Today marks the 8 year anniversary of my Papa’s passing and it’s taken a long time for me to find the courage to bring my thoughts and feelings together for this post.
8 whole years since I’ve seen my Papa.
Anyone who has lost a parent can completely relate to the emptiness you feel on a daily basis. I don’t think the void that forms when you see your parent take their last breath, ever truly fills. It’s been 8 years and I don’t think there will ever be a time where I can truly articulate the right words to describe the pain when a parent passes away.
Our Papa was the complete centre of our lives, he worked so hard almost every day of the week, yet still had time to spend with his wife and kids. If someone had a time machine I wouldn’t go to the future, I’d go to the part of my life where my Papa was content, happy and healthy.
It seems crazy that I can remember questioning how I’ll be able to carry on without him for a month and here I am, 8 years on. I think when Allah (swt) takes away a loved one, He provides you with this immense strength to cope. Coping doesn’t necessarily mean overcoming the grief you feel, instead it means being able to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. (And sometimes thats all you can wish for). There’s not one day that goes by where my Papa doesn’t cross my mind, he is with me every step of the day.
I will hold onto the memories of my Papa, the advice he gave us, his hugs, his little sayings for the rest of my life. I miss him beyond words can describe, the older I get the more I crave his advice and hugs but I know one day we will all reunite.
I think we all imagine our futures with our parents presence, whether that be our graduation or our wedding day etc. The moment our parents are taken away from us it all changes. Our whole stance and outlook on life completely changes, now, everything I do is for my parents happiness. Every success, every action, every decision is made on the basis of their happiness. That is my one and only goal in life. Allah (swt) wouldn’t burden anyone with something that they couldn’t overcome.
There is no quick-fix to the emptiness you feel when you lose a parent, no one hands you a manual on how to cope with the pain that you carry for the rest of your life. 8 years on and there are still moments where I find myself for a split second thinking that my Papa is still around or imagining what it’ll be like if he was here. I feel silly even having those thoughts, but when you spend 8 years without your Dad, you’re constantly remembering the times you spent with him.
Wishing for one more moment with him, one more hug. I look back at photos of my Dad and I wish so badly to hold his hands again, to feel his hands on my head and hear him reciting lilah over me whilst I fall asleep. Looking back, all my memories are sectioned into two parts, those before Dad died and those after. It seems like a totally different life when my Papa was alive. It feels surreal to think that in 5 years time I would have lived the same amount of years without him as I’ve done with him.
How can I have anger in my heart for losing my Papa, when Allah (swt) took what was His to begin with? He gifted me and my siblings with the most courageous, kind-hearted Papa, and for that we will only have gratitude in our heart.
Losing my Papa when I was 13, is something which has moulded me into the person I am today. For the past 8 years I’ve been constantly grasping onto the past tighter while the memory of my Papa seems to be drifting further away.
You never know what God has planned.
I am so unbelievably grateful for the 13 years I was blessed with my Papa, because they are the memories I grasp onto to this day. Whenever I’m sad or happy, I take myself back to those happy moments, us awaiting his arrival on a Friday night, his face when we told him about our week and our Saturday night movie nights. Any pain that I feel, I take myself right back to that part in my life where everything was perfect. And I feel ease.
You never know when your life is going to change, no one can anticipate the moment where you lose a loved one. I would never have anticipated the loss of my Papa, who was the most caring man with the purest of hearts. I strive to even be 1% of the person he was, he was and still is the love of my life and I hope I’m making him proud.
‘The hardest thing I had to ever accept was that once a person dies, you won’t ever see them again in this life. Although our religion teaches us that we will live and die, and reunite in Jannah. But it doesn’t ever really truly prepare you for loss, it kills you to know the you won’t ever touch them again on this earth. You will not even hear their laughter again or the warmth of their skin.’ [@HerBlankCanvas – IG]
I hope this blog post can even help one person who has gone through the same thing, to know that the pain you feel, you aren’t alone. 8 years on, I share the pain with anyone who has lost a parent.
May Allah (swt) reunite all our families InshAllah.
With love, Soph