The news of death brings forth an abundance of thoughts and dilemmas that remain for days on end. People you’ve seen walk in front of you talked to and talked about them in the third person when they were alive when they die, it’s like, they vanished.
You do have memories flashing by. Faint recollection of them, unless you’ve met them recently. How long do we hold onto their memories? Once they die?
Family and friends, sure. What happens to others?
Hypothetically, put yourself in this permanent position of absence from the world, and think. What would others make of us? Long after we’re gone? Did we impact anyone’s life so that they’ll remember us?
We imagine ourselves to grow old and slither away. But, what’s the guarantee that we won’t live to see that day.
Sure, there’d be people who will be pained to not find us with them, but how much will we matter when we’re gone? Like, really gone?!
There’s a verse in Quran (Surah-Al-Imran) that you can find in every Muslim Graveyard, “Qullu Nafsin Zaikatul maut,” which translates to “har jaandaar ko maut ka maza chakhna hai” (Every living being will taste death). Every time I read this, I question, what am I even planning things for?
Is it for this life or the next?
I recall one of my first visits to the kabristan when one of my friends’ grandfather died. Throwing a handful of soil onto the grave while murmuring prayers in unison, we laid him to rest. The process happens quickly, but the feeling stays—the sense of putting an end. Stays, and you remember it every time you hear the news of a death.
Perhaps death is a lesson for all of us to stay grounded. We were made from the soil and would go back to it eventually.