It was a normal working day for me until I knew: Uncle Hasan passed away. My reaction was: “May Allah have mercy on his soul.” He suffered for a long time from cancer. I was supposed to see him in the past few days before he died. I didn’t because I was postponing the visit. I was doing an internship that took a lot of my time. As a matter of fact, that’s where I was going when I knew this news. I went to work for few hours until the time of the burial. I regretted the fact that I didn’t see him for the last time. I saw him alive for the last time two months before his death. He was so weak. All you can see in his body were his bones. All these things didn’t make me think that the day will be a very different day in my life.
When the time of the burial approached, I left work. I was ‘normal.’ Even at the cemetery, I stood with people outside. I was feeling sad, but interacting as usual. It broke my heart seeing his sons and grandsons. It broke my heart seeing all those people who loved coming to say goodbye for the last time. Still, I was ‘normal.’
My family and friends know that I’m not good with expressing my feelings. Actually, I rarely do. And until those moment I was the ‘normal’ me. With all those tears, sad faces, and broken hearts I was able to control myself. I was sad myself, but I’m used to keep my feelings to myself. At least, until a certain point.
My uncle, who’s name is Hasan too, asked me if I saw uncle Hasan. I said no. At that time, men from the closet members of family have already seen him for the last time. I didn’t go because I didn’t want to be rude. My uncle asked me if I wish to see him. I said yes. I went and I saw him. I kissed his forehead. He was peaceful. You can see how cancer has really drained his power. My mom, aunts, and his daughters came at the same moment. They hugged him and kissed him. They were crying. I felt the tears on my eyes but I thought ‘hold yourself.’ I tried. I really did. I’m a person who lives with struggle and pain everyday. I’m a person who used to deal with sorrow since a young age. I’m a person who when he needs to cry go to hide in his room, under his bed cover, and cry loudly. Cry as loud as no one can hear and express all those unexpressed feelings away from everyone and anyone. But not at that moment. My tears started falling. We took him to pray on him before the burial and still I couldn’t hold my tears. People, including my father, were looking at me shocked. ‘This is not Abdulla (without h) that we know,’ they think. I could care less, especially on those moments. I calmed down a bit as we carrying him to his grave, but I was still crying. After the burial, I went to pay condolences to my grandfather, his sons, sons-in-law, and grandsons. As all of the men came to pay condolences, women went to the grave. I waited my mom and aunts, who were with them, to finish. When they finished and came back, I paid condolences to them. I hugged my mom really hard and cried as I never did before. She, who’s the only person in my life who saw me in my weakest points, was also shocked. She tried to calm me down and to remind me that we’re all dying. She tried to remind me that it’s better for him. He suffered for a very long and at least now he can rest. She promised to take me to my grandmother (whom I never met because she died when my mom, aunts, and uncle were very young and actually uncle Hasan and his wife helped my grandfather to raise them) for the very first time. It was something I always wanted to do and she was right when she thought it would help calm me down a bit.
After the burial, I went back home. I went to my room and locked the door. I only saw my mom for few minutes when she came back as she insisted to see me. I didn’t go to work in the next three day. I didn’t go anywhere, even for the funeral service. I simply wasn’t prepared to see anyone. My mother was pushing hard to see me, but I needed to be alone. I needed to deal with my pain. It wasn’t the first time with me to deal with death, but this one was very different.
Uncle Hasan was a very good man. He was one of the few good ones. When my grandmother died, as I mentioned, he and his wife helped my grandfather raising my aunts and uncle. He’s not related by blood to my grandfather, but he was surely more than a brother to him. I used to go to his house when I was young. We used to gather for lunch on Friday. He was so generous. I’ve never heard someone complaining that he harmed anyone. Anyone who met him must have loved him.
If you read this post then please share your feelings with the people you love. Don’t think ‘I’ve time’ because you never know what might happen. Don’t be afraid of expressing your feelings like I do. It’s something to be ashamed of. It’s important to express love in action, but it’s also important to express it in words.
*Kal Ho Naa Ho means there may or may not be a tomorrow. It’s actually the name of a movie starred by the awesome Shahrukh Khan.
* This was originally published in Fish N Write.