« Happy birthday Mahmoud » I received this phrase from myriads of cousins and friends on the 25th of july. Of course I was in raptures and extremely impressed by their overawing gesture, but this year my feeling of delightness was a wee bit imbued with a gust of anxiety and fear especially after being exposed to a bereavement of less than one day-cousin. I recognized that my life slips away second by second. Every day brings me closer to death or that death is as close to me as it is to other people even if they are less than one day of age.
In the rapid flow of daily events, I usually occupies myself with totally different and minor subjects: how to behave, where to go, what my future wife may look like, how to please my parents, what clothes to wear next morning, what to cook for supper, how to solve some trivial problems, what the results of the football matches are, where to spend the summer, how much money to put aside; these are few examples of the routine process of major issues that concerns me. Honestly, I have never thought of the subject of death as deeply as I am doing these days. I should have kept in mind the fact that living for even one further hour is never guaranteed. Sometimes, I witness, on a daily basis, the deaths of people around me, but I think little, very little about the day when others will witness my own death. I have never supposed that such an ineviatble end is awaiting me!
While burying the corpse of the little kid, I was thinking of everything that I was able to do and still I enjoy: I can blink my eyes, move my hands, speak, laugh; All these are the blessings that I possess but, with a motionless corpse being buried, I got assured that this status quo is temporary. Immediately, I thought about the state and the shape my body will assume after my death.
Once I will breathe my last, my soul will leave the body, announcing my new identity: "a heap of flesh and bones" no more no less. I, rather my body, will be still, inert, and fixed while being washed for the last time. Wrapped in a shroud, I will be carried in a coffin to the graveyard. Once I am in the grave, soil will cover me. This is the end of my story. I will be in the heart of darkness. From now on, my whole life represented in an epitaph written in a marble stone.
Outside, in the wake of the first days, my grave will be visited frequently. As time passes, fewer people will come. Decades later, there will be no-one even those whom I would have been the dearest to their heart. Time plays its role too. Simultaneously, my close family members will experience varying degrees of sorrow and grief that sooner will fade away. At home, my room and bed will be empty or occupied. Most of my clothes, shoes, and the likes will be given to those who need them. My books and papers in the cupboard will be replaced and my files in the computer will be deleted. And my legacy, if I had one, will be subsidized and inherited. During the first years, some will mourn for me. Yet, time will work against the memories I left behind. A dacade later, there will remain only a few who remember me. Three dacdes after, new generations will come and none of mine will exist any longer on earth. Whether I am remembered or not will be of no value to me. .
i have long had possessed a solid belief that it is too early to die and that there are always years ahead to live. Yet ,most probably, people who died on the way to work or while playing a football match, or while sipping a cup of coffee shared the same thought. They probably never thought that the next day « Jnaza » prayer will be on them. It is entirely possible that, as you read these lines, you are expected to die after you finish them. So, do thank the Almighty God, you have finished them.