The red dirt is soft and fresh on his grave and those of his two friends. There are young people of every age all over the cemetery as far as the eye can see. I am standing away from the tree, but close to the side of the grave.
I throw my last petal of the red roses on him that someone has handed to Im’s Mom and me. I watch as the young faces file away one by one, and suddenly the heavens open and I am drenched in the downpour. Someone gently leads me away to a friends van. It is raining. I try to remember that it is supposed to be a blessing; the heavens cry on the spot of earth where they miss a good person……..I can’t remember the rest.
I look out of the window of the car as we leave the cemetery; it is raining…………..and a sheet of water comes between my child’s grave and me. I am leaving and returning alone.
Almost five years later I open the mail and I recognize the handwriting on the envelope. A friend of Tariq’s writes to us as a family at every milepost…… Today at the High school graduation the empty chairs remind be of past students that sat there once and are no longer with us. She says:
“It poured down rain as I was running this morning, and I thought how it did the same at Tariq’s service, and one of the girls had told me that it was a sign from God that Tariq was where he should be :) I love how the rain can be both physically and spiritually refreshing!
I am making a quick trip to town tomorrow for my youngest brothers graduation from High school…. Don’t you remember those days from the class of 2004? What a special time! I hope you are doing well these days! I hope to see you soon.”
The letter ends with an uplifting note.
Her letters are a balm for a never ending pain………a lovely person, who thinks and knows when we would be missing him most and writes to share the memory of a lovely boy who we once had as a son…God bless her!
42.28 It is He, who sends down rain for them when they have lost all hope, and He unfolds His Mercy; He is the Protector, Worthy of all Praise.