Last week, my beloved grandmother passed away unexpectedly. I thought the world would stop.
I had to start putting the brakes on in many parts of my life in November as wedding plans and end of year work were consuming me. Then, just as I felt that I was re-gaining control I was told the news that she was no longer with us early Saturday morning. I’ve experienced death in my family and parents of friends, but no one really close to me – whom I had a very consistent relationship with and memories of. I am devastated and still trying to figure out how to come to peace with such an inevitable event.
I was on a flight home to Tanzania merely 6 hours after I heard the news – after panicking and running around to get a last minute ticket out of Joburg. As short notice as it all was, and the number of days I’d lose at work and wedding plans, I had to be there for her funeral which took place on Sunday. I was back at work and wedding planning on Wednesday.
I thought the world would’ve stopped.
And it dawned on me; this sadness that I’m carrying around, no one else is currently feeling. People are still laughing, joking, carrying on with life. The world seems to have forgotten about the news and wonder why I’m still sad. “You’re getting married! You should be excited!” “Why so sad?” “You should be happy, she would’ve wanted you to be excited”. And I’m tired of people telling me how I should feel. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I always have. I want – and need – to feel it. Process it and get to a place where I’m not spontaneously crying during the day.
With my wedding literally around the corner, I’m a bag of emotional mess. I don’t feel like I’ve had a chance to sit still and breathe. There has been no time. So here I am, taking a moment to share this with you in the hopes that it will alleviate some of the heaviness that’s in my heart. And the few times it feels less heavy is when I remember that the last time I saw her a couple of months ago, she had met my future husband and gladly gave him her stamp of approval. She was so excited for me, and I’m grateful that I was given that chance. I’m looking to God to help me and my family through this so we are not carrying as much sadness on what’s supposed to be my happiest day.
I was named after my grandmother. ‘Aisha’ means life; she who lived. And lived she did.
RIP Bibi x