Tag Archives: funeral

Life Goes On Around a Firepit

campfire

We placed the rusty steel ring atop the stones in the driveway.  We filled it with split wood, one piece at a time.  We rounded up some lawn chairs and lined them up in a circle.  Then, we lit the fire.

My sisters came back home and everyone gathered.  My cousin arrived.  The sky grew dark as the colors of the sunset faded into a black, starry night.  As the wood collapsed onto itself, we added fresh wood to it, keeping the flames alive and the red coals burning.

We told our childhood stories.  About getting in trouble, sneaking out, skipping school, and playing games in the yard.  We laughed all together, a chorus of laughter with the same tone and same pitch.  We spent time together, all of us reminiscing about days gone by.

Grama’s memory stays with us.  The finality of the funeral weighs on us.  But life continued and there is hope.  We found strength in each other.

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On Death and Dying

Farm at sunset

My grandmother is dying.  My sister told me last week she only has 2 weeks to a month, according to the doctors.  I called my dad to talk about it.  He didn’t say much, other than telling me not to worry, that Grama is getting old and her time has come.

The part that bothered me is he told me not to visit her.

She is losing her mind, so she won’t recognize me, and seeing “strangers” will only upset her more, he explained.  I don’t care.  I’m going to see her.

I know soon I will be going to her funeral.  I know soon she won’t be around any more to talk to and hug and touch.  Her body will soon be buried under six feet of dirt.  Her soul will be gone.

Death and dying reminds us of our own morality.  I wonder when my time will be over.  When I will face Allah and be judged.  There are alot of words written about how death comes to us according to Islam.  I have read and have learned alot about what happens to us, what happens to our bodies, what happens to our souls, what happens when we face Allah.

It all makes me wonder how my life will go from here on out.  Right now, in this moment, I have 2 sons I’m raising with my husband of 6 years.  I think about my years growing up, my childhood spent playing in the yard with my sisters, my teenage years in high school, the years I spent in college.  Moving out on my own afterwards, struggling to pay bills, struggling in my relationships.  My journey to Islam, my marriage to my husband, the jobs I’ve held.

My parents are aging.  My mom has been sick from Lyme Disease for years and isn’t getting any better.  My husband and I plan to move closer to them so we can be there as we are needed more and more.  My father has acres and acres of land that he farms, and no sons to take over the business and the land that he has cultivated and grown for his entire adult life.

Time moves so fast.  I remember when I was growing up on the farm, I used to play outside until sunset.  I’d watch the sun go down, not a care in the world.  I didn’t know heartbreak or pain or sadness.  I only knew what was in front of me – green grass, beautiful fields with rows and rows of crops, and a loving family who took great care to make sure I was always safe and happy.

I wonder what my future holds.  Will my husband and I ever be able to buy a house?  Will our sons stay happy and healthy throughout their adolescent and teenage years?  Will they grow up feeling as safe and happy as I felt during my childhood?  Will they become good muslims?   What will happen in the future?  Only Allah knows…

More importantly than all of that, will I stay on the straight path in my life’s journey?  Will Allah accept my good deeds on the day of judgement?  Will he find that I accepted the trials and tests of the life of this world and fought them with a strong heart and a firm grip on my faith?  Will Allah forgive me of my misdeeds and allow me entrance into Jannah?

I’ve heard that God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.  I really hope that is true, because I want to believe that I can carry out the rest of this life and bear any sadness, fears, and suffering I may face.  Insha’allah I will stay strong, stay hopeful, positive, always give praise to Allah and never fail to recognize all the blessings Allah has bestowed on me.

Grama B