Friday, March 10, 2006

Tazkirah Hari Jumaat (Friday Reminder) a.k.a Life is Short

I was snuggling with Anis on the bed early Wednesday morning after the boys had left for school when Taufik's mobile phone rang. I saw him rush out of the bathroom in his towel to answer the phone and he was grumbling something like "Siapalah call pagi2 ni, time time gini baru nak call" (Who in the world calls this early in the morning, they sure know great timing).
He stepped out of the room but I could still hear his conversation
"Ya, saya, wa'alaikumsalam..." (Yes, it's me) Okay, it's a melayu, not some arab guy asking for bits or something.. so prolly not a business call
"hah?!! Bakar? Biar betul..." (What? Bakar? You're kidding..)
"Bakar Burn? Aku baru hantar email kat dia last week" (You mean Bakar a.k.a Burn? I just sent him an email last week)
"Macamana dia pass away?" (How did he pass away?) I was on high alert. Passed away? Who passed away??
"Okay okay .. thanx for telling me" and he ended the conversation.

"What was it?" I asked
"Burn, the guy from we@therf0rd (sp?) .. he collapsed, and then passed away" Taufik explained.
"Inalillah-hi-wa-inna-hi-ro-ji-uun.." (From Allah we came, and to Him we shall return)
After that it was a few calls to a few of his other friends, trying to find out what happened.

Burn was one of his friends from when he was working in KL. They used to hang out all the time, having breakfast with the rest of the contractors who have morning meetings with the drilling folks in Petron@s , ocassionally playing golf together.. I've met him and his family once or twice, during birthday parties and other makan-makan (eating) gatherings. I can't quite remember exactly what he or his wife looks like, but I remember that his kids are about the same age as mine.

From what we've gathered so far, he was at his office in Dubai (he's been there for a month, he just got promoted to Area Manager located in Tehr@n and was about to go back home to settle the visas for his family this weekend). He collapsed, they called the ambulance, and he passed away in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Taufik's friends who were in KL were the ones who had to go to his house and tell his wife. The wife collapsed several times during the visit. One of the friends (a lady) remarked that she had cried so much during the task, and after, that she had no more tears to cry. He was their friend, their 'gang'. He was roughly the same age as all of them, perhaps only slightly younger.

I can imagine the grief of losing a friend.. but I can't imagine the grief of losing a husband. Especially when the last time you saw him was a month ago, and especially when you were expecting him to return in just a few more days.

Taufik has been in like a daze eversince he heard the news. Friends have been calling him, he has been calling friends. I could see that he was quite affected by the news.
For the past few days there has been snippets of conversations between us about the death.
How the wife is going to cope (which then steered to how one of us were going to cope without the other, but it falls heavier on me if I were to lose him, since I ahve quit my job and he's the sole breadwinner. We have insurance and savings, by the way, and most of our loans are almost paid off, so we think we're okay).
How short life is, how we don't know what's going to happen (Which then steered to what do we wanna do before we die? Do our Hajj or at least Umrah .. )
How he died alone, without his family around him (Taufik is like really really worried about that .. He is really glad that he can see us everyday, but I think he also misses his family).
How we're so not ready to handle death.

Do you think you're ready?
I don't think I am...
but I sure hell am gonna work on it. Insya-Allah.

p/s sorry for such a morbid post.

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