When you lose someone, the view you once had of your future, completely changes. The dreams of your future are suddenly missing one person.
Over the years I’ve come to learn that the over-used saying ‘life moves on’ is both comforting and heartbreaking. Comforting because ultimately no one is meant to live forever and at some point, your time will come to leave this world. But it is heartbreaking that the world moves on with the absence of him. The absence of his little chuckles (that made his belly shake), the spark in his eyes when he saw us waiting for him at the train station and the peace that surrounded our home. And yet, here we are. 9 years on. As if the world isn’t aware of the papa-shaped hole present in the hearts of my mum, siblings and me.
The amount of times I’ve heard that ‘time will heal’ in the past 9 years is uncountable. But what they forget to mention is that the absence of your loved one clings to the happiest of occasions like the birth of their grandkids or their daughter’s graduation, the ones where he would have been at the center.
Or how about the little moments, the times where you want advice or you get good news and the first person you want to tell is them? Or better yet, how about the dreams which seem so real? The ones where they hug you and it feels like the weight on your shoulders have been lifted even for a second?
It’s these moments that require the utmost strength to hold back the tears. Whilst the world sees your celebratory pictures, they are unaware of the multiple breakdowns before that occasion, the many conversations you have with yourself to put on a brave face.
What have I learned in the 9 years that have passed?
– I have learned that everything happens for a reason. The age gap between my siblings and me, that I despised when I was younger is now the reason I can be a constant support for my Mama.
– I have learned that the yearn to talk to him or share news with him or see him for even one moment will never subside.
– I have learned that I will continue to learn more about who my Papa was, as I listen to stories from different people’s perspectives.
– I have learned that no amount of time will heal. Rather the time allows you to perfect the art of painting – perfecting your brave face as you paint a fake smile.
– I have learned that I will continue to feel a sting in my heart when I see Fathers and their daughters together for they are the luckiest.
I have learned no amount of time will heal the absence of him.
My Papa has my heart.
For now, all I pray is that we all may be a source of Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity) for our parents, inshAllah.
With love, Sophie