Plus - Appreciation

A brave spirit and woman of substance

Binthi Fasiah

My Umma passed away three weeks ago, after a brief illness. She was 74 years old. I am relieved she had a peaceful death, and I am sure she has gone to a better place. At last, she will be reunited with her parents, after 65 long years.

The day of her death was not the saddest day in my life. The darkest and saddest day in my life was the day I found out that she had only a month to live. I cried every day until the day of her death. The one day I did not shed a single tear was the day she passed away. She must have given me the strength to make sure everything went well that day. The very next day I started to cry again, unable to bear the pain.

She learnt to endure pain from a very young age. She lost her parents when she was just nine years old. She was brought up by her maternal aunt and uncle, along with their six children. She remained deeply grateful to them till the time of her death.

My brother was everything to her, and she adored him. She lived with him until her death. Their love for each other was unconditional.

Then came her grandson, my brother’s son. He brought joy into her life. They were inseparable. While grieving over the loss of his grandmother, he consoles his father. The nine-year-old has the courage of his grandmother.

My Umma was an active and courageous woman. Her humble home was open to all. She was generous and kind. Headstrong and straightforward, she was not one to complain. Instead, she always looked on the bright side, and this helped her get through most of her difficulties.

She cooked and cared not only for her own, but for many others. She single-handedly brought us up, under very difficult circumstances. We were everything to her, and we were her only happiness. I cannot thank her enough for what she has done for us. I owe my life to her.

All my efforts to make her life better and comfortable were in vain. Her idea of comfort and happiness was very different to mine. She was comfortable and happy where she was and with whomever she associated.

A few days before her death, she wanted a meal of rice and dried fish, instead of my home-made broccoli and chicken soup. Considering her ailment, I refused to give her the rice and curry. How sorry I am that she did not have her humble rice and dried fish – for the last time.

The last six weeks we spent together were the most cherished, irreplaceable time of my life. True to her character, her spirits remained high to the end.

My Umma was a woman of substance.

May the Almighty Allah grant her Jinnathul Firdouse.

Daughter, the first-born

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