So I’ve been kind of avoiding this all week… I’ve spoken to a few close friends about it, and had a few very private moments of release and reflection. But it’s all been consciously, purposely kept brief… perhaps because outside of my siblings, I’m somewhat alone. My parents are away, and most of my family is in the Middle East. Perhaps because I’ve been so overwhelmed with other things that I just couldn’t really stop and think about it too long right at that particular moment. Perhaps because when I spoke to my grieving mother and relatives, I didn’t want to give them one more thing to worry about (i.e. me). My list of excuses goes on and on…
On June 6th, 2011, my cousin Nahla Mostafa, my mother’s brother’s daughter (bint khali) was hit by a car in Alexandria, Egypt. A young, rising journalist totally devoted to the “cause” (in this case the Revolution in Egypt), she was hit literally moments after completing an interview with the family of Shaheed Khaled Said on the anniversary of his passing (Allah yirhamu). Her station aired it as breaking news and unfortunately that’s how her parents and my family found out…and needless to say the shock was devastating… Alhamdu lillah.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji3oon. – To Allah (God) we belong, and to Him we return.
It’s interesting because, we weren’t really close. She was younger, around my sister’s age. I haven’t been to Egypt in years, she grew up in Kuwait, and I grew up in the US. My sister spent many summer’s with her so her reaction was expected and understandable. But for me, I was a little surprised at how much it hurt. We had re-connected over Facebook (one of the few pluses of Facebook), and I have to say, there’s just something about the family bond because you find yourself instantly connecting and joking and missing one another. I love all my cousins so much, that despite the time and distance, it’s really hard to imagine life without one of them in it. I was also very close to my uncle, her father, when i was younger…perhaps even one of his favorite nieces/nephews growing up – and have many wonderful memories with him. And my mother had a great love for Nahla who would come and stay with her on one of her many trips to Egypt – that some of my grief was for them…for their pain and loss. Some of my grief also stemmed from thinking of my own children and my infinite love for them, and how something like this is just so excruciatingly unimaginable, may Allah protect us always from such hardship and protect them from harm, because I just can’t wrap my mind around how a parent moves past that.
Anyway, Allah Yir7amik ya bint khali…you were loved by many and you will be missed by many. You will be missed by me. May you be granted the highest and most beautiful place in Jennah iA, and may Allah (swt) give your parents and your friends and your family the patience and the fortitude to get through this iA. May you continue to be an inspiration to all those you have touched – as you have touched me in more ways than you will ever know, and may you be a reminder of how fleeting this life is, and how our character and our works are all that we leave behind iA.
Much love from your grieving cousin. My one regret is not having been able to spend more time with you, and despite the distance I hope to remedy that with the rest of our family.