When Death Actually Becomes Death!



Do you ever wonder why we get shocked upon witnessing or hearing the news of another's death, why we cry, despite having absolute certitude that everyone will die? 

Just yesterday, I was going through my phone book and came across my late teacher's number. My eyes linger on his name for a while and my thumb shook at the prospect of dialing his line. I wanted to confirm if he was truly dead, and I seriously hoped that he'd call my name from the other end and rebuke me for all the times I ignored his calls. More than his recent death, this ensuing feeling grieved me. 

Right from the first day, he had taken a particular liking to my blog posts. For the most part, he'd leave comments for me on Facebook, and, from what I can tell, he was also like that with many of his other students. And while I process these information, my mind leaped from one fragmented memory of the past to another, the past which included him. I could see his fine beards, his sharp eyes, and I could hear his almost-ragged voice as he screamed ALLAH whenever there was need to exclaim. 

Then I saw Wasilah, too - in one of those memories of him - and, immediately, a strange kind of fear engulfed me. This memory is the only memory Wasilah and I both share with the teacher I talk about; and it is the only concrete memory I have left of her. We never had the chance to make another memory, for pregnant Wasilah slept one night and never woke up. That was a few years before teacher's death. So, that makes me the last main character alive for that particular memory. 

As I write this, a part of me wants to stop and cower in another crumpled piece of paper filled with this writ. I fear that I may die afterwards, because netizens have a way of referencing the last posts of dead folks in mournful remembrance. And you don't know how creepy that is until you find yourself writing a similar post.

But then, we'll all die one day, so I guess there's really no point shying away from this.

During the period immediately following a person’s death, when the loss of that loved one is felt most sharply, grieving people usually are not comforted by the fact that dying is a natural and necessary process that happens to all living things. No matter how deep your faith in God is, a part of you still wants to go crazy, and that's normal. It is how God Himself created us. 

As time passes, however, many people begin to accept the loss of their loved one, and the pain of that loss becomes a bit easier to bear. Thinking of that person may even bring some pleasure as good times with that person are remembered.

In truth, when we cry for the dead, we are indeed crying for ourselves. We mourn that we have lost that person's wonderful, valuable presence in our lives. We mourn that, one day, we are also going to suffer the same fate. We mourn for different reasons that are personal, maybe selfish and that is the reason everyone mourns in their own different ways.

But the worst form of mourning is REGRET.

Someone once told me how stubborn he was as a child. At that time, he was living with his aged mother, who was a direct recipient of this act. He wasn't a bad child in the original sense of it, but you know how teenage boys can be, especially lastborns, when they have a particular liking for football. One day, his mother slumped in the bathroom and that was it. My grandmother died. My uncle was distraught, and since then, he told me he has never stopped praying for her in his Sujoods (the position of prostration while praying the Islamic way). More than his profound love for his mother, he is deeply hurt he couldn't make up for all those stubborn episodes.

Your story may not have this same plot, but memories haunt. And, trust me, you don't want to live with certain kinds of regrets. I understand that we are humans and are prone to errors. Most times, our emotions get the better of us, but we have to be reasonable about it. And sometimes when we lose all sense of reasoning, we have to apply moderation. Not for the sake of the other person, but for our own sakes.

I saw a post on WhatsApp yesterday (picture below) and I'm just going to end this writ with it. 

Sometimes, the problem is not that we cultivate fake friendships. No. The problem might just be with the way we reason. We have to understand that this world doesn't revolve around us, and a lot of people are in difficult situations that are unknown to us. So, if you feel a hitch in your relationship with someone, please don't assume things. Instead, seek to understand. If a person doesn't pick your calls for a suspicious number of times, please call someone else who might know his whereabouts. Visit to confirm his wellbeing. Don't assume that he has suddenly become arrogant. A lot of suicide cases might have been avoided if we just showed a little care.

Please make a habit of loving before they are gone. Thank you.

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