The word 'mom' and all its other forms invokes a multitude of emotions in me. The sensitivity I feel every time I think of my mother is so acute that it is not the tears that come out but just profound sadness that makes my heart feel heavy and desolate. As a Muslim, I accept and embrace death as part of a cycle of life that is not the end journey but it does not change the fact that I miss her smile, her laughter, the smell of her perfume when I kiss her. Basically I miss her like hell. Until today whenever I enter the front door, I will unconsciously try to hear her voice welcoming me home, I fear that I will forget the sound of her voice calling my name. I am a selfish person. When she was alive, I often wished that her fight against cancer would be a long and victorious battle. It never once crossed my mind how she felt, the suffering she had to go through when she had to swallow all those pills, the pain of fluid extraction procedure, the horrible chemo, the multitude of tests and her inability to breathe properly that took a toll on her strength. I never once thought of that. I just wanted her to live. I just wanted her to be by my side forever. Selfish? Most definitely. There were some days that tire me when I had to go back and forth from work to the hospital and then to my classes and the cycle repeats again. But that was okay. I could still see her. I could touch her. I could kiss her. I could hug her with all my might. Never once I thought that death would release her from all the discomfort that she felt.
The night of her death is seared in my mind like a hot poker to flesh. We all knew the time was coming but it did not make it any easier. I remember clearly as if it was yesterday, I stared at her and listened to her breathing. I finished the Yassin and I was counting how many times she inhaled and exhaled. My father was on the other side whispering the two kalimah syahadah in her ears. All my brothers were around her bed touching her as if that will tell her to hold on and not leave us. Alas that was not a choice to be made by us as the sakaratul maut took my mother during my fifth count of her inhalation. Through the blur of tears and sobs I heard my father say 'innalillah...'. The finality of that moment is indescribable. I felt breathless, my heart felt like it was squeezed so tightly that I thought it would burst. I kept on kissing her as I knew in a few hours I would never be able to kiss her again. In death her expression was peaceful as she no longer had to struggle for air.
From time to time I will need to write about my mother as this is a way for me to release my feelings. One therapeutic way of healing other than religion.
I love you Mommy, always and forever.
The warm embrace that no one knows
2 days ago