From Allah we come, and to Him we return. Who are we to deny what is destined for each and every one of us. Indeed every living creature has their own time on earth, and when it ends, it is time to leave and meet our Creator.
On December 24th, 2009, at 0127 hours, my dear Uncle had left us to meet God Al-Mighty. He was in coma after a major surgery to remove a tumor near his kidney. He was 54 years old, and was survived by a wife and four children. He was my mother’s brother, and was the closest to her and all of us his nieces and nephew.
As I recall the whole event, from the day of his surgery to the day he took his last breath, it happened without any sign. It happened in a sudden, and it was shocking. He was showing signs of recovery on the day he left, but Allah has better plans for him indeed. He fought through out this battle- he was very strong. I did not get to visit him when he was in the hospital, but my mother did. According to her, he fought to stay half awake all the while he was in coma, and that he acknowledged every one who visited him.
That was how he always had been through out his life. He had high determination and to him, nothing is impossible. I remembered visiting him in Johore a week before my SPM examination. I was not good with the Physics subject and him being a Lecturer at a local university in Johore Bahru, had helped me with tips on scoring the paper. What could be more valuable than a helping hand from a professor with a Doctorate in Physics to help you sit for your high school paper? I was very happy with how I scored on Physics although Physics was not really my favorite subject.
Perhaps my mother has better words to describe him. The two were like twins when they were young, and even up to his last days, they were inseparable. My mother is a couple of years older than him, and he looked up to her most of the times. Even when he had moved to Johore Bahru to pursue his career as a Professor, he and his family never failed to come and visit us once in a while. As a big sister my mother has always looked out on her siblings. They shared a beautiful bond that not many 9 siblings can pull off, it is always nice to see when all 9 of them gathered together.
I have some fond memories with him when I was a kid that I will always treasure. One was on Eid Al Mubarak, where I never failed to come with his family when they toured around our small village and visit every relative that we know - My way of getting fast Duit Raya. Back then he only had two daughters; and we were as close as ever, even until now. He had two boys later in the years, making it four children altogether. They are the best cousins to us, and we get along really well. I guess we inherit instantly the bond my mother has with their father.
I was never strong when it comes to stories on death, but who am I to ignore how my Aunt, Yanie, Fatin, Hazim and Dzakwan had accepted this. They had been calm; I guess they were prepared to face any possibilities. So was my mother. She was strong when she received the news. I was not. My husband had to calm me down the soonest I hang up from talking to my sister over the phone. That was when I decided instantly to follow my parents to Johore Bahru to pay my last respect to him and recite Yasin for him. And along the way, I could not help but to think how I am to face his family. I knew I had to gather myself – it is against Islam to weep when visiting the deceased. Instead we have to recite the Yasin and Al-Fatihah for him – he is going to a better place.
Pak Ndak, through out his life, was a great man, he was humble and kind, down-to-earth and was highly looked upon. He has many friends and never was there any enemy. His house was flooded with people who came to pay their last respect. From friends old and new, his fellow colleagues from the Uni as well as his students. May Allah receive all the prayers recited for him.
As we went on our way to his final resting place, I prayed to God to make me strong to watch his burial. Alhamdullilah I was strong to watch everything, until the last moment when his family, my mother as well as my other aunties and uncles pour rose water and flowers on his Grave. My heart shattered into pieces – this was the final goodbye.
I had faced two departures in this year alone. Both of which are close and dear to me, my Pak Ndak, and my dear niece Ainnur Batrisya. But who am I to go against what God had planned for us. Only prayer recitals are the only way to communicate with them. May my prayers make their way to them.
Al – Fathihah to Pak Ndak. You are always in our heart.
Muhammad Khairi Bin Saaidin (1955 – 2009) Rest in Peace.