On death…

I will not be mincing my words today. My dearest paternal grandmother passed away peacefully on the 26th of January, 2009. I heard the news right after she went, from an incoherent and inconsolable aunt, who despite all that she had been through, loved my grandmother as dearly as any filial daughter would.

It felt like the world was crashing in on me, and for a moment, my breath was caught in my throat, and I just could not believe it. My grandmother, Nani was fit as a fiddle for a woman who’s age was touching 83. She was unwell intermittently, as one would expect of a person approaching their 9th decade on God’s green earth. She went suddenly and without notice, without fuss, and without even time for us to rush her to emergency services.

Not long after, I was sent to another one of my aunt’s place to help prepare the house for Nani’s final return, before she goes off for her permanent rest. At the time, I was still in denial, it was hard to believe that this woman, who singlehandedly brought up 11 sons and daughters, and lived her life as a feisty little fighter, was indeed gone.

Reality only began sinking in as her body arrived at my aunt’s place, where I helped lay her down on, and began waiting for family and friends to arrive. Several cousins, and myself plus siblings, chose to spend the night with her to keep her company, and it was heartbreaking to see her frail body laying lifeless…

She looked so frail and small, fragile almost, and so breakable. I noticed the little things about her that I never did notice before… She still had her wedding band on, although my dear grandfather passed away many many years ago. Her feet were small and dainty, and looked almost childlike. Her hair, which I never paid any attention to before, was almost all white, betraying her real biological age…

Early the next morning, I helped with the ladies of the family to give her final shower. It was at that moment that reality sunk in for me. Her skin was paper thin, translucent, and had lost all the colors of life. Instead of warmth, her body was cold to touch, and she was no longer the animated Nani that I knew.

The finality of it was shocking, when we finally placed her in ‘kapan’, the white covering that all Muslims wear when they go to meet their Maker. I will never again taste her legendary cooking or hear her razor sharp wit, nor will I hear her nostalgic stories of the good old days… I am even more saddened by the fact that she will miss my wedding, as she had been the one asking me how the preparations are going, and she offered to help, even as her health was failing…

It has been a week since she passed, and I have been in denial. I figured I should put this down on paper, or on my little cyberspace at least, so that I can find some closure. Been putting it off for a while now, and I better get it done before I break down again. She has taught me the value of resilience and determination, of unconditional love and how to live life as a good person… For her influence on my life, it is without a doubt priceless…

Click on the link below to watch a video of her tribute by her children and grandchildren…

Tribute to Nani

In memory of her, I planted a Sakura tree in our garden, as she used to be an avid gardener. A Sakura tree would be apt, as it is a hardy plant, surviving winter only to flower and bring the joys of life to those still suffering from the winter blues…

Nani, you remain in my thoughts and prayers always – Jasmine.


Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s