الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ -القران الكريم 2:156
Who, when calamity befalls them, say, “Verily, to God we belong and, to Him we shall return.” -The Holy Quran 2:156
Last week, on the evening of July 27th, my eldest paternal aunt, Sayeda Abdoun, passed away peacefully in Egypt.
My father, who is there, tells me that her burial and funeral went as she had wished. He said everything came together smoothly, almost as if she had described what would happen when she passes.
Of course, he is devastated.
She was a second mother to him. It was her home where he got any of his studying done throughout high school and college before heading out to America. It was her home where my parents were wed. And it was her home where my dad preferred to stay during his visits after retirement.
I was blessed to have met the aunt I resemble the most back in 2011. We spent so many days and nights just talking about anything and everything like two girlfriends. Despite our age, generational and lifestyle differences, “Ametuh” as I’d call her, almost always understood me.
One afternoon, we were talking about shopping and she shared how as a young girl, all she wanted was to go to school wearing new shoes and carrying the prettiest bag. She was married young to a man she would love for decades after his death. So much so, she couldn’t even part with his clothing.
“I miss him”, she’d tell me. “He did everything for me, especially when I was sick after the failed pregnancies and difficult births.”
She was very much a homebody as she got older. Yet one night, out of the blue, she asked to join me on a short walk to see my eldest uncle. During our walk, she’d tell me about the roads and people that came upon our paths. After an eventful evening, we got home and I asked her if she was OK after such walks. And she said with a smile, “I’m fine.”
Ametuh’s life was not easy and her life’s story inspired me to pursue greater things than the “norms of society”. She fell for the norms, she didn’t go to school wearing new shoes and carrying the prettiest bag.
She lived through her two children after her husband’s passing, becoming a grandmother of eight and a great grandmother of nine. She wanted nothing but the best for her family. When all was good with them at home, she’d quietly go to her room and fall asleep. Should i go in to check on her, “I’m fine” was her answer.
As much as I’m heartbroken and saddened by Ametuh’s sudden passing, I know she is resting in quiet peace. I know she’s fine now.
Please keep Ametuh in your thoughts and prayers. May she rest in God’s eternal peace and light… Ameen.