So it’s been 10 days since Bhai died. That’s right, DIED. Not passed away, or gone on to the other life, or returned to God, or moved into a better place now. Died. There’s really no point dressing it up in pretty bows and satin ribbons, or sugar-coating it all sweet and tasty. The truth is harsh and bitter, but it is what it is. I mean, people are stumbling across my blog not by searching for links about shoes and writing but by Googling ‘jawad sakrani death’. How screwed up is that.
Do I sound angry? I don’t mean to. This is all so strangely new and unfamiliar to me that I am not quite sure how I am supposed to be. Sometimes I simply want to remain firmly sucked into the vortex of pain and anger and grief and frustration, I want to wallow in it and stay curled up in bed, facing the wall, trying not to let my face crumple into a heap of sobs and tears. At other times, I feel almost normal, nearly happy even, and I go about doing the things at home that I usually would at any other trip back, such as working out, writing, playing with Ayana. But this is unlike any other trip home, and I remember that so suddenly and viciously everytime I see his guitars in my room, or his tshirt in my closet, the one I stole from him last time to wear at night because it was so unbelievable loose and comfortable to use as sleepwear.
It’s been 10 days. When it first happened, I counted the hours, as each passed by. 12 hours since he died. 16 hours. 24 hours. After 2 days, I consciously stopped counting the hours. Till then, it had seemed like some weird joke, as if he would come walking back into the house, into our lives, any minute, laughing, eyes twinkling, dimple deepening. After the 2 day phase, it sunk in. I suppose him getting buried into the ground helped to bury the fact of his death deep into our minds and our hearts. Counting days has made it seem more real, more concrete somehow, more final, irreversible. Ten days, 2400 hours, each one seems a day long in itself. It feels like an eternity has passed but at the same time, it feels like just yesterday that we all went for dinner to the new steakhouse at DFC and Bhai waited outside because Mom and Dad and I, being hopeless as we are in mall directions, were having trouble locating the place.
I was fine yesterday, I even felt good, nearly normal, almost like my old self, and not like the-girl-whose-brother-just-died. But I feel like that girl again today. The internet wasn’t working today and this technical stuff has always been something that Bhai used to deal with, he;d fiddle around with teh router and the laptops and get everything working again. But today, I had to call the service providers and stay on hold for god knows how long, and talk to 4 different operators and write down IP addresses and DNS addresses, numbers which I have never understood. Then the operator asks me for the password, which had apparently been changed in May. By Bhai. I said I didn’t know it.
No, Ma’am, without the password we cannot assist you.
I don’t have it, I wasn’t the one who changed it.
Well, Ma’am I cannot help you.
MY BROTHER CHANGED IT IN MAY, HE WAS ALIVE THEN, AND NOW HE’S DEAD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, I NEED THE INTERNET TO WORK, HE’S DEAD OKAY, DEAD!
I was even okay the day before when we were cleaning up his closet and sorting out his clothes to donate or give to people who would actually use them well. It was all done so systematically and properly. Years of buying yourself good clothes and hundreds and hundreds of dirhams spent on the right brands, the ones you love and have been wearing for so long, and where does it all end up? In 7 black garbage bags. One for regular tshirts, one for polos, one for formal dress shirts, and so on and so forth.
I was thinking just a while ago that what if his heart didn’t have to stop completely, what if he just lost his heartbeat for a few seconds as many people do, and then regained it back and we would all have been laughing about it now, about how he’d nearly died, taht too before the cricket game, probably to avoid having to face the pressure of being the one to lead the team to victory like before. But that’s not what happened, his heartbeat didn’t just stop for a few seconds, it didn’t even falter, it just ceased completely. No murmur or tremor, just one, complete, final stop. And noone’s laughing about it.
I suppose this is how it is going to be. There will be good days and bad days, and many days in-between that start off terrifically and end terrifyingly. There will be happy dreams but also nightmares, there will be fondly remembered moments but also heart-wrenching memories. Even while I’m writing this, I feel like I’m just bullshitting myself, fooling all of those people who’ll read it, the majority of whom don’t know what this feels like, and should never find out either. It’s just life. He lost his but we still have ours.