Another son, and father of a young boy embraced the darkness of death and exited the pain of this life journeying to the other world, leaving behind yet another bereaved mother and a befuddled child.
My mother said, “If you live long enough you will see everything………… heartrending, heart stopping and heart aching”. There is no need to make sense of it, as there is no sense that we can make of it with our finite intellect. All we know and embrace is that we are travellers and eventually we all have to go home. “ It is to Allah we belong and to Him we return”. Some early in years and some late.
I am looking out at the verdant green behind my house, the trees are laden with the moisture of rain that has showered it with the mercy of Allah. The angels bringing each drop and carefully placing it on each leaf or root designated its destination.
Jannah in the Quran is described as verdant, with streams flowing. I can feel and see it at a very human level as the water drips softly over the leaves and then over the stones. It makes a subtle and refreshing sound, which is neither happy nor sad. The birds are chirping, the soft sounds suspend me in the timelessness of nothingness surrounded by the green of the young spring. Is Jannah like this? or better?
The sadness is that a young man left this earth in his youth leaving all close to him in a mystery of why? What were the circumstances that led him to this end?
There are some questions that are never answered, some questions are never asked out of fear of hearing the answer. Some questions are cruel deductions of an ignorant and cruel spirit that sometimes resides in some humans.
Death always brings me to my knees as to how insignificant and powerless we are in the kingdom of the Divine.
We are just a speck in this Universe; can we question why we are only a speck in this Universe? Can we ask for a more important spot? Surah insaan reminds us of how insignificant was our origins just from a drop of semen in an egg. Yet we have questions for which our intellect has neither been tooled nor prepared.
Though it brings us happiness when other insignifanct specks who neighbor us as friends or who are related to us by womb care about where we are and how we feel.
I am envisioning the face of the child of this man who has chosen to leave this world by ending the pain of the darkness that he dwelt in.
The face of the child, bewildered, surprised and uncomprehending of what happened. He is innocent and unaware of a world without a father.
What of a child who never witnessed the existence of his father whose father had departed long before his birth? Such was an innocent child born in Arabia 1400 years ago who as he grew as an orphan in a patriarchal society was placed with the responsibility of Prophet hood at age 40 to bring peace to the Alameen (all the worlds).
In every moment of personal anguish I have feverishly searched the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to learn how he managed to live and function with his pain. In every instance I have found his anguish to be more than mine. I lost one child; he buried five of his children. I feel broken with loss, he cried but stood up and did the bidding of Allah in bringing peace to the hearts of all people.
How to comfort those who have lost a child, I don’t know…but there are books written on how to comfort…
I remember two things from my own experience: The first was that I wanted to be left alone and yet I wanted to feel the comfort of knowing that my loved ones were close and in sync with my sorrow. What an oxymoron and yet it happened in the peak of my sorrow my family and friends came from long distances and covered me in a long and loving hug and brought great comfort to my sorrowful heart.
The second thing I remember from these books and from my experience is “what not to say” Don’t say: you have also experienced it even if you have. Don’t say “O’ I know another person in my family who died”. Don’t say, “so many refugees lost their children”, don’t compare because for each mother there is only that one child who has been cruelly wrenched from her womb, no matter what the age of the child.
At this time the grief of others does not penetrate the pain of her wrenching sorrow. Her womb is crying in excruciating pain, the tears may or may not flow.
The gossamer curtain that separates us from our loved ones at death is opaque but sometimes Allah gives the aching mother a glimpse of her beloved child, but there is no guarantee of when and where and one cannot live to search for it.
As someone once wrote in a gratitude book” I am grateful to dream as it gives me a chance to visit my dead son”
I sit in the midst of the Jannah like verdant green of the young spring embracing me. I hear the softly rippling water of the streams on this earth and I pray and hope that you (bereaved parents of the world) and I will meet our child in the peace of the verdant green by the side of the stream in Jannah and behold the joy in his eyes.