My cousin passed away yesterday. He was admitted to ICU due to silent heart attack 16 days ago and he’s been there ever since until yesterday, the day when Allah reminded us all that His love is ever greater. I’m bummed and shocked because it was only three days ago the doctor said he’s in stable condition compared to past 14 days. We already flew back home feeling a tad relief knowing he’s getting better. Alas, he’s gone, gone too soon I might add. A young gentleman who is known for his kindness and generosity. I will always remember that.
This silent killer is crazy. Everything happened in a blink of an eye and happened for a reason. The day he got his heart attack, he was not driving – his wife was. They were talking and laughing together until one moment he suddenly became quiet. His wife stunned and shocked seeing him unconscious and he has been like that until his very last breath. No one saw it coming, not even his wife. He’s only 40 something and his first child is getting married next month. At times like this, we are reminded that nothing can come in between death. Death is certain. No one can escape it.
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعون “Truly to Allah we belong, and to Him we shall return”
As I’m writing this, I’m in my pensive mood. Not only because of his sudden inevitable death but this emotion triggers some part of my memories, recalling what had happened 10 years ago. Oddly, this is exactly how it went with my late grandmother sans the heart attack. We flew back during school’s holiday/semester’s break because she had fallen ill.
She had no serious disease whatsoever, just old age was catching up to her. At that time, she was really old. No one was sure enough of her true age (old folks didn’t register birth correctly back then) but we agreed that she’d be around 100.
I remember we had to fly back home with heavy heart because holiday period has ended. A day or two right after we arrived home, my dear grandmother passed away.
Only my father flew back to attend her burial ceremony because it’s too far & too costly for all of us to go back again. In my entire life, I’ve never seen my father cried and her death changed that. I mean he’s probably cried before but I’ve never seen it but that moment, I guess he could no longer hold it. Knowing my father had lost his father at the tender age of 15, I understand my father’s sorrow that day. My grandmother brought up all 9 of her children on her own, doing all kind of jobs – menuai padi, tanam sayur, berkebun etc. What a strong woman considering the life they had back then.
Because I already cried a bucket seeing my bedridden grandmother. Yes, I have this fragile heart. I fondly remember she was already ill lying in her mattress & I’d go and give her a light massage and read Yasin by her side from time to time while struggling to wipe my tears unnoticed. Another thing I vividly remember was seeing my cousin’s wife cleaning after my grandmother’s, putting on diaper for her every single day without a sigh or frown in her face. Not even a word of complaint. You know how tedious it is but she’d do it willingly and happily at that. Such beauty and compassion. I haven’t even reach my 20’s but I know that is pure love and kindness.
Anyhow, I really miss my late grandmother. Every time we went back to her house, we’re never short of gifts and foods. She’d pack and wrap her own homemade kuih sepit, karas, putu kacang, agar2 kering, bahulu for us to bring back home. Yeah that many! Amazing, wasn’t she? She used to sew baju kurung for me too and sometimes she gave me her own homemade bedak sejuk. Aww I miss her. I may not be a good/decent granddaughter because there were many things I didn’t understand back then – All those family politics and drama. Never a day goes by that I wish the younger me would understand such and things would be different but we learn as we grow up, right? I just wish she’s here so I could requite her kindness for whatever that went wrong though I’m pretty sure she’d say nothing is ever wrong with a big heart she has.
Nevertheless, I pray that both my grandmother and cousin and just everyone I know who are dead are all happy down there and up above. May Allah bless them in hereafter.
I’ll leave this space with last verse of surah Yasin that goes “So glorified be He and exalted above all that they associate with Him, and in Whose Hands is the dominion of all things: and to Him you shall be returned” and surah An-Nisa verse 78 “Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high”
May it serves as a reminder to all of us knowing that our ground is somebody’s ceiling to reflect in this borrowed time.