whole again.

The alternative is going through the stages of grief naturally. Listening to how time will heal. Knowing that in time we just mask our pain better.

It is a pain I will not wish on my worst enemy.

Forgotten memories

My beautiful daughter turned 5 today. I’m so amazed at the bright confident little girl she’s become.
As we lay in bed last night talking about the excitement of the day to come. I couldn’t but help think about my mum.
It’s been 2 yrs…she had turned 3 just after granny had passed. So much has changed, so much has transpired.
On her own she says to me that she misses granny.As we spoke I realized that her memories are fading…
She will have a few recollections of her time with gran….but it’s all fading.
I’m heartbroken.


Bleeding wounds.

How many days has it been…too many?
So many.
The days get better, I cope so well and then all of a sudden it all comes falling down.
And so slowly we start building the normality again.
Brick by brick, tear by tear.
I sit and wonder what the trigger was, what brought all this anguish back?
Does it matter.
The pain’s still there.
The wound has healed a bit, but like any scab if you scratch too deep, it bleeds.

Lost birthdays.

This October will be a year since mum has passed.
I had planned a third birthday party for Nooreen last year. She turned 3 in October.
But mum passed away 3 days earlier.
I had a ominous feeling that last week,so I had postponed my arrangements just the day before she died.
The party planner,jumping castles and all else.
Everything was put on hold,until things settled and I felt better. But that right time never really came.
I didn’t feel like a party.
I did regret it after….as my now 3 year old has been waiting a year for a party. She chose her cake a year ago.I am planning to make it up to her. She will have that party this year.
It will be perfect.
We will all remember granny.
Her special Nooreen is growing up.

Death in Ramadhan.


Six years ago on this day,the 21 Ramadan I dropped my parents off at the airport for their trip to Saudi Arabia. They were to spend the last ten days of Ramadan between Mecca and Madina.
My father was extremely excited,as this was a dream for him. To experience Ramadan in Madina and Mecca.
Just the night before he told us all about how special a place Madina was. And how lucky one would be to die there. So close to the Prophet (SAW) grave. To rise with him on Judgement Day.

At the airport we said all our goodbyes. All the grandchildren getting their last kisses.
His last words to me that day was how happy he was that I was his daughter….I found it so strange that I called him on my way home. He just brushed it off saying that I had helped my mum cope better with her recent diagnosis. And he was just grateful.
The next day I waited for his call to reassure me that they had reached their destination safely. My dad called me all the time. Before I had any time to worry I received a call from a fellow South African to say that my parents had been in a car crash just outside Madina. Mum was ok,but my dad was being rushed to hospital.

I spoke to him that night. He said I shouldn’t worry. He will be fine.
We were concerned for my mum,she had just been diagnosed with cancer and was on chronic medication for diabetes.
My brother and his wife flew out the next evening. By what can only be described as a miracle they got visas and flights at this very busy period in Saudi.
When I got home that evening from the airport,the South African contact called us and informed us that my father had been put on a respirator.
I knew in my heart at this time that he was never coming back. His fate,his death was in Madina.

My brother called me from Dubai Airport very early the next morning saying that they were still waiting to hear if they could board their flight. I just prayed that they would get there in time.
But it was not to be…at approximately the exact time their plane landed in Madina my father passed away.
24Ramadan 1428.Such a special month…I am proud to say he was my father. I am proud that he lays in Jannatul Baqi. The cemetery of the Sahaba.

His final wish was granted. His funeral prayer ( jananza) was read in the Haram. Thousands of people prayed for him.
He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.
My last words to him on the phone that night were…I Love You.
The picture shows his grave.

A week before she died

She spent the day at my place a week before she died. I fetched her early that morning.Helping her to the car. Each step was an effort.
She spent the morning watching Shrek with my daughter. They lay on the couch happily chatting and comforting each other.
That afternoon I had a friend and a cousin over…she barely touched her food or tea.I could see that she was not well. Uncomfortable even.
Yet she told us all stories about her life,how most of it was spent cooking.
When I dropped her of that evening she promised to come over more often. Every week she said.
Who new at that time that in a week she’d be gone.