30 Years Have Passed

It’s been thirty years since my dearest mom passed away.

I was barely 18, away from home studying college in Kuala Lumpur. I called my mom on Sunday afternoon from the college foyer.

I hadn’t gone home to see my parents for a few months. Every time I called her, I’d miss her even more.

The next morning, at 5 am, I heard a knock on my college apartment. It was the college guard who wanted to see me. I was puzzled as it was so early in the morning. He told me briefly that my uncle and aunt were waiting for me downstairs. He said my mom was really ill and I needed to go home ASAP.

I was shocked and didn’t believe what I just heard. I had just talked to my mom the day before. I rushed to pack my stuff, met my relatives, and they dropped me off at the taxi stand.

It was a 2-hour ride and along the way, I pictured a graveyard. I told myself that it can’t be true that I’m going to lose my mom.

When I reached home, I learned that my mom had already passed away. I rushed to find my dad. He was crying with my other siblings. He hugged me and we both cried. As he sobbed he made a promise to look after us.

That was the saddest day of my life!

In over two decades of being an artist, I’ve never talked publicly about this painful part of my life because it hurts me even as I write this. When I talk about it, it feels like my mom passed away just yesterday.

Every soul shall taste death. (Quran 3:185)

I may not have understood why God took her so soon, but as I mature I understand more now that we live in this world to be tested. We’ll get our eternal rest when we reach Paradise. That has been the greatest test in my life so far, losing my mom at a time when I needed her the most!

Mama, I love you. Every time I recite the Quran, I ask Allah to crown you and ayah (dad in Malay) with the crown of light. May Allah the Almighty grant you Paradise for all the hardship you both went through while living in this Dunya.


Photo credit: My younger sisters, Laila and Naningsih, paid a visit to our parents’ graves and took pictures and shared the pics with me. The picture above is our mom’s grave.


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