Monday, June 11, 2012

Dreamt of Dying

Asalamu Alaykom,
Last night I heard from my father. 

Sometimes I fear that if I haven't heard from him in a while it's because he's actually passed away and no one has told me.  I fear that I'll open my emails and find one from his lady friend saying that my father is gone.

I know it's easy enough to call him and find out the truth.  Yet, we often don't do the very thing which would bring about clarity and calm.  We avoid and that avoidance means an anxiety builds slowly.  We only realize how much tension we've accumulated when it gets released.

Yes, my father is fine.  Alhumdulillah. 

I say, "fine," with the small caveat that his Alzheimers prevents him from knowing where I am or that I have a third child.  It's OK.  Alhumdulillah.  It's OK.

I heard from him last night and I went to bed in a kind of peace which a woman only gets from knowing that the first man she ever loved still loves her back.  I fell asleep from so much tiredness and in that sleep I had the worst dream.  I dreamt that my father was dying in front of me.

I was with him when he died.  That's a wish and a fear.  Maybe that's true for all of us.  We want to be with our parents when they pass but yet we don't know if we could really handle that intense reality.  I watched him, in my dream, go away from me.

As he was leaving me, I kept telling him, "I love you!  I love you, Dad!  I love you!  I love you!"

Then I knew he could no longer hear me.  He was gone.  I woke up in the dark.  My breathing was heavy and I was shocked that I was not with him. 

I was stuck there with this horrible moment of regret.  I had not told him to say, "La illaha il Allah wa Muahammadar Rasullulah."  I had not told him in his last moments what was truly important.  My love for him was what I had professed but if I had really loved him, I would have guided him to Jannah.

I heard the sounds of the street below me.  The baby was crying downstairs.  I was the only one awake in my house.

I got up and made wudu saying, "Oozabellahi min a Shaytan a Regime.  Bismallah a Rahman a Raheem."

I wanted Allah's protection from what is not real.

My father is alive.

Alhumdulillah.

Honestly, I don't know what I do with that.  I don't know what I need to do for my father a million miles away.  Will he always remember who I am?  Will I plan for a time to see him in a year only to find out that he forgot me before I arrive?  There truly might be a huge moment of one-sided regret as only one of us would realize what was lost.

What I can tell you is this:  if you have a father, find a way to love him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Subhanallah. What a post... I'm dealing with this exact thing right now, and needed to hear much of what you wrote. Alhamdulillah he is Muslim, but it's a difficult thing watching a patent slowly die, mashaAllah.

Haliamh