Day 15 – the art of being authentic, conscious and abundant woman series continues….
what I feel like saying…
When my mom passed, I had to be super strong and handle everything.
In spite of having the most dearest person gone, I was doing my best to be calm (though waterfalls of tears gushed thru) and ensure everything goes smoothly for my mom’s burial.
And as I was doing my best, I met someone I’ve not met for many years. And I thought she would understood me best. As I wanted to cry my heart out to her, she looked at me sternly and say something like-suck it up.
Immediately I felt like a slap was given to me. All I wanted was a hug and someone to tell me that everything was gonna be alright.
And then, like a good child, I suck it up. My patience waver when someone whispered to me-how much gold did your mom left you? I wanted to punch that person in the face.
My patience started hissing in anger when hunger rage on. I didn’t know I was supposed to take care of others’ hunger pangs. I thought it was the other way round.
My teacher often told me that in Islam, as guests, we don’t ask the families of the dead to cook for us but instead, we should be bringing them food. We shouldn’t trouble them.
I was totally overwhelmed and the best I can get was the nasi lemak nearby. And I nearly faint, when another shouted out loud, Nasi Lemak? As if it’s beneath them to eat this typical breakfast food at 10am.
Part of me died when the men I thought would supported me thru out, told me first hand that they cannot help me. And I haven’t even ask.
As mentioned, I never need to ask for money because I knew God is always there for me. But all I wanted was these men, named family to say-Lina, I’m here for you. I will support you fully. Whatever you need, just ask. Everything is gonna be fine.
And many more antics, I had to cater to, alongside controlling my hidden eruptions within.
Of course, when the day is over, the colourful people also disappear.
I ended up giving one of my favorite auntie a long, big hug from the heart and consoling her by saying -everything is gonna be alright (the very thing I needed that time).
And of course, later I ended up burrowing myself into a deep cave. It’s “do not disturb me” time.
I wanted to be alone, cry out loud, grieve fully and just focus on the task at hand.
People react weirdly around death. But I somehow I understand cos I reacted weirdly as well.
Nevertheless, hearing the many compliments about mom soothe me. I knew my mom has been a wonderful being for most of them.
It took me 6 months to actually get up from the fog and be okay with her passing.
But my heart still bleeds everyday, missing her.
And I wanted to heal myself as fast as possible but it cannot be done.
Grief has its own pace of woundedness and healing.
Since she was my closest and dearest and we’ve been together for 41 years, I cannot just delete or erase her from my memory in mere months or even years. She will always be there. She was my everything.
And inspite of what people say, I will take my time to grieve fully.
I honour my grief process.
And please, enough with the “suck it up”. As women, we should always have space for other women to cry on our shoulders, especially during death . We cannot always pretend to be strong. We have the right to be vulnerable at times like this.
Creating tribes of authentic, conscious
abundant women around the world.
Note: In Asia, where I lived and being a Muslim, when someone passed, we normally bury them ASAP, on the same day if possible. Unlike other races and religions or traditions, we don’t “make them over” or keep them for days nor parade them so their loved ones can visit.
We cleansed them with water and soap gently (but their modesty stay covered. No body parts, no nude etc were shown even to those who cleansed them, only face and feet. The rest was covered with a big piece of cloth).
We dried them and then we clothed them in clean white pieces of cloth. And we carried them to the cemetery and placed them in a wooden “housing” (like coffin but there is no bottom, so the body was placed in contact with the soil). We say our prayers, our goodbyes and we leave them so that the angels can resume questioning the departed.
We also believed that while their souls have separated from the body, they still feel the pain until we bury them. That’s why utmost care and gentleness was being done. And if possible, we do not want autopsy.
As for burial, the cemetery has to be as simplest as possible. No fancy tombstones. If we do have some work done is to elevate (from flooding during rain) and differentiate the area from others.
After the burial, often we gather together to recite prayers for the departed. We don’t send food, paper money or stuff to the hereafter for the departed. We send them our Quranic readings and prayers. Because our belief is that, these helped them in the hereafter.