When I was a student at Uni, my late grandmother, on seeing me off to the UK almost every summer, would often sigh and maybe even cry while saying 'when will we meet again..? Will we ever get to see each other..?' Of course she'd say this in her Negeri Sembilan accent and I'd say nice things to stop her from tearing up.. At that time I knew she was referring to her old age and thinking of time that was running out for her.
I guess I was no different too often thinking of death whenever I boarded the plane and when it was taking off.. Then a few minutes later all would be forgotten when the plane started cruising on a certain altititude and the nice cabin crew served drinks and food and later I watched a movie or two. It was all happy thoughts of that moment and of the anticipation of returning to studying in England, my second home ;) But then when the plane went into air pockets and shook I'd grab my seat and feel my heart jumping and lurching for a few seconds.. and start thinking of the things you shouldn't think on board a plane..
Death is inevitable. I think about it a lot sometimes. But sometimes only to lament the same things as how my grandmother used to do it.. Maybe not out aloud, but I say it in my mind at times. I also pray that Allah grants me a peaceful death that allows me to say His name as I leave this life..
The thing is we don't know the when and the how. We only know that it will happen.
My grandmother lived a good number of years even after I finished studying in the UK. She got to see me get married and welcomed a number of grandchildren (sadly not mine) and maybe great grandchildren too I think.. When she passed away I got to see her for one last time in the hospital and even though at that time she was unable to respond, she heard what I had to say to her and tears trickled down her face. May Allah bless her soul..
So as with the fact that we don't know when we will die, we also don't know sometimes if we ever get to say goodbye. And that part sometimes can be the most heartbreaking.
But trust in Allah my dear that He is the best of planners and that He is the all-knowing.. We may not know of the last day of our life but at least now we should make full use of the present time and be prepared to face the next stage of our life, the after life, whenever it may be.
At the time that I'm writing this, the whole country is weeping for the lives lost in the tragedy of MH17.. Yet in times like this it has taught us that truly there are blessings in calamities. I am in no way suggesting that I understand how the families are feeling but I would like to say that they are truly blessed. For today and for many more years to come God willing, the victims will always be remembered and thousands of people will have led a prayer for them, will have shed a tear for them and would continue to pray for them and their families..
But how will it be for us?