An Open Letter to an Angel in Heaven

Dear Nina,

Today would have been your birthday. You would have been 35 years old and yet your life was cut short at barely 30.

The memory of you stays fresh in my mind. I will never forget your beautiful soul. The fact that on the day of your janaazah ( funeral), I met some people who told me that they knew you because – even though you didn’t always have for yourself – you always helped them and their families, warmed my heart and reminded me of the kind of person you were. I wish more people were lucky enough to have been in your atmosphere. To have been touched by your pure heart. I keep telling my husband that I wish he could have met you, I know he would have loved you to bits and yet I’m also glad he didn’t have to experience losing you. Because believe me, nothing I have ever experienced in my time on this earth can ever compare to losing someone you love – especially someone like you.

My biggest struggle is watching your kids grow up. Shane has been living with us and he has grown into this big, strong-willed young man. He’ll be 18-years old soon and who knows what he’ll decide… my biggest fear is that he won’t want to stay with us any longer and I can’t imagine what that would be like. Besides the fact that I feel responsible for him, I also feel like he’s my connection to you. He reminds me so much of you. And then Junaid. What a little genius! After every term he comes to us to tell us of his many A’s and how easy it was. And not so little Aaliyah. Goodness, that girl is such a madam. Her sassy demeanor and mannerisms…Jeez it’s like you’ve left us a little memento in her. Your children are a perfect reflection of you, each of them have a little bit of “Nina” in them. I know for sure you’re looking down on them and your heart is swelling with pride.


 

I never thought I would experience something like this but this is how it went:

STAGES OF GRIEF

Denial

You and your little family lived quite far from all of us and you guys never had a car so the only time we ever saw you was when my mom would pick you guys up or you randomly came through to make Ma and Pa food for the week. So I went through a phase where I had convinced myself that you were still with us, just at home where you always seemed to be. It was so easy to believe because we used to go weeks without seeing you.

Anger

Honestly, at first I was a bit pissed at you for leaving. As a rational thinker, I knew it wasn’t your fault nor your choice but as a grieving teenager, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of resentment. However, I did not once question God’s decision for you as I know that He knows best.

Bargaining

I don’t think I really did much of this as I knew that regardless of how I felt about it, this was God’s will and I accepted that.

Depression

A few months down the line I was randomly thinking about you and all of a sudden, my little facade shattered and it felt as though the pain was suffocating me. You were gone and there was nothing I could do about it.

Acceptance

One day I started looking for pictures of you and I together. I asked all your sisters and they rifled through their albums and no one could find anything. All my cousins have pictures of you with them. I cried about that because I just needed that connection but then I realised that out of all of them, I spent the most time with you when you were sick. I remember coming home from school everyday and coming to sit in your room with you. We’d talk about anything and everything and I will ALWAYS keep that memory with me.


I think the best way to overcome the grief is to deal with your feelings. Clearly the mistake I made was keeping it all in. Once I accepted that you were truly gone and the consequences that came with it, it became easier and easier as each day went by.

I will never truly be whole again because you took a piece of me with you when you left us. But instead of crying when I think of you, I’ve learnt to smile. And instead of resenting you for leaving, I’m glad that your pain ended. Every milestone I reach in my life all I wish for is to have you there but I know you’re watching down on us.

You will be in my heart, FOREVER.

My Hijab Story

I’ve made two “New Year Resolutions”. One, is to write and post more often. The other I’ll discuss in my next blog post.

So the post I plan to publish today is merely a re-post of an entry I sent to a fellow blogger – The Muslim Girl . This is one of my favorite blogs ever. It’s insightful and interesting.

I digress. The post I sent to her was for a segment she calls “My Hijab Story”. It’s about women around the world speaking of their experiences when entering into the life of a hijabi and believe me, it’s no easy feat.

It’s a personal story for me but I feel that it’s important I share it because there are so many women out there that are dealing with the same things I’ve dealt with and don’t know how to navigate through it.

Please use the link below and read My Hijab Story.

http://themuslimgirl.com/cant-see-without-hijab-story/

Really hope you enjoy it!

#2016InOneWord – Growth

Does anyone else feel as though 2016 just went by so fast? People have used words such as “painful”, “atrocious” and “awful” to describe it but I really don’t think I agree.

I went through so much shit last year with the wedding things and my relationship with my dad being in tatters but I still feel that although it was challenging, I have never experienced such personal growth before.

I went from being a closed-mouthed, soft-spoken person to finding my voice and being able to say what I want out loud and speak it into fruition. I learned that keeping things inside and not finding some sort of release was naive and damaging to my mental and spiritual health. Also, that I don’t need to follow trends and have everything that the people I follow on Insta have. I have my husband, my family and friends and that’s all you really need. I know it sounds ridiculously corny but it’s the truth. I have felt more happiness in this one year than I have ever felt in my entire life. After my father came around and I got married, you will not believe the ease in which we have begun to repair our broken world.

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This moment is everything❤

When I see my dad and my husband sitting together, talking, laughing… it makes my heart swell. Zayn has slipped so seamlessly into my family life. Not that I didn’t expect it, he is so easy-going and confident and fits in pretty much everywhere, I just need some time to get used to it. He enjoys spending time with them and although he is still adjusting to the headache that is my Saltriver home (we have so many kids in our family), he always enjoys being there.

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Look at em being all cutesie after the nikah

Saturday past, Abdul Aziz joined us for the first time there and got to play with his new aunts and uncles ( sounds weird but apparently that’s what my cousins are to him according to  http://www.famlii.com/what-relation-cousins-child-to-me-second-cousin-once-removed/ )  and jeez, he must have had so much fun because he was out like a light as soon as we got into the car to leave.

There’s yet another thing I’m grateful to 2016 for! Abdul Aziz. He is my husbands son and therefore my son. I come from a family where we totally disregard the step part. I have always treated him as such and will keep it that way always. I don’t expect him to call me mom because I know that it can be a touchy subject but he has crept into my heart and I can’t imagine my life without him in it.

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Could he be any more adorable??

My relationship with his mother has somewhat grown too. We are at the point where we feel comfortable talking to each other and we sometimes chat but it’s mostly about Aziz. I don’t think I would ever no wait, I KNOW I would NEVER talk to her about my personal life. I mean I want us to have a good relationship – where Aziz is concerned – but I ain’t looking for a new bestie.

Anyway, here’s a few more wedding pics (I finally got most of em)

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Couldn’t keep the tears away – what an ugly crier

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Really like this pic (although it’s rather dark), the detail on my dress is so beautiful

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Chaste kisses *nudge nudge

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That look though, I can’t even with all that handsomeness

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No idea what was SO funny right there but I really love this picture

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Hate my weird little hands but LOVE my mehndi. Please follow @w.m_henna_tattoo on Instagram. She is absolutely amazing at what she does

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My dress is from Fay’s Bridal Boutique. It was the first dress I tried on and it was love at first sight! lol My hijab was styled by a close friend of mine and the husband…well…straight from his amazing mom!

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Now this was my favorite part of it all. I wore my old, dirty, white Chuck Taylors. The reason I wore them is that this is the truest reflection of me. A girly girl but deep down, a thug.