The Day After the Tragedy: March 2011

I remember the death of my father very clearly. It’s one of those tragic times, the memories of which, linger on my skin.

On that Friday morning, our house swarmed with people. I don’t remember what they said – but I remember there were hundreds of people. The funeral had a thousand or more people.

After the traditional four days of mourning, the number of people dramatically subsided. I went back to work – the rest of my family resumed back their activities. It’s as if nothing had changed – except – the tragedy had left a big scar on our hearts and lives.

That is the way life evolves.

Highly ecstatic happy moments – or sad ones, are commemorated and shared by your community of friends and family; it could be a wedding, birthday or a celebration of a specific achievement. Similarly, you are typically surrounded by friends and family when tragedy overcomes your life.

But, more importantly, what do you do on the Day After?

High notes in life, whether it’s a tragedy or sheer ecstasy, typically leaves behind a mess; someone has to clean up after “the event”.

After my father’s death, it was the sorting of the will, the bank accounts, the property documents, the life insurance; the list goes on. At the end of the day, very few people are around you, when you have to clean up the mess.

Once the mess is cleaned up, one needs time to grieve and heal. That’s the most difficult time. The vacuum, left by the sudden change, takes time to fill. In fact, I am certain, after twenty-six years, there is a part of my heart that aches for an hour with him. To ask him, what I should do during my current stage of uncertainty.  

Today, during another tumultuous turning point, I see the same signs. I get phone calls or texts from many well wishers, or people offering guidance, prayers and help. I am grateful for all the support.

But my mind looks out to that day, to that morning – after the difficult period is “over”. I know I have to start picking up the pieces, that’s left of shattered glass and put it back into something cohesive, meaningful and joyful.

I keep focusing on all the gifts in my life: good health, two beautiful and loving daughters; a wonderful childhood upbringing with the best parents in the world, a great education and a wonderful set of experiences, an amazing role in a wonderful organization – a loving family, friends and well-wishers – all over the world. I have so much to be grateful for.

For as many days as I am destined to live, I want to cherish every moment – every day – creating memories for myself and for all my loved ones.

Someone recently told me that if God was present in my life, accidents would not happen – tragedy would not befall our lives. I sincerely believe that God is within us – inside us all – part of our bright sunshine and dark dungeons. She guides us to that day, when there is hope again, to make things right, all over again – with all our scars and imperfections. I am confident that She will help us shine the light through the kaleidoscope of our broken, yet colorful glass.

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5 thoughts on “The Day After the Tragedy: March 2011

  1. beautifully written, Zain…when She is with us, She gives us the ability to see all tragedies as opportunities to grow, be more loving, more humane

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