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 the 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.
Women do not attend the burial prayers in Islam. So when my mum died we watched her body being carried away in her simple kafan ( white sheets that over the body).
I new that there will be a prayer read at the cemetery and then her body would be laid into the ground.
I was calm in the mad rush of that day. There were hundreds of people who attended her funeral. And I appreciated their kind words,but more than anything I just wanted to escape the noise.
My daughters were confused by all the people and the small one wanted to know were granny was.
I just waited….until it was quiet so that I could sleep. Only a person who has looked after a terminally ill family member who has passed,will understand the sleep that comes after.
It is the sleep that is filled with both calm and loss. The weight of their illness lifts.
In the weeks that passed I thought of her final resting place. I felt like I needed to visit,but I was scared of my emotions whilst there.
So one morning I took a drive to the cemetery. I was alone. I walked around the tombstones looking for hers. Going thru the days and months in 2012 until I found her gravesite. I thought of all those people who have lost loved ones in these few months. Young and old….we are all bound by our grief. There are beautiful flowers everywhere.
It was so tranquil and peaceful.
I’m not sure if I found what I was looking for. I sat there talking to her…..praying for her.
And yet I felt no closer to her than when I’m home.
She is a part of who I am. And will be me in my heart always. Even so I’m glad I went. And that I went alone.
I send a prayer for her everyday. I look forward to my dreams of her, some dreams are soothing. Others leave me drained. And yet thru it all I know that she is finally resting. She is at peace.