Facing the Reality of Death

Last week an Indian family was driving from Riyadh to holy city of Madinah when their car overturned. The husband, wife and their eldest son were killed on the spot.

By Rabia Alavi (LIFE)

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Published: Thu 27 Aug 2009, 11:37 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 12:48 AM

Survived by two younger children, one of whom has just come out of his coma to face the reality of a life without parents.

The family had been our neighbours in Riyadh. They were extremely courteous people with well-behaved children. They had many relatives in Riyadh itself who will no doubt accommodate the two children and even welcome them with open arms as the last descendants of their brother or sister.

Nonetheless, the fact is that these children have been rendered orphans. By no choice of their own, they will now live with relatives rather than their parents. Thank God, they will not be seeking charity, but the tender loving care that their parents showered upon them is no more.

The parents could hardly have been prepared for such a calamity to befall their children.

After all, when I sit down to pray, I always ask the Almighty to keep my children away from all kinds of harm and pain, as did those two children’s mother, I am sure.

But would any of us be prepared for a catastrophe like this if, God forbid, our Day were to come while our children still needed us.

I know how we avoid discussions that begin with ‘what will happen if I die tomorrow’, because they are too gloomy and supposedly far away to even think about. In fact, my husband often tells me off when I try to talk about death.

After this accident, however, my husband and I found ourselves spending more time with the kids; reading to them, watching cartoons and playing ball with them.

And at the back of our minds, we were both asking the same question: Will this suffice as compensation for our absence from their lives, in case we had to leave their world abruptly?

Try as we might, there is no denying the fact that we really do not know when and where we might breathe our last. When such reality checks as this tragedy come our way, we should perhaps pay heed and think about the future before it is too late.

Before news of this accident reached us, I had been pestering my husband to buy me what would have been my first diamond for my birthday. And like most husbands, who are sick and tired of the constant pressure tactics that their wives put them through, my husband was in semi-agreement.

But this incident has shaken us up enough to give up on any plan other than a fund for the children on a priority basis. We are researching into Islamic banking options to see what choices we have and are even doing what we have never done to ensure the setting up of this fund ASAP – budgeting!

Now, every night when I tuck my children in, I don’t forget to tell them that I love them. I also remember to say a prayer for those two unfortunate children, amongst the many others that I don’t know, who are deprived of their parents’ invaluable love and care because of an accident.

At the same time, I also vow to myself to do what is in my power to secure their future, for I owe it to them. And for as long as I don’t fall asleep, I pray to Allah to keep me sound and alive until my children learn to live on their own.

Rabia Alavi, a former member of KT’s editorial team, is based in Dubai. She can be reached at rabiaalavi@hotmail.com

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