People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So, in the end, we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.
The reason I am writing this is because I need to let people know that it's okay to let things be. I do not know about most of you, but I do know is that every day we ignore completely how broken this world is and we tell ourselves it's all okay, but it's not. And once you realize that there's no going back. There is not that fire of hope you once believed in.
I have seen what it's like to lose someone- to lose people- and I have been through those encounters just like you have. But there are different kinds of loss. For instance, there was this excerpt that said: "When a child dies, a parent loses a part of himself or herself. Your whole world ceases to exist and you're nothing but a shell of the person you once were. Your mother has dealt with it in her own way, me in mine, and you in yours. Your mother hates the world, I avoid it, and you try to save it."
That's the kind of loss a child feels when he or she loses a parent or even if it's the other way around. But what is genuinely sad about that? God takes away their lives for a reason; He saves them. He saves them from the heartache and the agony they might have suffered from later on. It's like you hold on to people because you want them to stay so bad, but somehow, your inner voice tells you to let them go. You don't want to believe it so you pretend it's a lie, and I get that. But what if God is telling you it's time for their release? What if God is trying to reach out to you and tell you that it's okay and that it is their time, but you'll meet them later above?
Because you are forgiven, you have the power to forgive- to choose to forgive- let them go. Not everything happens for a reason because it's always about choices. It's your choice who you want to be and what you want to do. It's your choice how to live your life and how people remember you. You can choose to stay calm or blow up with rage. You can choose to break down or take an action. The choice of your life is yours, it always was and it always will be. People always leave; sometimes they come back. But when they do, they're never the same. And this is not your choice.
The difference between travelers and a few people is that travelers say goodbye- a proper one- to friends and family members; as for some people, they leave without words- without informing anyone. They just leave even if they knew them for a very long time and occasionally, they're accused. They can be people who have the ability to engrave the best memories in your heart, make you laugh when you don't feel like smiling, always there to listen and simply always there for you. Without them, the world seems depopulated.
Sometimes when someone has done you wrong, you feel like reviewing everyone who has ever entered your life with the concept of 'I'll be better when I'm all alone.' The worst part is that you end up finding pretty convincing excuses for each one. Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can't have. Desire leaves us heartbroken; it wears us out. Desire can wreck lives.
Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here is what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grow longer. Then, when you do remember to miss them again, it's still with a stabbing pain in the heart. And you have guilt- guilt because it has been too long since you missed them last. The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but it can make the people you left behind want to stop living. I thought about the finality of it all- how someone can leave your life in the blink of an eye- it's too difficult to imagine. And are you only supposed to just deal with it? No, you have every right to be sad for as long as the flowers last. The truth is that I am jealous of the ones who have died because I see how their absence has affected the people who did know them, so I know that they mattered. But mostly is because they're in God's hands. What more could a person possibly ask for than being taken care by God?
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
―Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Dedicated to Mister Mustafa El Nashar for the loss of his mother (may she rest in peace), for Habiba's family, for Yasmine Rashad, Khalid, Mai, and for all those endeared people out there who have lost someone.
In loving memory of Mister Mustafa's mother, Ahmad Badr, Muhammad Gamal, Habiba Mohammed (and her father), Tayseer, and May God Bless the rest of the souls who have passed away- the ones I knew, and the ones I did not.