Before I begin, please… It’s neither a mistake nor a typo in reference…to the Wasabi. There is such a word as wabi-sabi. It is derived from Japanese which means “acceptance of transience and imperfection”. The two aesthetics are going to be the main points of this post.
I had the privilege to attend quite a number of AMC seminars and a Platinum Seminar, being in the organizing team. One thing for sure after these classes, my perspectives about my surroundings have slowly changed. In fact, every word spoken and heard, has become something that I have to spend a bit more time in… to choose, digest and then to respond with the right words.
But, the biggest thing that I have experienced so far was during the Platinum session. An example being the word ‘redha‘. Redha is a common word, but many only ‘know’ THE word. Redha generally means ‘agree or acceptance’. The common statement I always hear is, “God has made my life this way, thus I have to redha with the conditions.” Usually I would just nod and agree with the statement, but after AMC & Platinum workshops I found out that life goes according to your way wishful thinking. And so, I learnt the word redha through experience. It was through death.
Death. Call me morbid but I had such fascination about the subject. The word morbid stuck in my mind when I saw & discussed a post of last meals of a few renowned people when I was in my teens; from Cleopatra, Ted Bundy and to Frank Sinatra. But then, it stopped when my beloved passed and it wasn’t interesting anymore until recently. After the workshops, it had become a norm (for me) to talk about death. I, myself find it intriguing to see such reactions (call me morbid, again!) when we talked about people who died & their lives before their passing as well as those who had close ties to the deceased.
Someone told me that she wasn’t ready for her father’s death as he passed away at quite a young age. Same goes with another, whenever she thought about her mother’s death was like her leaving something hanging. In my case however, it took me quite a waayyy long back… I refused to answer or talked about my father’s death until these past 2,3 years. I was not even 15 when he passed away!
‘Do you think that your father died at the right age and time?’ At that instant, I answered spontaneously straight from my qalb, ‘Yes!’ It came out so naturally that I was conscious of my statement and I couldn’t believe it myself! Apparently, that person didn’t agree with my answer that I was taken aback. I just kept my thoughts to myself… as always. So, later that night I had a discussion with my elder sister. We cried until 2 in the morning and later on laughed about it. The next morning, our eyes were swollen (thank God for my glasses!)!
We came to agreement that our father died at the age of 63 and it was ideal for him and for the whole family. We recalled and analysed that he died in a manner that demonstrated he was ready to go.
He died when he knew that my elder sister was ready to be the anchor of the family, in fact he had groomed her to be one.
He knew that he would leave my mother with enough, in terms of financial and TLC (They were together for 42 loving years). He knew that he had done his fair share of contributions to the society (people never stopped thanking him for what he had done until today) & most of all, he knew that he had given all his love, equally to each of his children, in his own special ways and moments that only each of us could cherish (Our memories with our father were uniquely different since our personalities were different as we were born between huge gaps, and thus explain our character differences).
He died a fast, easy and subtle way that he did not suffer any extreme pain and was in peace. I could remember his face when I last kissed him before he was taken away, he was smiling and at that exact moment I knew he was okay to go. My sister told me that she had a conversation with our father and he had told her that he experienced the most peaceful Friday Prayer, 5 days before he passed. That was the clue and she guessed ‘it’ was coming but she did not know ‘it’ was that soon.
The first year he died, I refused to listen or talked about his passing. In fact, it was difficult for everybody. We had arguments as we couldn’t adapt to the situation. Blaming each other was another thing. But, as the years went by, we were okay that we could laugh about our father, even when we visited his grave. There are still reservations… every late February, early June, Raya’s eve or October 22nd… there would be silence or nostalgic feeling in the house. But nowadays, we could joke around making up stories about if he was still alive, what and where he would be, in fact where would all of us become…
He died in his prime. He wanted to be remembered as an Ironman yet jovial in his business. But, most of all, he wanted everyone including us (sisters) to remember him as a great father who always care about the family and wanted us to ONLY remember ALL the happy thoughts and memories of him.
If one can have a happy and decent conversation about one’s deceased loved ones with wild imaginations like, “What would that person do if he or she is still alive?”, that demonstrates that one has learnt the biggest meaning of REDHA. Thus the person is certainly is REDHA with the passing… according to me. 🙂
*If my father was still alive, I can see him as a coffee hipster. He liked to go to all the coffee shops in town and I guess later on all the coffee shop owners would become his friends, regardless their age. *
In loving memory of the greatest Bugis I have ever known. In Jannah, we shall meet again and drink loads of coffee! 🙂
– Reena K.
Penulis undangan kami, Cik Reena Khairyah Binti Mohd Khaidzir adalah seorang graphic designer sambilan yang sentiasa bergerak & pernah bercita-cita untuk menjadi seorang pahlawan ninja.
Our guest writer, Ms. Reena Khairyah Binti Mohd Khaidzir is a freelance graphic designer that is constantly on the move that once had a dream of becoming a ninja warrior.