There was a kid that I liked when I was young. I always hoped I would run into him again so I could see him and he could see me. I heard stories about him and I wondered when it would happen. It never did happen and he died. I didn’t even know about the funeral. It’s so strange to think that that person just isn’t on this earth anymore, that he’s just gone for good.
And now my grama is added to that category. The gone-for-good category. She’s just a body now, just the shell that we walk around in. Her heart is no longer beating, it’s just a decaying thing under her ribs. And after a while of being six feet under the ground, her skin is just going to rot and fall off of her bones and her face and her skull will be all that is left, just a skull and some unrecognizable bones and the only way you will even know that they are her bones will be the tombstone above her. Cause her soul is gone now. Her brain is just a chunk of meat – no more synapses or chemical reactions or whatever the hell goes on in the brain when she was alive.
And she was alive, just yesterday in fact. She was alive, breathing, heart beating, pumping blood through her veins, thinking, talking, swallowing, moving. And then, she wasn’t. She left. She is gone. And sometimes, I don’t know how to conceptualize that. When I was Catholic, I could just believe that the person went to Heaven. I could tell my kids, “Grama is in Heaven now.” And I might even believe that she could see us from where she was in Heaven, “looking down on us” and smiling.
But in Islam, it’s not like that. And I really don’t know how to feel about Grama going to the other side and her soul being removed from her body either painfully or comfortably (one or the other based on her actions and beliefs on earth) and I really don’t know how to feel about her being questioned in the grave, and I really don’t know how to feel about the grave either closing in on her to the point of feeling suffocated or having lots of spacious room and being able to feel good and warm and comfortable.
So, in short, I have learned all about what happens to our bodies and our souls, but I don’t know how I should FEEL about it all.
After searching for some answers, I came across the article Thoughts on Death on MuslimMatters.org that offered me some comfort. I think the biggest thing for me is that I need to look to Allah for help. I need some comfort, some stability, something to hold onto, something to lean on. And I know that is what Allah is there for. He wants us to lean on Him.