Photo Credits: Haneen Akbari

This Rose Will Never Die

11 mins read

“My lady D’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow 
And you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.” – Cat Stevens

I don’t understand the reason to which loss exists, or why death is the only reality in this life. The flames that ignite, the ones that we cannot see and the ones that occur when life brings pain. It is another form of hell, when the ones you love the most slowly start to fade away. Some say they become stars while religion says, this world is only temporary, we will go back from where we came from and sadly. No one knows when or what it will be, all we know is that we all have to go someday. 

This article speaks of death, grief and how to cope with it. 

It’s been exactly 22 days, since my grandmother passed away. The sun of our family, the only one we would always orbit and the one with all the wisdom that a mind can hold. She was poised, beautiful and she knew how to love her grandchildren more than anything. 

22 days is a large number, yet whenever I close my eyes. I can hear her calling me, screaming in pain and laughing historically, like she would whenever I was around. I can hear her voice, I don’t want to close my eyes, I miss her, I really miss her. 

28th of February 2021. 

Before I start this off, I would just like to say, I thought 2021 would be different, alas here I am, talking about another death. 

Friday February 28th 2021. There was dance, there was music, there was happiness, and the room was filled with chatter, we loved being a family and we still do of Course. We were all together and we were just doing all the things that make us one family. 

Meanwhile, my grandmother in the other house starts to vomit. All the bile and the mushed-up food she had, starts to come out. Her private nurse runs inside her room, controls her panic and sends the maid to my aunt’s house where we all resided. 

‘Nan’s throwing up’, she says. Usually vomiting may not be perceived as a dangerous thing but when your old and your body is too weak enough to walk, you know somethings not right when the food in the stomach decides to come out instead of staying inside. 

We rushed to her door, her great grandchildren, her grandchildren and of course her children. Huddled around the bed. Although it’s corona time, we live in the same lane and our interactions are inevitable. 

She looked at us and all I could notice were the wrinkles on the face, the sadness in her eyes and the veins on her hand splatter like blue paint across her hands. She wasn’t able to utter a word, although she could move her hands. She pointed towards my direction and she told me to lay on her bed. 

I’ve had many experiences in my life that have left me broken. However, on this day, you could hear breaking a mile away from our home. Moments later, we decided to call the doctor and as soon he laid hands on my grandma he said, “I’m glad you guys called me, it’s time to take her to the hospital. Please call the ambulance”

Ten minutes passed, we hear a noise and the lights flickered red that’s when you know it’s time for death.

Since childhood whenever I see an ambulance, I always imagined them being like messengers of the angel. They arrive to save lives but many of them are chosen to go beyond the living. Being a child and having a wild imagination is the best thing. When everything around you is collapsing, your imagination can help set you free or bring you further in the ruins of death. In this case, it made me imagine the worst, little would I know my imagination would become a reality.

“It’s been two day”, I said to my cousin. “Two days and nan’s still not home. I hope she’ll be okay; they say it will be. Yet I can’t shake this feeling of unease.”

Hmm the feeling of unease, the tension between your heart and that gloomy thought inside your heart. It’s never wrong. 

“Nan’s going to be okay”, says Ally

“I don’t know, I don’t think she’ll manage this time”. I said.

“It’s just your anxiety don’t worry about it”, she says. 

With that being said, I closed the lights, and we went to bed. I don’t know if it’s right to sit and start abusing the virus. Since my entire family was helpless, we couldn’t go to the hospital and be with her. I think it’s human nature, we often tend to blame the things around us, when calamity strikes. 

2nd March 2021

Tossing and turning somehow, I managed to sleep. With what felt like a minute my eyes awaken. The clock says 10 am, I thought to myself, that’s very early for me to get up. I looked at my phone and there it was. 

“Nan is on the vent, we are coming to take you, your mum is with us” Says Aunty Niv 

Vent? I thought to myself. I knew what it meant. She was dead but she was living with a machine stuck down her throat, blowing oxygen into her lungs. Meanwhile she was unconscious or dead in other words. 

“My lady D’Arbanville, why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low?”- Cat Stevens 

Once I entered the narrow door of the private room, I could feel the tension in the air. The pain of those patients and the frustrations of the doctors and the nurses. There was this feeling of death, something indescribable, you just knew it was there. Then I see her.

I keep trying to rewrite this line again and again and again. However, seeing her, wasn’t easy. The one who would call out my name, while I’d walk past her room just to sit with her was now silenced.   

When an eighty-eight-year-old is kept on the ventilator, you know there’s a very rare chance of coming back and I knew by the looks of it, the next time I’d see her would be in heaven. If heaven exists?

“Haneeno, Haneeno”, her voice plays in my head. I want it to stop. 

Twelve hours later, we get a phone call saying, “Im sorry for your loss”. Honestly if there was an award for the saddest job in the world, it would be awarded to the person who has to inform the family of the piatient in the hospital that your family has passed away.

I closed my eyes and I couldn’t stop the tears. We all know we have to die, we all know this is the bitter truth to this artificial life but then why does it hurt so much? 

Why do memories play like a symphony in our heads, why does love always become stronger when someone leaves? 

Losing a loved one is the hardest thing to do, whether the person is alive or dead. Emotions always linger and because it lingers our hearts are always stabbed by regret. 

Those of you, who have lost a loved one. I salute you. You are strong and you will continue to be strong. You will remember them and you will honor their memory by being alive and getting up, even if you can’t smile every day. Anything and everything is one step at a time. 

I might be struggling right now but I know I’ll find my way and I just want you to know you will find your way too. 

Why not try to make use of the comment section and tell us something about you love but lost. It might help and sometimes talking to a stranger or a random comment section might help. 

“I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie
I’ll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die”- Cat Stevens 

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