Slowly drifting

186048570

The need to re-connect seemed to evaporate from her, slowly but surely. All she had ever wanted was to keep him close, ensure he stayed a part of her life no matter what happened. People had always been her weakness. The inability to let them go and her efforts to mend friendships always cost her, but she somehow remained persistent.
He confused her though. With each of his casual silences he unknowingly broke a tiny part of her slowing chipping away at her resolve. She felt their connection fading and though it pained her, she knew it was a choice he must have made a long time ago..

nadia nawaz

Advertisements

Self destruction

Lately it seemed like she was on a path to destroy herself. To her, it felt like nothing really mattered, but the moment she was in. She had never been the reckless type. Every decision was thought over, every move calculated; the pros and cons measured. But she had changed. In retrospect, her actions frightened her. She didn’t recognise her responses as her own.

Years ago she has always admired people with guts. People who were forever ready, waiting to take the plunge. It seemed she had morphed into someone who no longer cared about the consequences till days after- when her mind had slowly had time to process that whirl wind of thoughts. That’s when guilt began to settle in. She knew she had to re-gain control, before she caused herself irreparable damage.But this path of self-destruction seemed like such an easy escape.. at least for the moment.

nadia nawaz

2015 and the loss of someone special

6a00d83451b36c69e2017d3d89a26a970c-800wi

Disbelief, followed by complete denial and then shock; a wave of these feelings overtook me. My eyes burned as I willed myself not to cry “Nadia.. He’s gone”. The words echoed in my head over and over. But why so soon? And how so suddenly? He was supposed to be there to watch me get married and have kids. My mind began to yell questions but my mouth remained tightly shut. My eyes met my sisters and just like that we both knew as a steady stream of tears began to fall uncontrollably. Thirty days in and I still can’t begin to fully fathom the loss of my grandfather. The way my world stood still on that night of new year..

It was January the first and I had just come home from work. I received a call from my cousin as I was getting undressed. Her voice was frantic. Give your mum the phone. Nanajee (granddad) is having a heart attack. My mind went numb. I raced down the stairs screaming for my mother as I tried my best to shun all possible thoughts. Dinner was left untouched as my brother drove my parents over. That hour of waiting was one of the longest hours of my life.. A month later yet that day is etched into my memory like it was just yesterday. I cannot forget the look on his lifeless face as the medic’s stood by, finally giving up on their resuscitation attempts. I remember watching my mother kiss his forehead. The pain, the tears the cries in the room. A blur of activities; the ambulance, the flashing police lights, and the family friends who came in that same night, holding us while we grieved. The shock began to settle in..

A prolonged week of complications and uncertainty as we waited for the cause of death to be determined, followed by the funeral. It was an overcast day and the rain fell hard as we drove over to the mosque for funeral prayers. Sleep had eluded me for the past week as the thought of seeing him one last time dawned on me. I couldn’t let him go.. Not so soon.
As soon as I stepped inside and saw the brown box of his coffin, the feelings flooded back. I remember the mahogany colour of the wooden coffin, the golden latch and how the entire thing was draped in a green cloth, embroidered with golden Arabic verses..Details, I remember thinking, I can’t let myself ever forget. It was actually happening. He was moving on and leaving us behind…

I held back my tears long enough for the coffin lid to be lifted. I watched my father, grim-faced and moist eyed as he held my mother while she cried. Her pain was deep and etched into her eyes. As I saw my youngest sister stand up and go towards my mother, memories of my paternal grandmother flooded my mind. My beautiful daadi with her piercing grey eyes and warm hugs. I remember being the same age as my sister when I lost her, my first ever funeral.

It took me a long time to muster the courage to walk up to my grandfather’s coffin one last time. I held hands with my sisters and cousin. As soon as I laid eyes on his face, I was overcome by a loss so deep it felt as though the air had been sucked right out of me. I turned and buried my head in the closest available embrace, an aunty I had never seen before. She whispered words of comfort as I poured my heart out.

I received hugs and condolences from well wishers I hardly recognised. The mosque rooms were full. Soon it was time to take him to his final resting place. The clouds suddenly parted and I noticed the way the sun fell on his face. He looked so peaceful and distant lying there. The pain had finally left him. My brother, father and uncles closed the lid and pushed the coffin out of the room. Once again, we all broke down as the reality of the situation hit us anew.

We stood in prayer then, and I realised it was the first time I was offering a funeral prayer in congregation . People had travelled from across the city to pay their respects. I marvelled at the position my grandfather had held in the community. After we prayed, his friends and co-workers gave beautiful speeches about the role my grandfather had played, his effort as counsellor, his time as deputy mayor and the lives he had affected. Standing there, collectively mourning with strangers I had never before met, I felt blessed to have been such a close part of his life.

Just twelve months ago we celebrated his 81st birthday.. He had gathered us all and made a speech about how lucky he was to have us by his side, to have met two of his great grand sons. Thirty days since he’s gone and I still can’t make myself re-watch that video.

That’s the thing about loss. It’s so hard to describe. Only someone who has been through the ordeal of losing a loved one can truly understand and fathom the amount of devastation a person goes through. How your world is rocked from the very core. How things fails to excite you and mundane issues seem so ridiculously unnecessary.
Day’s pass and life slowly begins to go back to normal. You begin to smile again, laugh even. But then unexpectedly in the middle of a crowd you become overwhelmed by sorrow.The feeling of loss permeates your being and settles inside you. Always there, lurking just under the surface ready to drown you without a second’s warning.

autumngraveyard

Footnote:  This has been one of the hardest posts I have ever written to date. Despite being such a private person, I chose to share this as a tribute to the amazing person my grandfather was as well as a source through which I can cherish his memory and remember that day. Nanajee,I miss you with all my heart.


nadia nawaz

Towards the end

f1c5cfc267117e880b55fd4887ede363_047

The morning suns rays filter through the blinds creating little circles of light on the bedroom floor. Somewhere in the room a person stirs, yawning away the last signs of sleepiness ready to face the new day. The sun  envelops the room in a golden glow, promising a comforting warmth. Like many things in life it is but a mere deception in the sky artfully concealing the cold winds which rage on around it. To the insider, warm and secure within their home the cold is merely another glitch in the weather,duly noted upon leaving the house.

A couple of thousand miles away, across the ocean a new dawn creeps through. Desolation and misery haunt the place and despite the clear skies, moans and whispers of grief choke the surroundings. War and terror are just the norm around here,tearing apart families and wrecking havoc. The same new day here, brings with it more reminders of the pain left to endure until night fall. Planning a future is a story of the past.

The contrast is striking between the two countries yet the seconds that tick by are identical. They share the same skies, the same moon, the same sun. Yet they live and die worlds apart from one another somehow all nearing the same end through different means..

nadia nawaz

Dear Diary…

dear-diary

As of today, two years, 2 months and 11 days…

There was a time when feelings floated along the surface, fading as quickly as the rain clouds vanished after a storm. Never lasting more than a few moments in time. Emotions were never so deeply embedded. Seconds were never given their due importance and time just swept along, mindlessly spent as the days drew to a close.

Over the years all that has changed as drastically as the seasons come and go. Memories are now so preciously stored, and life which once so precariously balanced on the edge is savoured and cherished.
Distance has taught the hardest lesson of all. Fondness for those who are absent has increased so out of proportion that words are often insufficient to explain the explosion of feelings experienced.
The value of people and the difference they make in your life, the way a person touches you from the inside making them so impossibly hard to let go of, and the very fragility of life are all emotions so anew and foreign.

But perhaps the hardest lesson of all is that of attachment. Of how an attachment can break you down, confuse you beyond belief and suck the very life out of you when mishandled. How the obsessive thoughts of one person or people can render you incompetent. How your heart can become plagued by them, causing a deep-rooted dissatisfaction.
Above all, how dangerous an attachment can be. How hard it becomes to rid yourself of it and begin life all over.. For nothing can cause pain, like that of giving up a part of yourself you wanted to keep as yours alone forever.. but can undoubtedly never have.

nadia nawaz

Faraway lands, a secret paradise

Street kid in Kabul-Afghanistan © David Belluz

“Somehow, even in the worst of times, the tiniest fragments of good survive. It was the grip in which one held those fragments that counted.” ― Melina Marchetta
(Street kid in Kabul-Afghanistan) © David Belluz

Sitting in the corner of the market, on a dirty abandoned street once so full of life she closed her eyes. She had been walking for many days now, passing by ruins and dilapidated houses always in shambles, mostly unoccupied. Her journey had been long and arduous  with no destination in sight. All she saw were reminders of the atrocities committed by other men. Men who claimed to come bearing the name of peace. The reminders were painful, bringing with them memories she had long before tried to forget. They clung to her like a disease, growing in weight as the days slowly dragged on.

Continue reading

The end of a beginning..

A flood of memories hit him causing him to inhale deeply. He closed his eyes as a storm of feeling threatened to overwhelm him, drowning him within their depths. Flashbacks of moments once thought of as fickle, fought through the chaos and resurfaced old feelings. Feelings and emotions he had long before buried and sealed shut, vowing never to intentionally dwell on again. It was a hard battle, one he fought everyday while constantly living in the present yet dreaming in the past.

He often wondered what it was about that year and her in particular, that had caused such a huge impact on him. He was unable to shake off the constant feeling of being haunted. Haunted by a past so beautifully perfect yet so embellished by his imagination.

How time had played him and life had tested him, ultimately moulding him into the man he had now become. He was no longer bitter. His past was something he had learnt to live with treasuring those who had been part of it all.

Somewhere through the rush of thoughts and the ache and longing of people he could no longer bear to be parted from, he lost himself in a void; empty of all emotion. He had been robbed of his chance of true happiness. He allowed himself to float through, finding contentment in the bliss of nothingness, even if but for a moment.

path2

Nadia Nawaz