I just sat on the sofa, confused. Not knowing what to do next. For the first 10mins or so.. I just stared at my phone. Void. Then I cried... like I never cried before.. My chest felt as though it was about to burst. It just dawned on me.. I'd lost my first love. My best friend. My one & only dad. One whom I shared so many memories with. I thought I was ready for this... Ya Allah I was wrong...
The moment I reached home, it was packed.. but I only saw dark shadows everywhere. Everyone seemed like a stranger to me. I just wanted to see dad. I saw mum.. not even a single trace of tear in her eyes. She was sitting next to dad, looking so composed. I kissed her... she stared blankly at me.. oh mum... She had lost the love of her life.
I struggled to wipe away all my tears. My hands were trembling when I lowered down the shroud covering dad's face.
MasyaAllah... dad looked so calm. As though he was in a deep sleep.. oblivious to his surrounding. I ran my hands all over his face.. I wanted to memorize every wrinkle, to feel his soft skin for one last time... yes dad had never had any problem with his skin. It was flawless, luminous to say the least. Dad still felt warm.. I kissed his cheeks, nose & forehead over & over again..
I whispered to his ear.. how much I love him, how sorry I was for not being there during his final moment.. I promised him that I will look after myself, mum & my siblings to the best of my ability. I told him not to worry.. he's finally free from all his pain.
When I looked up again.. MasyaAllah.. there were traces of sweats on dad's forehead and the sides of his nose. I looked at the imam not sure what to do. He just smiled at me & said "alhamdulillah.. lap saja perlahan-lahan.." and so I did.
Watching dad dimandikan, dikafankan, disembahyangkan dan akhirnya dikebumikan.. was the hardest.. there were times when I swear, I stopped breathing.. I panicked.. Astaghfirullah hal azim... I should let go.. Dad had been suffering for more than a year and never once, NOT even once mum left his side.
It had been raining the whole day.. it was flooded everywhere but alhamdulillah... Allah had made it possible for kind hearted relatives & friends to ease. The knee-to-waist-deep water didn't stop them or even me, mum & my sis from wading in our baju kurung & umbrella. We walked like there's no tomorrow to catch up with the people up front carrying dad. No more tears just anxiousness. Worried that we might not be able to see dad being lowered down into his final resting place.
My sister literally fell face-down into the water due to the slippery ground.. I held her hand & got her back onto her feet. At that moment, she looked into my eyes.. and we just cried knowingly.. that we had lost our dad forever..
~ No more his contagious laughter watching us literally jumping up & down upon seeing him back from the orchard with durian, rambutan, langsat, jackfruit. We have a "so-called" secret fish pond...
~ He would feed us first before himself.. cracking open the crabs claws, peeling the prawns shells.. and handing them over to me, my sis & mum.. No more...
~ Dad only allowed one tv set in the house. We would watch National Geographic & Discovery channels together, with us sulking not being able to watch our fave channels. All in the name of education, dad said... Somehow he managed to crack a joke on how 'sedap' the rabbits looked, how handsome the orang utan was, how he could shoot with only one bullet & could have hit the antelope bull's eye in the head.. and we would go "Eeewww!! These channels are supposed to make you love the animals more!".. and he went into a fit of laughter. We miss that..
~ When we were small, me & my sis would fall asleep in the living room after having watched tv. We woke up in the morning in our warm bed.. for dad would diligently carry us into the room and tuck us in the warm comfortable duvet, night after night.
We fought.. we bickered at each other but me & my sis would never go to bed without first saying sorry to our parents. We never hold grudges.. We've been brought up to be respectful no matter what. Yes, we yelled at each other.. but it would always be us first to apologize regardless of whose fault it was. Yes, dad had his fair share of mistakes but that didn't make him any less a father to us.. dunia & akhirat. We never heard mum raised her voice even once towards dad and that only made us ashamed of ourselves for losing our patience easily.
Farewell our darling dad.. You didn't leave us without giving your all. You worked hard for us, mum, me, Sophie & Max. You made sure of our comfort before yours. You taught us to love unconditionally and not to judge, hence you are loved by many in return. You insisted in giving first & never to expect anything in return. You brought us up with humility & respect and you made sure we were not spoilt with worldly rewards.. thus making us appreciate our lives, you & mum better.
As I end this, my heart breaks. Tears shed.. but none would bring him back to us. We will forever love & miss you dad... your legacy & the memories are here to stay. You are in a better place now.
Semoga Allah menempatkan arwah di sisi kekasih-kekasihNya, atas kebaikan & keikhlasannya pada kami. Ya Allah ya Tuhan kami, terangkanlah & luaskanlah makamnya seluas kasih sayangnya pada kami. Kau lindungilah dia Ya Rabb sehingga sampai waktunya kami dipertemukan lagi fil yaumul qiyamah insyaAllah. Al-Fatihah...
We love you dad.