Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A Desperate Search For Strength
I'm in Penang tonight. Arrived here this afternoon. I'm here to give a talk at a counseling course for a governmental department. Its just a work trip; if it was anywhere else. But its in Penang. And the last time I was here, it was to pay my last respects and say farewell to a very dear old friend. My soul brother. Mohamad Abdul Rahman Zubaidi Al-Hasawi.
The days nearing the date of my trip were filled with anxiety. Will I be okay? Am I really over grieving his demise? All these questions were haunting me like the sound of his laugh and the hilarious jokes he used to crack at the moment we least expected him to.
As I saw Penang Island as the plane approached it, I was still okay. When the plane landed and I made my way towards the airport exit calmly. I waited for my ride to take me to my hotel. After a little unpacking, my friend Yasmin picked me up and took me to Masjid Jelutong, Mad's final resting place.
I made a beeline towards the graveyard situated behind the mosque. And then suddenly I realized I can't remember where his grave was. I called Zubair, Mad's younger brother, to ask him Mad's grave site. Through his description, i found myself standing at where he was laid to rest. I sat down, recited Al-Fatihah for him and all who were buried there. And then I started talking to him.
"Mad, I miss you. I never realized how much you were my pillar of strength until you are gone. Please pray for me. I need strength to move on. I need strength to do what I need to do for my future. Please help me. I feel so alone and weak..." I sobbed years of tears.
In my head, I heard Mad's voice talking to me. Consoling me. Motivating me, Accepting me without question. I heard his laughter. I heard his jokes. I saw his face. I saw him smile...
Yasmin suggested we prayed maghrib at that mosque. I left the place feeling a lot stronger than before. Because Mad's voice in my head stayed with me from then on... "Ana, I am always with you. I never left you. I never can. I never will. Don't ever forget that..."
At 4.33 am, I am still wide awake. The reason for my sleeplessness alludes me. I don't know why. I miss my girls who are at home in KL. I love being in Penang by myself and enjoying the quiet and solitude. But it also pains me that Penang is no longer with Mad there.
Yes. Mad is no longer in Penang. Mad is always with me. Has always been there for me. Only I was too blind to realize that. I've regained my strength, somewhat. I know I have. I just need to remember never to forget him. I had never misplaced my strength. I only forgot I had it. I am strong. I am strong.