my grandmother passed away last night and was buried this morning. being the wimp i am, i did not have the guts to be there at the burial ceremony. being the cow i am i couldnt muster enough courage and see how we will all end up one day and being the crybaby i always was, i stayed home and wallowed in self-pity. i really cant imagine that she is gone..

i have had nightmares about this day.. and i really need someone to pinch me and tell me it is all a figment of my imagination and that it is all not true.

she lived and left this world without much fanfare. she was my mother's aunt. my grannie died when my mother was young. as a child, my mother's aunt replaced grannie and lived up to the role and more. she is the only grannie i know. she is the past that is gone, never to come back. the true spirit of bahraini women.

at a young age, she was married off by her father to a much older pearl merchant from a seaside village. this manama beauty with eyes as blue as blue can be was bundled off to an obscure location. a few years later, the merchant succumbed to bad times, debt, misery and eventually died, leaving grannie with two sick boys with sickle cell anaemia and a daughter. they continued living in the village because in those days, that was it. a woman's fate is sealed with marriage - wherever that takes her.

despite the terrible times, she held her head high and never once complained. her eldest son died just after getting married and starting a family. her second son died in the 80s. her daughter got married to a saudi relative and moved to the eastern province. and my mother became the daughter she never had. and she became the mother my mother missed. for us, she was the grandmother we never saw.

she stayed in our house when we were growing up and then moved back to her real grandchildren when we were old enough to stand on our own feet. i was the most attached to her because to tell u the truth, i would actually sit down when told to sit, shut up when asked to be quiet and do a chore as best as i could when given something to do - and i owe all that to her.

she taught me how to stitch and embroider. she would bring all this fabric out and thread of all hues and together we would stitch motifs and flowers and birds on everything from pillow cases to my T-shirts. and now she is gone. she would tell me tales of the past - the bahraini version of fairy tales - which she spiced up and altered to fit the mood and situation. and now she is no more.

she has lived to be old and deaf and her tongue got heavy with the passage of years. everytime i see her she would ask me if i have just come back from school and whether i have finished my homework - even after leaving school a good 15 years ago.

i can always remember her being old. she has seen her children, their children and their children and their children and their children too. yes. five generations in all and dont ask me how old she was because if it was up to me i would have loved her to hang on a little bit to see my children too.

she was there for me as a child, picking up after me and teaching me right from wrong and giving me lessons in life and opening my mind to interesting hobbies, which i wouldnt have picked up otherwise.

i owe her a lot.. there are things i can say here and others which i have to keep shut inside me because they arent for public consumption..

but the truth is that as much as she was good to me, giving me and my siblings her unconditional love and care .. i have let her down - badly.

my visits to her were far and distant..eventhough she lived close to places i frequent. i was just so selfish and couldnt see that woman who meant the world to me old and sick and bed-ridden. it broke my heart..and as much as i loved her, i shunned her. at my hour of need, she was all there for me.. at her hour of need, i was too busy attending lunches and dinners and receptions and parties and having a ball of a time.

when she died, i was looking at my face in the mirror and thinking what colours should i clown my face with.. would violet and green go well with the dress i was wearing. when my sister called me with the news - which i must have been expecting for at least 10 years for death is inevitable - i was having dinner with hubby.

may Allah bless her soul in peace.. and may He forgive me for being the ungrateful bitch i have become because i was just too busy with life to look back and care for someone who meant the world to me and i never had a chance to tell them know. and now it's too late.


Equalizer said...

3atham allah ajrich.

Devilish said...

3athm Allah ajrek

MR said...

My her soul rest in peace. And may your grief be light.

أبو سنان said...

May God have mercy on her soul.

Zahir said...

I am sorry to hear about your grandmother. May Allah (SWT) grant her jaanaat firdaus...

keep up the good writing.

Zahir Janmohamed

ainialyaman said...

My deepest condolences and may her soul rest in peace.

The Unshaven said...

I am sorry to hear about your mom.

I am an American who lived in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia for 5 1/2 years...I have both Sunni and Shia friends....

Anyway, get over to Senor Pacos Mexican resturaunt in Manamma and drink a couple of pictures of Magaritas.... You will feel better at least for the moment.

Also, if you get a chance, check out my webisite:
It's a Tshirt site, not a porn site.

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

I'm very sorry to hear the news. I hope she passed away without too much pain, and judging by what you have written, her memory will live for a long long time.

May Allah bless her soul and keep her close to Him.

الله يرحمها و عظم الله أجركم
إنا لله و إنا له راجعون

Silveroo The Sailor said...

3a'6aam alla ajresh ameera.

Lulu said...

We have a saying in Africa that as long as someone whispers your name, your spirit will never die.

Whisper her name and her memory will live on through you. I am sure she knew how much you loved her - it is obvious to all of us.

May your sorrow be short and your memories long.

Roba said...

Allah yer7amha.

Arabian Princess said...

Ina lilah wa ina lahu raji3oon .. a7san allah 3azakum ..

welfare mum said...

My heart broke into a trillion pieces when I read this tribute to your grandmom. I lost my grandfather several weeks ago and can relate to what you're feeling. That end-of-an-era, loss of childhood feeling is terrible and so hard to get past. I hope some day you can find the peace within yourself to remember the positive things, and stop beating yourself up for distancing yourself from family. It shows in your words that you were very much loved by her and she likely wouldn't want you to suffer inside. God bless you.

8291 said...

this is a very emotive, authentic piece that spells love with each and every word. i am sorry to read that your beloved granny has passed away.

my condolences. may her soul rest in eternal peace.

Ali Abdulemam said...

أعتقد أن هناك علاقة غريبة بيني وبين كبار السن، أحبهم وأشتاق دائما للحديث معهم، ودائما ما أشعر بحسرة إزاء فقد أحدهم لا أحسها ربماأمام فقد الشاب ، لدرجة أن مديري في العمل يحترم تأخري كثيرا لحضور تغسيل وتكفين كبار السن حتى لو لم يكونوا من اقاربي

لعلي لو عرفت جدتك سابقا لطلبت الجلوس معها من أجل أن تحكي لي عن أيام لول فشوقي لها ولمعلوماتعنها كبير

عظم الله لكم الاجر

SoulSearch said...

Dear SBG,
I am so sorry to hear that a loving woman, mother, grandmother, aunt, and probably all the above to many, has passed away. May Allah rest her soul and accept her in heaven. May your mom and your whole family find peace in the loving memory of a kind mother.
I also wantde to thank you for sharing this with us, (your avid readers) for you touched me when u talked about how you felt that you didn't visit her enough. I can relate to that becoz my grandma, has taken care of me when I was little. She lives close by but I hardly see her, I hardly visit her, and I never call her. She talks about how much I loved to be carried to watch her cook, or go out with her to the souq, and yet, being the ungrateful bitch that I am, I hardly go see her.
But from now on, I promise to make an effort to visit her, bring her small gifts to light up her face, and even take her out one day, before its too late. Death is enevitable but we have to make the most of the days we have.
Life is short and we must stay in touch with the ones we love.
Thank you SBG for opening up my eyes and pushing me to be a better grand daughter than I was.

انا لله وانا اليه راجعون

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