My father would date our menstrual cycle. All 6 of us. He wanted to know when we prayed and if anything were to go wrong with our cycle.
Hello Hameedah, we lost him. Those were the exact words of my mother some 7 weeks and 5 days ago. It was a elder brother she referred to. My uncle had just passed on.
Prior to his passing, he was fine until a day before when he had a stroke and that was it. His soul gently stepped out of his body like a queen steps out a limo. Slow and steady.
She hung up immediately and I knew what I was supposed to do. I got dressed and headed for my cousins house.
Tears rolled down my cheek as I got into the house, looking at every corner and seeing familiar and old faces slowly shedding tears as if to say they were scared of crying. Yes, they were.
In my religion, we don’t wail for the dead. We pray; speak softly and repeat again and again till we can no longer feel the pain which hardly ever happens. We just get used to it.
My saliva tasted bitter as I saw the look in my mother’s eyes. She was hurt.
Hurt that he died, hurt that their last encounter was an argument, hurt that he had left before their father of 103 years. They could never break this news to him. Never!
Family members began to narrate dreams they had in the past few weeks and how it all makes sense now. How they had “seen it coming”, how they had been sent a sign.
It was such a huge loss as my mothers older ones cried. Sometimes in low tones and other times uncontrollable outbursts too. It was too much pain for them to process.
As I lowered my backside into Daddy’s chair on the dinning table, I had a rush of memories from when we were kids. He was such a man that when I thought of discipline, a picture of his gentle eyes and firm but melanin glowing skin comes to mind. Daddy was real caramel dipped in chocolate.
He was the most organised person I had met, at least apart from his 103 year old father. It was a spectacular trait that quite a number of us had in the family. I have it too.
My sisters and cousin called from various countries and my cousin who was his only son prayed for his father over a video call as the congregation said prayers and choruses amen to his prayers too. He wished he was home to see the remains of his father. He also had a dream. Sigh!
I still remember the burst of tears I tried hiding till I saw my favorite cousin; mistura. The pain in her eyes were immeasurable. It pierced into my heart like a needle piercing a nylon water and drip, drop, the tears started to flow. We hugged.
It was those type of hugs where our hearts understood unspoken words and our eyes gave comfort our physical touch couldn’t have matched. I’ve never had such an emotional and intense moment in my life with little to no words, yet a lot was being said.
A closer feeling is when I look into my lovers eyes and I want to collapse in his arms. Except this was different. It came with a sharp pain of heartache, heartbreak and whatever word could express the pain.
So, imagine how I felt when I got the call again yesterday. It’s barely 2 months from the death of my uncle, basically two days away and my mother had call to break another news. Except these times, the words were different.
She said, get over here; he’s gone. The rage, the hurt, anger, sadness and the pain, I could feel it all. I didn’t want to imagine what my mother was going through. I just knew it was unimaginable.
Aisha, get dressed, Alhaji is dead were the words I woke my sister with. Like lightening, she stood up and started preparing to have her bath.
I didn’t bother to think about it too much; this is so much loss than I ever witnessed in my entire life. The first dead human dead body I had seen was my uncles. Now, it was my grand father. My mother just lost her dad.
I remember the mint naira note he always handed us at family gatherings and during salah period. He had all the denominations of the Nigerian naira that he handed us based on our age.
As a kid, I and my play mates called him Alhaji 5 naira; that was what he gave me anyways.
On the rare occasion that I had called him on one of my holidays, he prayed so much that I borrowed 2 other phones till he could finish his prayers. I had since then graduated to 200 naira; the special child.
But I was all grown up now and I have a faint memory of when last I saw Alhaji.
The way my mother talks about him makes me sometimes wish he was my father.
“My father is a great man, ” he is the best father” amongst the so many other good things she said about him always. She loved him and always prayed for him. I can’t say that’s the case with my father but……It doesn’t matter.
The figure of Alhaji lying on the bed; this man was fine even in death. I covered his body with a white thobe (jubbah) since my aunt had gone to get a white shroud with a host of other items needed to clean up his body.
He was clean. His melanin was proper glowing and I was tempted to ask for a skin regimen but then it occurred to me. It’s noor (light) from the above.
His body was cleaned and while we get ready to finish up preparations before the burial, the most amazing thing happened. The inspiration for this post.
My mother handed me an envelope consisting a white shroud, very clean and neatly ironed, a sum of 20 thousand naira in another another envelope. Carefully packed with bold writings on it. What did he write?
This shroud is the one you’d clothe me in with my haram. I ironed this cloth today 13th December, 1999. By the grace of God, this is the cloth you should bury me in.
I, your father, Alhaji M.A.Badru.
Today is the day I repack this cloth; 3rd, April, 2007.
Proof in the picture below.
Money for the clerics . By Alhaji M.A.Badru
This 103 year old man had prepared his prayer money since 1999, that’s 26 years ago. It was written on the envelope but was later cancelled as he changed the date when he repacked the money as seen in the picture above.
Why did he repack? He updated the currency and amount as the Nigerian note changed. I’m still amazed as I don’t think I have ever been this intentional in my 23 years on earth. He had prepared for his own death 26 years earlier and even bought both his wives coffin and his years before my mother even got married.
Also on the envelope was the date he ironed his shroud and the details of who had seen his shroud and sent it.
See picture below.
8th, December, 1999.
Today is the day Alhaji Imam Babatunde Mumuni & Imam Opeloyeru sew my end time cloth for me. This cloth was sent to me by Mr Mustapha, Aminahs father.
Also, as picture proof below are the different naira denominations he had in the envelope.
At 103, the most meticulous man I ever known died a peaceful death on a friday; if you’re a Muslim reading this, you know what it means.
We headed for the burial ground and prayed again before finally lowering him into the grave. Friday, 23rd March 2018 was a different day in my life and it should be in yours too. Not because of my grand father but because we are too soaked in this worldly life that we don’t realize ours might be the next passing.
In the tiniest way possible, are you ready for your death? What preparations are you making? Are you intentional in your decisions?
Reflect and ask yourselves these questions. Are you ready for DEATH?
I know I hardly share personal information but this should be personal for all of us because death is real and it would come for us sooner or later. I pray it meets us in the best of conditions.
Writing is one of the art I know and with this I pay my last respect to my uncle and grand father. May Allah grant both of you jannah and save you from the torment of the grave.
Kindly say a prayer for them and also for the loved ones you’ve lost and the dead in general.
See you next post.
Meanwhile, previous post still lurking here.
Don’t forget to tune in to @wilsonsjuiceco tomorrow Sunday 25th as I take over their Insta stories taking you through my daily activity.
Thanks for reading always.
Soaked In Love!
Tribute to my Uncle and Grand father.