A few days ago, the father of one of my best friends passed away. I could see the pain in his eyes, feel the grief in his heart and imagine the agony in his soul. This incident took me back to May 1995, the day my father passed away. Today, I have decided to share with you some thoughts of the day.
It was Friday, a hot sunny day of summer. My father went out to buy some groceries while all of us (4 brothers) were at home. We had a heavy and pleasant breakfast together. My eldest brother had got married a month ago and he was spending his vacation with us. We were happy, my father was too happy.
I am the youngest of my siblings, it was a time with utmost pleasure for me. My mother passed away when I was 2, my brother migrated to another country. It was the first time I saw my brother and family together. We were very happy!
At a time when we were preparing to get ready for the Friday prayer as my father used to drive me there, somebody rang the doorbell. My brother opened the door, I was listening from another room. He was shouting, my sister was crying. I could not understand anything.
I rushed to the main door, all my 3 brothers had already left out. Without understanding anything, I looked at my elder sister who told me that our father got a heart attack. It was his third heart attack and I knew that there are almost no chances of survival.
I was standing out waiting for some news to come. I felt that my heart had stopped working, tears were rolling through my cheeks. I had no idea what is going on. The phone bell rang, my sister picked up the phone but she could not put it back in the cradle.
It was apparent, my father had passed away. I felt that somebody held my heart in his hands, I never felt more pain in my life. I was looking up in the sky. No, he cannot die; it is not possible. Although, death was declared, I was still hoping for a miracle from Allah.
I was negotiating with Allah with all the things I had. I offered Allah to take my life for the sake of my father’s life. I offered Him that I will not ask for anything in this life, just give me back my father. My heart was wrenched; tears were flowing like water. I was still thinking that my father will come back home on his feet.
After a few moments, I found that I was walking to the hospital without my shoes. My foot sole had burnt due to extreme heat on the road, I was not feeling any pain in my feet, there was only one thing in my heart and I was still in negotiation with Allah. All of a sudden, I heard the ambulance sound.
I felt that somebody is drilling my head through my ears, that ambulance sound lost all the hopes, stopped all the negotiations with Allah. I found myself running towards my home, I saw a stretcher, saw my brothers hugging each other and crying like hell.
I was just 8 years old at that time, they didn’t notice me. I was still hoping that a miracle would take place and my father will get up again. My father used to tell me stories of how Prophet Ibrahim عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ was saved from the imminent death. How Allah saved Jesus from the cross.
An 8 years old mind believes in all this but that was not the day. I saw my father’s face; he was sleeping with cotton in his nose. I don’t know what happened after that. I went out, I was wandering all around the streets. There was only one thing I could not stop, my tears.
You don’t realize all this until you experience it. Nobody can ever imagine that pain. Nobody can share your grief. My family buried him that night, I didn’t even go to the graveyard. When they were taking him away, I remember somebody was dragging me away from him. I was not letting him go.
The next day came and after that another day. Days passed by. All of us stopped talking about our father. My brother was cracking jokes to please my sisters and me. Everyone had a smile on his face, but I knew that they used to find space to cry.
I saw my sister many times crying in the storeroom, I heard hiccups of my brother from the washroom, I used to cry when everyone was asleep. I kept on dreaming about my father for months. It continued for many months. We used to cry alone and laugh in gatherings so that others don’t miss him.
More than 2 decades have passed since the day I saw him last time. While writing this, I could not hold back my tears. I felt all the pain, all the suffering again. Perhaps, this is the greatest pain anyone can feel in his life.
Today I have everything, all the success, all the happiness, a lot of money, all the fame, but I don’t have him. I can trade off all this for spending a day with him. But I know, Allah will not negotiate with me even this time.
All of you who have parents still in this world, take care of them. You cannot realize how secure you feel with your parents. Go and spend some time with them, massage his legs if he is old. Put some oil in her hair, comb her hair.
Put your head in her lap even if you are grown up. Show them how important they are in your life, once they are gone, you can only dream of them.