Farzana Ali Khan
“If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam:”
— Lord Langdale (Henry Bickersteth)
Memories are like shadows following us everywhere we go. Some memories are clear, as though the incidents have happened yesterday rather than a couple of decades ago.
Today is July 30th, my beloved mother’s 13th death anniversary. Everyone whose mothers have died today, would be observing their anniversaries by telling stories to their children/grand children about their grandma and great grandma.
Some of them would be pretending while many of them must me remembering them from the core of theìr hearts.
As for me i would like to pay a great tribute to
my lovong Mom by starting an urdu saying followed by some pleasant/ unpleasant memories of hers.
As they say in Urdu “Wadey Wo Hotey Hai Jinhey Hum Tortey Hai
Aur Yadein Wo Hoti Hai Jo Humein Torhti Hai”
This can be roughly translated in English as promises are broken by us while memories break us.
My mother lived with diabetes for approximately 15 to 20 years. She was probably suffering from Diabetes long before it was diagnosed and since long on medication
One day when her health condition deteriorated in the month of November 2007 , we took her to a local hospital the doctor excused and advised us to take her to Peshawar.
But as it was late night and all the specialists had already gone to home so we waited for tomorrow morning. As soon as the day broke we took her to a reputed hospital RMI but unfortunateley its was Sunday that day and the specialists were on leave.
The director of the RMI col Tariq who is our near relative too asked the doctors to admit her in intensive Car Unit rather that in Emergency ward.
Hearing the word ICU i started crying and shouting as it seemed to me that i was going to lose my Mom. ICU looked very terrible to me.
The col uncle came to me and said i am sending her to ICU because all the Specialists are on leave and she will be cared better in the ICU.
I hired a room for me and stayed with her in the hospital that night.
Next day early morning doctor came to examine her and suggested her to remain in the ICU for some days.
One of the astonishing fact which i dont know how did i bear was when the cardiologist asked me what medicine she takes for heart treatment i just shocked and said to him my Mom is diabetic not heart patient after hearing me the doctor smiled and said do you know your mother has suffered from cardiac attack twice.
This news was though very big but seeing my Mom unconscious and connected with different pipes and machines i just couldnt react.
My Mom remained for about 10 days in the hospital while her sugar leval was fluctuating and the doctors kept on giving insuline as her sugar would raise with breaks.
My family asked me to learn how to insulate her as i was the only expectant person for the job but i kept on requesting the doctors to please get her on medication as i would not be able to insulate her. God listened to me and her diabetes got controled through medication.
We left for home with my duty to take care of her food and medicines.
But the silent killer showed its deadly signs just six to eight months before her death.
She passed away after eight months of discharging from the hospital.
But I feel as if my mother truly died eight months before her soul actually departed from her body. Her physical and mental condition had declined and she would ask the same questions repeatedly – as she was also suffering from dementia. But even more agonising was her strange attitude towards life and her own children when she would even call her eldest daughter Maa (mother) and stopped recognzing other children as well except me.
Eventually my mother even stopped insisting on returning to her cherished home, as if she knew that she would now go to a better place. It broke my heart to see my pretty, intelligent, and meticulously tidy mom deteriorate rapidly on a daily basis before my eyes when she kept insisting to take her to her home as she would describe the one where there are green trees snd grass and all around greenery.
We she got burried next day i went to her grave and the scenes i beheld mad me numbed for some time. Because the scenic area of here grave exactly the same as she used to mention all the time.
There are certain memories that never leave you, and for me those would be the moments when my mother parted from us. She was a woman who had lived so bravely throughout her life, and when she breathed her last breath even my cries could not bring her back.
Dealing with a parent`s death is one of the most emotional and painful experiences demanded from a human being.
To most children, a mother is the focal point of their formative years. It
s been a while now since my mother has not been with me. I cant see her, can`t touch her but still sense her in my memories her obsessive memories that form my dreams when I sleep at night. I can still feel the softness of her hands and her lips on my cheeks. Her rapid breathing due to an asthmatic attack still sends shivers down my spine.
During her final days, her blood sugar level would continuously fluctuate, and I can’t even begin to describe the anguish of seeing my elderly mother in pain. But now, all has calmed down.
Being the youngest sibling is good fortune, for all the family members shower their affection on him/her especially the parents. But on the other hand it can be very painful as well since it is the youngest who suffer more than other brothers and sisters do when they are bereaved of their parents.
My mother`s relationship with me was exceptional in a sense that her love for me was something beyond. She would laugh with me, play with me, share my sorrows; my smallest achievement would be her crowning glory. My slightest ailment would alarm her so much that it would worry me in return.
Every time I sat with her telling her how much I loved her and asked her how much she loved me.
Our realation was such an amazing that i always teased her by saying that one day i wil go abroad and never get back then keep missing me.
The same way when she would be angry at me she would say, May you soon go out of this country so that i get rid of you.
This thing my elder sister had noticed and said Wow, what a strange curse! As according to her my mother would bless and pray for me even in the form of a curse.
Sometimes the grief is so intense that I cant hold back tears. Children who have lost a parent can only understand how it is to miss them. You become a different person altogether and you don`t like being that person. I can no longer say that I never use profanity, and of this I am deeply ashamed. I have learnt to fully accept responsibility of my actions and attitudes and I am alone accountable for the person I have become. One becomes quite helpless; it is the depressed mental state that compels one to act like this.
Now during winter, I have no one to hold me in her lap to warm me, to put her hand on my head and console me, the same way Summer season passes.
There is no one who I can ask to pray for me when I need them the most. And if someone blesses me i ask her or him to pray that my mothers prayers(when alive) must be answered because the way she prayed for me nothing is left in this world for me to ask for.
In the last i would just say that
“The Tragedy Of My Life Is Not That I Have Lost Someone I loved The Most But The Person Who Loved Me Beyond Anything!”
In dealing with a mothers death and indeed any separation caused by death, there is hope found in the word of God. The only consolation is that yes, my mom is nowhere else but with God who had once created her and us all and so He must be looking after her.
The writer is a journalist and an IVLP Alumni. She can be reached at