When the pretty birds have flown,
And you feel hurt and alone,
Be strong and carry on,
And remember that life goes on.
― Mouloud Benzadi
The passing of my dear uncle last weekend marked this season’s end, autumn has now made way for the early winter days here in England. The temperature has gone down to single digits and the days are so short, sunrise is currently at 8am and sunset is at 4pm! The trees are almost all bare (except for the evergreens), the autumn leaves scattered to the ground. I took the picture below with my mobile phone camera whilst in the car with my hubby just before sunset last weekend. Winter is definitely here to stay for the next few months!
I still feel a bit down from having lost my favourite uncle, but life goes on as they say. My husband was away on a work trip in Tokyo when I received the heart breaking news, it was my 4 children who comforted me physically. As word eventually got around, my in-laws, neighbours and friends called to check on me and paid their condolences. My best friend was also there for me (despite the distance which separates us), as she was when I lost my father 12 years ago. Even though my heart felt very heavy indeed, I had to pick myself up by that evening. I simply could not ignore this sweet and thoughtful note below from my middle daughter.
My beloved hubby finally returned shortly after and I heaved a sigh of relief, this is the man who understood me at times when I didn’t quite understand myself. I simply cried my heart out to him, he consoled me just as he did when I lost my father. He had told me to prepare myself when I first found out my uncle was going downhill. But one can never be prepared for such a thing, it’s always going to be a shock. Though I still felt a bit numb a few days later, I carried on with my daily routine. I increased my prayers and reading of the Holy Quran, certainly the best sources of comfort and healing at the time of grief. As I watched my youngest daughter play with her friend one afternoon, I realised how much I am needed by my husband and children. No matter how sad I feel inside, I must be happy around them. I have to carry on smiling and do my best for my family. Just the way my dad and uncle did. This is what life is all about. It’s about living, loving and being there for one another. It’s about carrying out our roles in life, as ordained by our Creator. Yes, we make mistakes along the way, we live and learn. We seek forgiveness and we strive to do our best always till our last breath.
My hubby took a day off and escorted me to a lovely Indian restaurant one evening, whilst our children were at Madrasa (evening religious school) for a couple of hours. It’s been a long while since we went on a dinner date alone like this. We’re the sort who love having the children around us 24/7. But once in a blue moon, it’s rather nice to have some quality time to ourselves. It’s crucial for us to remember how we started off and the feelings that came along with it. It certainly enhanced my feelings of being loved, appreciated and needed. It made me feel all good, positive and happy once again.
As we sat there enjoying each other’s company and the delicious cuisines, I also listened very intently to the calming Bollywood music which played in the background. I recognised one particular number towards the end of our evening, from the movie video my dad had borrowed for me once upon a time. He had wanted to cheer me up and knew how much I loved Bollywood movies back then. As I stared at the candle light which flickered by our dinner table, I suddenly realised something very important. My light has not gone out yet; it shall continue to flicker for now. I shall continue to live and love, and I shall carry those who have left me close to my heart. They will always be a part of me. Winter may be here with it’s bleakness, but Inshallah the seasons will continue to change for me…and I shall smile again.
The memorable Bollywood song that was playing in the background…live and love sincerely and whole-heartedly…