Thursday, April 19, 2012

An epistle of grief

I always view April as the month of many good things, as the important dates of the important people to me are in mostly in April. My husband's birthday, the anniversaries of my parents and parents-in-law, my sister Ain's birthday, and the birthdays of my very good friends Caah and Zuhairy. Yet, this year, another date in April has added itself into my calendar. And that is the departure of my most beloved grandmother, Hajah Rashidah Abdullah whom we affectionately called as Maktok,on April 15th at the age of 80.

Yeah, it has been four days since she left us. I am still adapting to the change that she isn't here anymore.. though I would like to think she is just tired of all these years of taking care of her grandchildren that she decided to go somewhere else. But hey, I am a Muslim. I must know (and accept) that this is the fate of every living thing on earth.. that nothing is immortal except the Almighty.

It's just that I feel upset of not being with her on her last few hours. Maybe I could have helped my mom on something.. or maybe I could have recited for her the Yaasin much earlier. It was exactly seven days before she departed when I last saw her. Gave her some pocket money (I am glad that I managed to give it to her before her time came..) but still, I didn't really have a long chat with her. The last few words that I said to her were "Maktok janganla sakit-sakit k.. take your medicine according to its dose, and please don't skip meals.."

Though I wasn't purposely being away (Zara had chickenpox, and now she is still recovering) but still, I felt bad..

She had a terrible appetite that week.. I wonder why didn't I sense the sign that her death was coming.. Like the ustaz said in one sermon I attended, the unseen (ghaib)things are only known by Allah.. I must tell myself to be redha with whatever He has destined for me and those around me.

These few days, all the memories of her keep on coming into my head. And when I remember, these tears will appear in my eyes. I know I need to control this sadness.. Cuz if I'm not strong enough, I won't be able to comfort my mom and my siblings..

But I am glad that my mom, my two sisters and I managed to bathe Maktok's body before she was being wrapped in the white cloth. If her soul were to witness that, I know she must be proud of us. I am further relieved that the whole process were made easy by the Almighty. Bathing her was done smoothly, so it was when we were wrapping her. Her face was really calm.. like she was sleeping. Finally she got her long deep sleep after a number of days when she told my mom that she couldn't really sleep.

And I am also glad that many of her cousins, nieces and nephews came to pay their last respect. I know she was loved by those who knew her.. family or not.

Maktok, I have never really said the things I wanted to say to you. But I guess, since you're gone, there is nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is tell the world the wonderful deeds you have done for me (and my siblings).. I will pray hard that someday, I will meet you again in the Hereafter.. hopefully in Heaven. And I hope when I am a grandmother one day, I can do the same like what you did for us.

Maktok, thank you for taking care of me until I began my journey to the University, thank you for being my earliest teacher, teaching me nursery rhymes, folk songs, reading Quran, how to perform Solat, helping me out with my homework, all the advice you gave for me to improve myself, comforted me when I was so mad at people around me, thank you for helping me understand my parents, thank you for your prayers for me all these years, thank you for all the good food you prepared (they will always remain as the best food in the world), thank you for being a shoulder to cry on.. in short, thank you for everything Maktok. May Allah bless you for what you have done. Your leaving was so abrupt.. Until I didn't get the chance to say goodbye..

Ya Allah, please take care of my Maktok. She never wronged anyone. In fact, many people actually still owe her tonnes of apologies. But knowing Maktok, she must have long forgiven them..

.. And deep in the corner of my heart, how I wish I could turn back time.. and never let it tick for another minute..