Like two sides of a coin, there are two sides to life: sadness and happiness. Happiness treasures your life, while sadness brings terrible storms without any troubles. Sometimes, when our life is full of joy, we forget that grief also plays an important role in life. Keeping a balance of happiness and sadness is important to understanding what is right and wrong. In my life, too, there was a catastrophic storm that completely covered it for a long time.
On August 24, 2003, death took away from me a very important person, my beloved grandfather.
He was a huge source of inspiration in my life, and it was very painful to watch him die before my eyes. My grandfather was a great man who worked very hard throughout his prestigious life. He always lived with his head held high and was loved by everyone. My grandfather had cancer, the enemy of life, for the last two years, but he did not know that death was creeping over him like a sly fox.
Three years ago, my grandfather came from Pakistan to cure his illness, hoping that life will conquer death. My grandfather, who had no idea that he had cancer, lived happily until one day he felt a terrible pain in his bladder. My father rushed him to the hospital, the doctors said it was a minor infection and sent him home with antibiotics. Later that month, his pain intensified rather than diminished.
Going to the toilet was like hell.
Then my father treated him in a private hospital. After many blood tests and observations, doctors concluded that he had bladder cancer. The doctors also explained to my dad that my grandfather would only live for a few days. From that day on, dad made sure that grandfather did not find out about his vicious illness at such an advanced age. My father came home that day with a heavy burden on his heart. The only goal in my father’s life is to give him as much happiness as possible. When I came to the discovery of this fact, heaven and earth became one, and I felt as if I was being crushed between them.
A week later, cancer in his bladder gently grew out of his trachea and then into his mouth. He described his pain as “intense burning.” He told us that whenever he sat down, the severity of the disease pressed on him until he gasped, he gave up and lay down again like a living corpse. I still remember the day when my grandfather was so ill that he could not eat anything. He had to drink milk with added vitamins.
By this time, everyone knew that he had cancer, and my grandfather also knew that death was knocking at his door. Seeing that he could not move, speak or consume, I felt like the most helpless person in the world. That day I locked myself in a room and cried with all my heart. I was very upset. I wanted to wake him up, take his hand and talk to him, but, unfortunately, my desire remained unheard forever.
My father called the doctor when my grandfather was in his final stages. The doctor said he had only a few minutes and advised my father to invite all of his brothers and sisters to watch their father take his last breath. A couple of nurses soon arrived and injected morphine into his bloodstream to ease his death. Watching my grandfather in his room with everyone, I went downstairs to have a snack. I drank a glass of water, but my mouth was still dry, like in the desert.
My humble feet went upstairs. I was halfway there when I heard screams of pain. I ran up the steps 4 steps at a time. And there I saw the last of the grandfather sigh, fighting between life and death. He died; he was no longer alive. At that moment, I wanted to take my whole life out of myself and give it to my grandfather. I slowly walked over to him, eyes swollen with tears. I very slowly touched his hand; I could feel the warm blood still flowing in his veins. His face looked like an innocent child with a slight smile on his dry lips.
The next morning, the morning that brings light to everyone’s life, brought darkness to my grandfather’s life. It was his funeral. All our relatives headed towards the Central Mosque, and so did I, where I saw my grandfather for the last time in his coffin, which has now become his home. I remember trying to comfort my parents, but it didn’t work. Watching my father cry, who was such a strong man, I shattered into millions of pieces.
Even today, when I remember my grandfather’s death, my eyes are wet and tears are streaming down my face. My grandfather was a very important person in my life, even more than my parents, and perhaps that is why I experienced the sudden shock of his death. In a way, I felt relieved that he died. I learned a lot of memorable words from my grandfather: “Life is too short, live it before it’s over.” These same words have become so important and meaningful to me. This incident was the most heartbreaking moment of my life.