Death is the only way out of here
The absence of my father has been my memento mori.
It’s funny because I have always been aware of death, how we all are mortals and one day, sooner or later, our hearts will stop beating and our souls will leave our vessels. I’ve always known that.
In my life time, I have lost several friends to diseases, medical complications and road accidents. The first one I lost was to a road accident. He was my classmate at technical school. The most recent was a friend from university – she died from complications after giving birth to her 3rd (?) child. Every time I received such news, I did feel sad. But somehow, there’s that detachment to death itself. I felt removed from it, that it couldn’t really happen to me too. Diseases, medical complications, road accidents, and death only happen to other people.
My father’s passing has given me a new perspective on death – that I will one day die too, just like him; that I will one day be washed, cleaned and wrapped too; that I will one day be lowered into the ground too; that I will one day be buried, with earth poured onto my lifeless body too; that I will one day be left alone in there too; that I will one day be reduced to just memories too; that my material possessions will have no meaning to me any longer, just like him; that I will one day join him in the unknown underworld, never to return, ever; and that I am just part of the life cycle of the creatures on earth – we were born, we live and then we die. One after another. En mass.
It finally hits me. It finally sinks in.
It puts into perspective how insignificant we are – we thought we would rule the world and live forever, but we wouldn’t. We are just one creature living on a planet which has witnessed at least 56 billion humans since the first homo sapiens.
We are here because the past generations were here. Each human and creature is given a very small frame of time to live on this planet. The things that are going on around us are just there to assist us in the process of our living – the current knowledge, current lifestyle, current trend, current science and technology, current co-creatures, and all those “current stuff”. When we were born, we were brought into this world with all its contents already there. And when our window/time frame passes, we die, leaving the world and all those “current stuff” for the living.
We came into this world with nothing, we own nothing, we will leave with nothing. All the material, immaterial, concrete and abstract possessions we think we own, we don’t. When the time comes for our heart to stop beating, all that’s ours are no more.
Just like my father.
It’s unfortunate that it takes a passing of my father to let that fact sink in; to make me realize that I am actually in reality, a part of the life-and-death cycle, and that the underworld is not going to go away if I don’t think about it too much. Forgetting about death does not make It forget about me.
The nights have been tough. Darkness and quietness do weird things to me. When I lay in bed, alone, in the dark, a kind of fear, heartbreak, sadness and loneliness set in. An overwhelming bunch of emotions. Do I cry alone in bed every night? Until recently, not every night. Do images of my father play a part in evoking those emotions? Mostly, yes.
But his absence has been my own memento mori. And THAT is painful in ways I can’t really describe.
please put my father in a good place, among those whom have earned your love, blessings and grace. I seek Your forgiveness for me, my family, my grandparents, my relatives, my friends, my teachers, those who have helped me and for all mukminin/mukminat, dead or alive. You are GOD, there is no God but You. You are the Knower of the Unseen and the Seen, You are the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.