Whenever I think about loss, I can’t think of any particular “thing”. Maybe the reason is that I’m a big hoarder of memories. I have this huge box up in the attic where I keep all my treasured memorabilia. All the diaries I’ve ever written, all the thoughtful gifts and cards I’ve received from my family and friends, some pictures, leaves and flowers, movie tickets, pieces of thread (I’m not getting into the detail of who those threads belong to), and everything else that has meant something special to me. So if I have to talk about loss (ugh, do I have to?) I’m going to share a story about a person who meant a LOT to me who is not in my life anymore. Buckle up people, you’re about to be depressed.
We all have met certain people in life who radiate this infectious energy wherever they go. When you see them smile it feels like everything’s fine with the world. When you’re with them time just flies by and it feels like they’re a part of your family! I met that someone when I was 9 years old. I had just switched schools and she was the first person in this new school who extended her hand in friendship to me.
I was the shy nerd, so whenever she met me she wanted me to feel at home. She always offered me a seat beside her in class, introduced me to her friends, always dragged me with her during lunch break just so I won’t feel lonely. And she wasn’t like this just with me. She was like one of those “life of the party” kind of people. She would always have this shining bright smile on her face all the damn time. When I got to know her more, she became more like a sister that I never had. I used to visit her place with my family quite frequently and whenever we planned a “friends hangout” the venue was always her home. And she had the sweetest family ❤ Her mom and dad loved us like their own daughters. Her big sister also studied in the same school so we also became “best buds” with her and her friends too. Oh it felt so cool to hang out with the seniors 😀 All of us together, laughing, partying, singing, dancing; those were some of the best years of my life 🙂
But suddenly she started to change. Although she never stopped smiling and being her fun-self, but she grew a little quieter. Then we found out that she was diagnosed with Hepatitis B. I knew it was a nasty disease but I didn’t know if it was something to be worried about, because I had always heard people saying that Hep A and B are quite common and people recover from them all the time, and Hep C was the one that’s the most serious and life-threatening. So we got on with our lives and had the same fun with her. I still visited her home and talked about studies, movies, friendship, life and our dreams. Man, she never stopped smiling.
And then one day I entered the class and everyone was crying… She was no more with us… That was a … life altering day for us all. I can still vividly recall each and every moment of that horrifying day… I remember my shock.. I remember my locking myself in the girls bathroom and crying until the teacher had to come get me… I remember all of us getting on the bus to go to her funeral in our school uniforms… I remember the wailing, the cries of agony of her parents, siblings and relatives… I remember that white cloak draped over her body… I remember my friends asking me to control myself and not break down in front of her family… And I remember that smile… Dammit that smile didn’t leave her for a second, even after death. She looked very much at peace… Zainab, you became an angel, didn’t you? :’)
Why was that a life altering event? I had seen death before. All my grandparents had died in my childhood, but I lost them at an age where I didn’t quite understand death. I used to think “Only old people are supposed to die.” But when I lost Zainab – a girl of my own age, with big hopes and dreams in her eyes and full of jubilant life – that was the day I realized what a hardcore reality death really is.
Zainab, I spent many days looking at the sky, talking to you. I told you how much I missed you. I told you that school sucks without you. I told you to come back just once, so that your Mom and Dad can hug you because your family wasn’t coping well with you leaving them. I told you how much I loved you, even though I never quite said it much to your face.
I really did love you sister. And I always will.
I hope you’re partying hard with the angels up there :’)
Day 4’s assignment was:
Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.
Well it sure as hell was a depressing exercise for me Blogging U. I couldn’t come up with any other significant “non-human” loss because I’ve always been a nerd (never failed in exams) and never lost a game (never participated in them). Anyway, here’s my depressing post.
Because of this course I’ve now shared way more personal stuff than I ever wanted to. Well, 16 more to go. Great.