Friday, February 28, 2014

I want to be like Nunni

When you wake up to a phone call at 4 am, naturally you freak out a tiny bit. And then when your mom comes sobbing into your room, inconsolably panicking, you wish you could just pause, stop, go back in time and prepare for the words that were to come next.

I don't wish that moment upon anyone. But those that have experienced it know very clearly, that no matter how strongly you accept the fact that we all must leave this earth one day and return to our Creator, when it just happens. And you just sit there, convinced that your shattered heart will never be whole again. I'm certain my mom felt that way. In fact, I know she still does.

My grandmother Nunni passed away this past Wednesday and just typing those few words is making me cold. But the only way I know how to deal with things is through pen and paper, but in this case my keyboard. I cannot process it still, I feel like it's a long nightmare that keeps pressing the snooze button for me. I'm not sure when things will start to hurt less or when I'll fully understand why things like this happen, but today I'm sure I miss her more than I've ever missed anything in my entire life. I've been powering through my feelings for the past couple of days for the sake of mom. She can barely wipe her own tears, you know?

This morning she held the phone tightly and said, "I can't call her anymore." It was so so so so sad you guys. I can't even explain it!

Personally, I haven't cried as much as I want to. I don't know if I should proceed in that way but I think it's fine.

I've been feeling a lot of deep emotions since the news broke and not just on the surface, like real intense ones. Heavy and fragmented, confused and kind of lost. As someone who wants to be and tries to be a spiritual person, I get irritated at myself when I don't access the tools I should. Things like surrender, trust, faith...just being okay with whatever happens because they say it happened for a reason. I don't know if I'm okay with it. Actually no, of course I'm not.

I wish I could just hug her one more time and convince her to be on my side when I deliberately tease my brother out of boredom. I want to watch her pray and clean her hands in a little water bowl. And sit beside her and count her "hand veins." I did that so much as a child, now that I think of it I was such a weirdo.

I've been trying to acknowledge things today. I'm slowing down and allowing myself to feel whatever I want to feel because they're my feelings and I have the right to feel them. That was so wordy and so feely, but honestly. Do you ever think about how many emotions we actually have the ability to express? And maybe we have all of them because in life we need to use them?

But instead of drowning in my tears today, after breakfast I sat next to my mom and kindly asked her to please tell me stories. I have my own, lots and lots of beautiful stories of my own. But I wanted to hear how Nunni dealt with loss herself, so maybe I could steal some pointers.

I don't think anyone is ever okay with losing a loved one. It isn't easy to comprehend in the first place and then you have to accept the reality of moving on. Nunni was the most gracious person I ever knew. She never resented anything that happened to her, and a lot happened. If only people on the outside knew. She took life so lightly and reminded me to always always thank God for what I have right now when I have it. And then when I no longer have it, I still have to be grateful for having had it once. And that's not what the collective, ambiguous "they" said, it's how my Nunni lived.

If I'm trying to find the light in the dark, if I'm going to be okay....then if anything, this experience proved to me that I want to be just like her.


  1. I'm still crying Zareen. What you wrote was beautiful and feels like u wrote exactly what I'm feeling too. I miss her hands and the vein thing, I did it too. Weirdness runs in the family I guess.
    I really don't know how long it will take to accept that she's gone. I love u Zareen, and I love that you wrote this. We needed this. Inshallah we can all be like Nunni! ;)

    Miss u so much Nunni.

  2. Thank you for sharing this it was truely beautiful.

  3. Beautiful's so sad and heartbreaking that Dadi is not with us anymore..I miss her..I wish I had a chance to hug her.. :'(.. May Allah grant her Jannah.. Ameen..

  4. This is amazing Zareen. You got at a lot of things that I've been feeling but haven't been able to put into words. I know for a fact that she's okay, and we're going to be okay too.