Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Al-Fatihah: Mama Elena

Today, I had been mostly tearful inside. Occasionally the tears flows but my heart mostly bleeds from within.

This is going to be a very difficult post to write so this will remain in my draft till I am ready to hit the "publish" button.

By the time you read this, Mama Elena, mother to Mamapumpkin, had been placed to rest at Bukit Kiara Muslim Cemetery. 

As I ride the wave of the 5 stages of Loss and Grief as proposed by Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross, I am sure her other dear and close family and friends are/were/still feeling them more intensely. 

A chance encounter with her daughter, Mamapumpkin, (after following the latter's blog about her struggles, inter alia) on one blessed afternoon last year led to a friendship inexplicably random but close. We grew from strangers to online friends to sisters of kindred spirits within months. Her mama became mine. 

Bottles of air zam zam, healing guidebooks and translations of The Holy Quran, iQuran HD downloads, arrangements for Ustazah appointments, a couple of home visits and numerous text messages all seem so little in the lifetime she has fought her illness. 

I feel like I was merely 1/14 of it all. The last 14/14 portion. The little piece that helped the puzzle piece together.

The random cards and gifts for birthday and Mothers' Day were puisne in the greater scheme of things. My only wish remain that those little thoughts had brought her some cheer. Some hope. Some time. Some healing.

Had I been His Vessel? Had I been a mark that the end was close? 

I don't know. Only He Knows. SubhanAllah.

It hit me like a tonne of bricks on Monday 6 October 2014 when I received a text message to describe that she had been hospitalised after being sent to Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur via an ambulance earlier that day.

On my home front, arrangements were quickly made, permission from The Other Half sought, and dinner prepared, ready to be served after the brief hospital visit. I did not have to go, but I wanted to. I just knew I had to be there.

Another tonne of bricks fell upon me when another text message described that should something happen to her, my fardhu kifayah duties would fall upon me.

I was not ready, emotionally.

How can one ever prepare for this?

When I saw her last, I whispered our shahadah, repeatedly, into her left ear as her right ear was pressed down upon a pillow. She was facing the qiblat, and was alert. She whispered back what she could. 

I had whispered to her that we all love her very very much, and that I will be here for her daughter and family. 

I whispered her that when Allah gives us pain, He takes away all our sins.

She was calm, and ready.

She then asked for her tasbih, and started praying, berzikir. La ilaha illala. SubhanAllah. Astagfirullah. 

That was the last time I saw her. Berzikir. 

I left the hospital with The Little Girl soon after a quiet discussion outside the ward along the hallway with Mamapumpkin and another lady. We arrived home and family evening routine resumed.

In the wee hours of 7 October 2014, I had a dream. She was calm. I had told her in my dreams not to worry. From Him we come, to Him we return.

This morning, I was late. A text message arrived to say "mom passed away". All at once I felt anger. Angry at myself for having placed work above her. Angry at myself for not doing enough.

I cried. 

I cried because I broke my promise to visit her punctually after dropping The Little Girl off at Playschool. I cried because I didn't have the emotional strength to face what was coming.

The Other Half remained strong and steady to provide practical solutions and guidance, and a shoulder to cry on. He knew too well that I cannot possibly be at two places simultaneously so he took charge of Bean and The Little Girl's school run, just for a short while, so that I could pay a short visit to arwah. 

A good fight it had been. Rest well, Mama Elena. 

I am ever thankful to Allah swt that our paths crossed, albeit just for a short time. I wish my sincerity had been deeper, my love stronger, my devotion fuller. I wish everything had been more obvious from the start so that I could have done more.

Whatever little we have shared, laughed over, prayed together, fasted for, I will cherish forever. 

Thank you for building my faith, and showing me how strong yours is.

Thank you for fortifying my soul, through your inner beauty and outward grace.

Thank you for showing me the meaning of life, through fighting for yours.

Thank you for everything. 

Al-Fatihah, Mama Elena. May Allah swt place you in Jannah amongst the best of His Believers. Amin!