Dec 31, 2013

Revelations, past and on to a brighter future...

On January 17th, 1991 my life changed. It was a cold winter day in Markham (A suburb of Toronto) and when I  came home from school, I found my father huddled and in tears- a emptiness in his eyes that I have never witnessed before- a look that would forever remain. My mother was red eyed, and trying ever so hard to remain positive, and give us our customary after school snack. When we all got home, my parents sat us all down, and informed us that my fathers youngest sister had died earlier that day. I was in complete shock, I had spoken to her the night before, as she wished me a happy birthday and sang a song she sang to me every time we spoke,

"you're growing up, right in front of my eyes, you're growing up each and everyday..."

 A song I now sing to my children 23 years later. My aunt at the young age of 24 leapt to her death from a bridge in Downtown Toronto. Yes, she had committed suicide when to her life no longer was worth living, when her sickness has taken over her, and when she felt she was completely abandoned and helpless. That day, I did not only lose my aunt, I had lost my father, for emotionally he had leapt off that bridge with her, he was no longer the same man I knew. He was taken over by pain, agony, and a million what ifs. He put the death of his sister on himself, blaming himself for not doing more. Not realising that he really could not do anything else to help her. Looking back, I know I was a helpless child, but my father was left to go through that pain on his own. We did not understand what was happening. We knew we lost our aunt, we were out playing after the funeral and our life just went on. Childhood certainly has a beauty about it, where one can experience so much, yet move on and see the laughter and joys in life.

Twenty-one years later, my own father, after years of personal torment, after years of blame, after years of being dug deeper in a hole, a hole so deep he was unable to even try to come out even if he tried, he himself leapt to his death, now physically joining the part of himself that we lost 21 years prior to this date. It was only then that I truly understood what he went through, I started the blame game, I started the million and one what ifs, I still cry myself to sleep, I still smile while I drown deep inside, unable to really laugh without being consumed with guilt and dare not utter a word of my feeling to anyone so as not to burden them. It was acceptable at first, but now its been over a year, and sometimes too much talk of sorrow can make people want to distance themselves from you. In this year, I have grown, I really have. I went through a million emotions, I have started questioning everything around me, but il7amdlilah I have remained steadfast in my belief in Allah, and his ultimate plan. There were days in which I only got up because my children needed me, without even knowing, I believe they may have saved me from a certain end. I went on day by day for them.

Tonight is New Years eve, my father would call me on this night every year and say the same phrase; "This year will be our year, good things will happen". He really wanted this to be true, in my heart of hearts I know he did not want us to go through what we are going through, but I guess it was his time to stop fighting, he was ill in a region where mental health is ignored, in a society where suicide is seen as the greatest sin, and no one really wants to understand the root of the problem. No one wants to admit we have issues that need to be addressed, and people need to understand that depression is OK, having any mental health issues is OK, and like any physical ailment, there are medicines and help one can be given. There are people that can help, people we can talk to when we feel every door and window are closing on us.

A few close people knew about my father prior to this blog post, but today, on the last day of 2013, I am sick of hiding it. The past year has seen me through many first anniversaries of his death; the last time I saw him alive, the last time I spoke to him, our last words, the day he died (Allah yr7amu), the last time I saw his body, the last time I kissed his forehead, the day he was buried- that was 2013. Now I want to focus on different things,  I am not sure yet, but I want to raise serious awareness for this issue. I do not want to go down the same road my father had gone, I don't want anyone else to go down that road either. I want to take my experience, my loss, my pain and make it someones medicine. The help my father never received. The help my aunt never received. For so long I have wanted to remove the last 14 months out of my life, to ignore it as if it never happened, but alas it is impossible. I have changed, I am not the same person I was before, I can feel it. But now I shall try to start this new year afresh. With hope instead of sorrow, with laughter instead of tears, and with positive while releasing and completely letting go of the negative in my life, because I refuse to drown- I want to be stronger than that.

I took this picture this morning,
felt powerful to me,
reminded me that I am indeed being watched over by the All Mighty.

Not sure what else I can say, but I pray for good health to all, I pray for your happiness, I pray for your success, and I pray for cures to all the physical and mental ailments we have in this world, I pray for a brighter future, where the good memories can help me go on, and live the life I am sure he would want me to. I will end this years final post with my father said in his last Facebook status;



"May your fondest dreams come true hence!"