I sobbed. I cried like a baby – short, quick, gaspy breaths in between tears and tears and more tears. I don’t even know what I was sobbing for. I cried because I didn’t want to cry. I cried because I felt like I should be strong and sober and stoic during this time. My grama died 2 days ago. I cried and then cried some more because I felt like crying meant my faith wasn’t strong enough.
See, as the only Muslim in my family, I felt I had to be some kind of grounded, religious leader to my sisters. I felt that being a Muslim meant that you understand the natural cycle of death, that having the knowledge and grasping the concept of the temporary nature of life on earth meant that you were able to accept death and not be affected by it.
I didn’t want to believe that I, too, need to grieve.
So, it came upon me yesterday and I just broke. I told my husband all of the turmoil I was going through inside my head and my heart. He listened and he shared his experiences with death in his family and the mourning and grief that everyone goes through, no matter what your religion is.
Yesterday and today it rained all day. I felt like Allah was softening up the ground for Grama’s burial for us. I know it might not be my place to be concerned about how Grama is experiencing death, but I know how she experienced life, so in that respect, I pray Allah will give her peace and comfort during this time.
I also thought about how Grama raised my dad and aunt and uncle to believe in God, to have a strong faith, and to pray. They used to say the rosary together every night during lent, all together, as a family. That is some powerful stuff. I feel blessed to have been raised in a family that has a deep, passionate love for God and to have that love instilled in myself. If it wasn’t for Grama, I might have never reached the path to Islam.