on the 20th of october 2017 i experience the first death of a relative as an aware child. the friday morning i wake up at around 9:48 am by the lights flicked on by my younger sister. "do you want to hear some bad news?", her face numb from emotion because her 11 year old mind is yet to grasp this concept. i wasn't able to process the information this early in the morning yet the words make perfect sense. i had dreamt of this man in my sleep several weeks prior. i saw my great grandfather during my slumber sick in a hospital, i woke up sweating, sobbing for hours later. after telling my mother she said it meant he was gonna pass soon. i thought about it for days and days. i was slowly starting to question how death could be possible. i have had family members pass away before. although i was way too young to remember or even acknowledge what was going on. and so on that friday i woke up in a frenzy, already stressed because of the schoolwork i had to get done.

sometimes i wake up and i can just feel the house grieving. it feels empty, lifeless, and very dark even at 10 in the morning. i've imagined this scenario several times in my head, i was mentally prepared for the pain the idea of death brought. i didn't know what i was supposed to feel. my mother and my little sister left to my grandmothers house and kept me home to study for my tests. how was supposed to focus? i drive to my tutors house and sit there for an hour doing the second worse thing you can imagine, math.

i then get to my grandmothers house, and once again i have never felt a space feel and look so tragic. up to this point, i have only shed a few tears of disbelief. i walk in and see my grandmother weeping, sobbing, bawling her eyes out as one would do once they lose their first parent. the sight of the happiest and most grateful person i know in such pain brought me to tears. a feeling i would never wish upon anyone, having to see your kind grandmother cry like it was the end of the world. i sat with her and cried on her lap. it has suddenly all made sense to me that i did not just lose my great grandfather, someone has lost a dad, a husband, a brother, a grandpa, and even a friend. and so i cried, and cried, and cried, and cried. crying will not bring him back. it brought me comfort, knowing he was happier. if he had stayed a day longer on this cruel earth his pain would feel eternal pain. almost 9 decades in this world is enough for him, he lived a very fulfilling life, working different careers, traveling places, raising 7 children and tons of grandchildren. the thought of that brought me happiness, and i pray that he passed on his hospital bed with no regrets.

it then blew my mind, that the day of his death just happened to be the islamic celebration of my new born cousins birth. why is is that it lands on this specific day. the days of preparation and hustle of cooking a family lunch just thrown out by the news of a lost life. why is it that the celebration of a new life must be interrupted by the loss of another's soul. the intensity of these events have never really occurred to me, until i was physically able to see the contrast between life and loss. between birth and destruction. and between triumph and grief.