Two nights ago my grandfather had some sort of heart attack or stroke. His long term heart issues, plus diabetes and other health problems almost gave in on him. At one point in the night, whilst the paramedics were attempting to revive him, were told that he died. We later found out that his pacemaker stopped 62 times. SubhanAllah.
Alhamdulillah, after many attempts of defibrillation and CPR, they got his heart beating again. And of course, none of this happened except by the will of Allah (SWT). At almost 12 midnight, he was rushed to the hospital and we all followed. Not knowing anything, everyone was extremely distressed and concerned, particularly my grandmother.
After some time, we received news of his condition; 3 broken ribs due to CPR, unhealthy kidneys, at this point it was not looking good at all. We weren’t allowed to see him, and for the next few hours we waited in the waiting room, anxious and longing for answers. We were later asked a question which I never could have ever comprehended; to put him on life support or not to. We were explained the possible consequences of the choices we had, and my grandmother and aunty were quick to agree to the life support.
After a couple of hours waiting, knowing that by waiting at the hospital, news wouldn’t come any faster, I decided to leave to clean my grandmothers house before she came back. (Before I left, I walked into the house and there was blood on the bathroom floor and the lounge room was trashed with needles and rubbish from the paramedics). I desperately wanted to clear everything before anyone else came home to the mess, particularly my grandmother. And at this point, I was almost certain that he was not going to make it. At almost 2 a.m, I left the hospital to go to my grandmothers house, and my cousin followed. At first, I was kind of okay (or at least pretending to myself and to people) with going alone. Then one of our relatives told us that the carpet needs to be taken outside (due to blood on it, which I ended up just scrubbing as it wasn’t much) and suggested that my cousin should come with me. I was relieved that he did. When I got there, I waited in the car as I just did not want to enter alone into the mess I saw before I had left.
It might sound a little cliche, but you know the saying “you don’t know how strong you are until you have to be” something like that, well it’s kind of true. I’m usually not good when it comes to blood and other ‘icky’ things. But God gave me some sort of strength to clean up this pool of blood, that had also splattered on the wall, (Sorry for the image!) Although I felt a little uncomfortable doing it, I didn’t want to leave the burden on anyone else, and I was trying to stay strong as everyone else was breaking down.
I got home at about 3 a.m, and broke down. I was so sure this was it, I wasn’t being negative, I was being realistic. His heart stopped so many times, it was not looking good at all! The next morning (now yesterday morning) we woke up and we rushed to my grandmothers and then headed back to the hospital. At this point, he was stable but not breathing on his own, they had put him in intensive care, and couldn’t tell us what the outcome would be. Then late last night, they called the hospital and we were told that they plan to wake him up the following morning, (i.e this morning).
Alhamdulillah, today he woke up and was able to breathe on his own. And then in the afternoon, he was able to talk! SubhanAllah. Things are looking steady now alhamdulillah, and he will inshaaAllah slowly recover.
This incident made me think about a few things.
We celebrate birth but hate death, but death brings us closer to Allah swt (inshaaAllah). We are so surprised when someone dies, even though we know that it is the only thing guaranteed in this life, and whatever happens is the decree of Allah swt, and He knows better!
Losing a loved one is one thing, but being at the centre of the tragic moment makes things SOOO much more painful. When I lost my dad at 13, I was not with him whilst he was having a heart attack. And up until a couple of nights ago, I thought it would have been good for me to be with him in his last few moments. But witnessing someone die, being there when there are ambulances and paramedics everywhere, being there through the anticipated death is on another level. That gut wrenching feeling came once again that night, but it was a different kind of one. Knowing someone definitely passed away vs being there looking for answers and making dua that someone survives are both feelings I never want to feel again. But that is the nature of this dunya, our loved ones will leave us one day, and I don’t know how many more times I can go through this.
And this thought brought me to my next reflection, I lost one parent, but Alhamdulillah, I have my mother remaining. I almost lost my grandfather, and I don’t want people to die, simply because I don’t think I’m capable of handling it. This made me think about the people who lose family members everyday, those who are in Syria and other countries, even those in my own country who’ve lost multiple family members at once due to a car accident or something. It made me later think about the Prophet (SAW) who lost his beloved wife, uncle, companions, and many other loved ones during his life. Yet he always, always stood firm (SAW).
It also brought me back to reality. After Ramadan, we tend to slack off a little, or a lot. And seeing people on social media complain about the smallest things agitated me so much, because I just thought how small of a problem they had compared to mine and my family’s. Although this is probably not the correct way to think, I should instead, think about how many times I’ve complained over petty things and put an end to it. This incident, for a moment, removed the bubble that I had been living in. And I think it did for a few of my family members. But once we heard the good news this afternoon, I think we all started to slacken again with our prayers and other ibadah. How heedless we are, reminder after reminder, it makes me wonder; when will we learn?! A reminder to myself first!
Oh Allah, cure the diseases of our heart so that we may worship you with sincerity, ameen. Grant shifa to the sick, and sabrun jameel to their families, ameen.