إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
My uncle passed away 2 nights ago. I still remember the family sitting down at the dining table having dinner but discussing his health condition which was critical at that moment. Thanks to family group chats we were constantly being updated. But just half and hour into dinner, the text messages were becoming more rampant. My aunt (his wife) was asking my parents to come to the hospital quickly which they were going to after dinner. But shortly after, he took his last breath. And therefore my parents were too late to see him before he passed away. Such is the concept of time, you could never tell if you’ll have enough and therefore it is a gamble life forces you to take.
Even though he had been ill for some time, none of us expected death so soon. I cried. Strangely I cried a lot. Perhaps because this was the second time I was dealing with the death of a very close relative. The last time was 20 years ago when my grandmother died. I guess you could say that I’m not familiar with death.But when are we ever?
Loss is a strange concept. It hits people at different moments. For me it hit me when I saw the coffin for the first time in the mosque. It hit me even more when I saw his only child and son taking the honour to bury his coffin. And it hit me hardest when his daughter in law broke down saying how she was due to give birth in 2 weeks and was looking forward to share that joy with her father in law. I just couldn’t contain myself. How do we have someone one day and the next day we don’t?
I had not seen my uncle in a while because he had been ill. But I remember him. Calm, quiet yet jovial and memorable. All his MCKK friends came and some even wore their MCKK shirts. I thought it was really sweet seeing that boarding school brotherhood united in life and in death. It made me happy. And then it made me realise something about what we can learn from death.
At the end of the day, it’s all about your relationships.
1) Your relationship with God and your preparation for the next life – my uncle did that well as he formed a natural genuine relationship with his local mosque and was therefore treated benevolently upon death.
2) Your relationship with people – people had came from all over to pay their respects and really that says a lot about how people remember you. To me that is a formidable way to die.
Al-Fatihah Pak Lang