An Old Grief

Note: It seems I started writing this back in April but never finished it. I am now posting it as it is. It doesn’t “end” well and I certainly look bad. But do I need to explain how much I loved her and despite “waiting for it”, I didn’t want it to actually happen? All I know is that there’s a big hole in my heart.

I caressed the worn green scarf. It never left her head except when it needed to be washed. Now it’s washed but it would never be on her head again. I never fold laundry. Today, I only did it on the request of my mother. There wasn’t anything else to do either. Little did I know that I would come across her things, and the grief would pour out from my eyes.

She hasn’t been present physically the last eighteen days. She had been going mentally as well for a while. But it doesn’t beat the living together for 26 years.

She had been in the hospital for more than two weeks. Non responsive. Finally, they decided to bring her home. Mentally, she seemed to be gone but this meant we could have her closer by physically.

That Sunday morning, she did come home. She came home one last time to be taken away forever.

An hour into the death, the house started to fill up. Word spread through and on Facebook.

After two days, everyone had pictures to update or stories to share. Stories of her. And no matter how much I racked my brain, I couldn’t remember the last time I was with her.

I do remember her bad mood swings though. She was angry at me not taking her out. But I was glad that she at least recognized me.

The heart grieves but after the funeral, the tears only well up. They don’t come.

Obviously, says the brain. You had already written her off. You had said your goodbye. You were just waiting for the final day, the final breath. You had started carrying your phone everywhere, even the bathroom, in case you got the call. You didn’t want to miss it. So obviously, why are you grieving now. You were waiting for her to die. And now she is, so rejoice.

No, no. No!

Guilt washes over me. Anguished I am. I can’t deny it. I had been waiting.

Cold Feet

All day my feet were dead cold.

It was the day my grandfather passed away. The one where I was woken up to be given this news.

I couldn’t believe he was gone.

I went to his place. I spent the entire day there. I saw him sleeping the eternal sleep, wrapped up in white sheets, back from the hospital.

I listened to my grandmother lamenting that he had left her all alone. I heard everyone exclaim how he had been just fine; two weeks, last night, an hour ago. They bathed him and wrapped him. He looked serene and beautiful as always. But unlike always, he wouldn’t say anything.

All I could do was stare at him from the corner of my eye, while reading the Arabic prayer from the piece of paper in my hand.

Near evening, when they took him to his final resting place, I hugged my mom, my aunt, my sister – told them it’d be okay. Hugged a lot of other ladies; heard them tell me it’d be okay.

I still couldn’t believe he was gone.

And all day, my feet were dead cold. Just like his.

Notes to Self: Be Patient

Be patient.

You can’t control everything. In fact, you can’t control anything. Events, people, time. It’s okay. Be patient.

It might seem as if things won’t work out the way you want them to. And when they do, you won’t like it. It doesn’t matter. Be patient.

Sometimes, the day will slow down. It might even come to a complete standstill. It’ll pass. Be patient. 

Other times, your head feels like it would explode. That your troubles won’t end. They will. Be patient.

The nights might feel endless. Your eyes will burn with sleep but you will toss restlessly. You can rest tomorrow. Be patient. 

Your day will come. Be patient.

Notes to Self – Be Flexible

Be flexible.

You need to adjust to different situations. Adjust to people. Adjust to their moods. So be flexible.

Don’t be so principled that you don’t see the negative aspects of your actions. You can’t be blind to the effect you have. So be flexible.

You might not like what other people say. You might say something that other people don’t like. So be flexible.

You’re on your own. It’s not going to be easy. So be flexible.

P. S.: Being flexible in bed should help too.