Friday, September 04, 2015

My dearest daughter, SAMAR

Nine years have passed since you left this world. Nine long years since I saw your beautiful face, touched your soft skin, heard your warm voice, kissed you and held you in my arms. You may wonder how I survived these long years without you? I am certain that I surprised many who thought at the time that I may not be able to make it after you left us following your accident. They knew how much I loved you then, your brother and sister and that the three of you were my first priority in life. Those nine years were tough but I was able to survive, and continue to love all three of you and my priorities have not waivered.

Reflecting on these nine years, I attribute my survival to several factors. The most important of all is love. My love to you continued as my love never died after your death, in fact it grew deeper. In addition to my love to you, my love for your brother and sister did not allow my loss and sorrow make me forget that I am equally their mother as I am yours and that I should live for them and reaffirm and express my love, even more.

Although I don't see you I feel your presence always. You are with me with every breath I take and constantly in my heart and mind, day and night. I not only feel your presence, but receive signs from you that reassure me that you are beside me wherever I am at all times.

God’s gifted me the power of poetry to help me endure my loss and express my raw feelings over these years. I am ever so thankful for this gift where I communicate with you and express my yearning. The poetry books not only keep your name eternally, they are a source of comfort to bereaved parents especially at the beginning of their grief journey.

 Acknowledging your presence to others, talking about you and keeping your memory alive was vital for my survival. You are my daughter, and I want to mention your name, talk about you and remember you; that is my daily wish.  In our culture mentioning the name of a dead person is frowned upon, and seen as socially inappropriate, when brought up, leading to avoidance by changing the subject. I have defied this attitude and continue acknowledging you as my third child and talk about you when and wherever I wanted to. I also appreciate those who bring up your name including the ones who do it by mistake. The latter are usually embarrassed but I thank them as I am grateful that you are still in their minds.
Your calendar occupies a corner of a desk or a shelf in the home of a relative or friend. People see you every day when they look at the calendar. There are those who look forward to the new calendar each year and anticipate receiving it. This calendar contributed to my survival as it reminds them that you are with us each day of the year.
I feel that I was able to make family, relatives and friends acknowledge that you are present though you are physically gone. The biannual rituals where by I celebrate your birthday and your life help me go through these two difficult days. The family respects my ritual on those two special days and accept my practice.

Keeping your memory alive is an essential part of my existence. Having your website for nine years was a challenge. Although I am the only one posting on it since the last eight years or so, it is still there and is viewed by some. The fact that there are those who check it regularly and resort to it when they miss you, comforts me. The site is also viewed by those who never met you but get to know your story and most importantly, what a wonderful person you were and the impact you left on many.
I look forward to your school awards each year where your name is said out loud. Although it is difficult for me to sit on those chairs and watch the Honor Society students at your school without remembering times I sat there for you and for your brother and sister before you, I still feel good being there when your name is mentioned in your school twice a year, once for the Economics Award and the second for the Football Award. I am most proud when they speak about you and equally proud to give awards in your name. The awards are a recognition that your memory goes on. Few of the teachers who know you are still at school but none of the students. That’s how they have the chance to know who you are. I would think that many would have wished to know you since you were a special student who excelled academically and in extracurricular activities.
Your palm tree stands proud at the entrance of your school. It grew over the years.  I feel that you are happy that we planted this tree at your school where you spent most of your days. I am sure that the tree feels very special having your name next to it. The bench in your school library that has your name engraved on it keeps library visitors aware that that you existed and makes them wonder who this Samar Al Ansari was.

You had written about home, “To get to know me, and I mean real me, you must provide home for me first”, and I say dear daughter, “ To be my friend, my true friend, you have to acknowledge that my daughter is alive in my heart and mind as she lives with me as long as I live”.



Anonymous said...

Promise, as long as I am in that school.

Um Samar said...

I know you will. Thank you for all your love and support.