The Body

In times when nothing stood
but worsened, or grew strange,
there was one constant good:
she did not change.

Philip Larkin 


It was two weeks ago, at 7 am, when I finally got the phone call. It was my father. He asked me if he woke me up, and I said he didn't and I asked him what was up. He responded in 4 words:

"Your grandma is dead!"

My father, the poster boy for sensitivity.

I didn't grasp it at first, and I asked him to repeat it. He did. I asked him when it happened, and he told me that it happened at 4 in the morning. That she had a fever for 2 days now, and they didn't want to make me worry. He stayed up with her till 330 am, and he went to nap for 20 minutes so that he can give her the 4 am pill. When he woke up at 4, she was dead.  No more!

Numb, I told him that I won;t be able to come before 10 am, since that was the first day one for one of my subordinates, and that I needed to make sure that this person is set up before I came. He said he understood.

I got dressed, I went to work, I set up the newbie, I told them that I had to leave early because we had a death in the family, and I left. All the way in the car to my grandmother's house, all I could keep thinking is " Granny is dead!". It doesn't ring true, especially that I was supposed to go visit her that same day. I tell myself that it is true, and I start thinking what will happen once I see the Body. That word starts playing in my mind. The Body. The Body. She is gone. All that is left is the body.


I walk in the house, the family house, where I lived with her until last February, and I see my father and his cousin sitting in the living room. My heart is beating faster now. This is getting real. This is really happening. The situation I was preparing myself for for the good part of the past 2 years is finally here. I greet my Uncle, hug my father, and he tells me: "She is still in her bed if you want to see her!"

I look down the corridor, I drag my feet, and I enter through her door.


If there was one constant truth, one real thing I could always depend on throughout my life, it is the love that me and my grandmother had for each other. When you are the product of a divorce between madly career-driven woman and a womanizing man-child, you end up having 2 empty houses, but no actual home. The one home I had, was her home. The person who truly raised me between my mother's social climbing efforts and my dad's 6th divorce was her. Every bad thing in me comes from them. Every good thing in me comes from her. I wanted her to be my mother so bad, that I hated my father for never appreciating what he had. For not devoting every fiber of his being in appreciation of that woman.

I don't have many happy childhood memories, but there is one thing that always made me smile. Walking into her room, as she lay on the bed, and bending over and kissing her hand, while with the other one she stroked my hair. That was always enough to make me happy. That was my happy Place.


I enter the room, and I see her, one her bed. The same way I've seen her a thousand times before. Only this time it was different. She didn't look up.  No signs of breathing in her chest. Just a peaceful look on a face that clearly has no life. I walk close to her, I kiss her hand like I always did, and it's cold.

It finally registers.

The next thing I know, I am slumped on the floor next to her bed, holding her hand and crying.

With my peripheral vision I could see aunts and female cousins in the room. I could hear them crying. My mind registers that someone patted me on the shoulder, my memory banks tells me that the voice accompanying the patting is that of my aunt. It doesn't reach me. I am overwhelmed with grief. I didn't cry in over 12 years. I wasn't capable of it. That moment I couldn't stop.

I grab myself together, I get up and I walk to the bathroom, where I wash my face and look at my blood-shot eyes. I realize that I can't go back into her room, and that I can't go in the living room like this. So I go to my room where I have a breakdown for half an hour. People start calling me on the phone, and I answered. I don't recall what they said, I don't recall what I said. Who cares. The little awkward conversation. The offer to help if anything was needed, even though you know that nothing can be done. The helplessness in their voices bring back the image of the slumped face of my father outside. He is an old 65 year old boy who just lost his mother. He is not going to be able to handle this. Someone needs to take care of the situation. There is no one else but you. Get yourself together. Get yourself together now. There is work to be done.

Someone has to bury the body.

So, you get yourself together, you wipe away your tears, and you walk outside to the living room, sitting with the men to greet the mourners and taking care of needs to be done.


The Islamic burial rituals are as follows: You wash the dead person's body, you wrap them naked in a big shroud and you tie the shroud on both end, making the person look like a giant Sausage. That's how they are buried. The person who does the washing is usually the undertaker if it's a male and his wife if it's a female. However, if you are a fancy socialite like my aunt, you belong in a social circle of rich French-speaking women who have weekly Quran learning sessions with a young handsome sheik who gets paid a thousand dollars per session. He has thought them that there is a great reward that god gives to those who wash the bodies of the dead. So when the news reached that circle of women, we ended up finding two of them arriving at our house at the same time, each offering their services as body-washers for my grandmother. They then started fighting with each other and yelling at each other in French over who gets to do it, and each reminding the other who washed more bodies and who needs more Thawab. They finally decided that they will do it together, so that they can both score brownie points with God. It was surreal.

I look at all of this and I ask my father where my cousin S. is. He tells me that he is at the newspaper, giving them the obituary. I asked him when the wake will be, and he tells me that there won;t be any, because that was my Grandma's will. She apparently wrote that in her obituary. I look at him and I ask: "She wrote her own obituary?"

He looks back at me and says : "Yeah. She also paid for the Shroud and the costs of the funeral car. You know how she is..was..like!"

I half smile. Yeah, I do know.


My Grandmother was 94 years old when she died. Born in 1913, she lead a life that is nothing short of extraordinary. She was a famous Philanthropist, gave away land to charity that now would be worth billions. She has a Mosque and a square named after her, and she was the matriarch of the family.

She took care of everybody.

When my grandfather, the general in the royal guard, died in 1951, one year before the blessed revolution, she was still in her late 30's. She was still pretty, was very well off and could've easily remarried. She Chose not to for the sake of her kids and for the love of her Husband, whom she loved dearly, and whom she believed she will be re-united with in Heaven if she stayed faithful to him, as Islam says. She sold their big villa, moved into a giant apartment in an apartment building, and wisely spent her money for the next 56 years. She married off all of her children, took care of their kids and had a house that was always open for everybody, never passed judgment or interfered in any body's business and never, ever forced anyone to do anything they didn't want to.

She ruled the family with her love. You were not afraid of her, you were afraid to upset her. Everybody loved her that much. She was the model of the "perfect Muslim", if there is such a thing. If there was ever an advocate of how Muslims should behave and act, it was her. Never stole, never lied, never judged, and never insulted anyone. But she wasn't naive either and not to be underestimated.

There is a story a friend of my father told me that happened in the 1970's. He had just opened a dive bar, which she naturally disagreed with, but never publicly voiced her disagreement or disapproval. Instead, she woke up one day, and walked into his bar with a gift. She congratulated him, and told him that she brought him a gift in honor for his grand opening. He unwrapped it, and it was framed calligraphy that said "God is Great". She told him that she brought it for him to hang, so that God can bless his business. He told me that he found himself unable to act. To put the gift on the wall is blasphemy, but to not put it on the wall is an insult to my grandmother and her gift. Unable to make a choice, he closed the bar that same day and never opened it again. 

That story is 100% True. 


"The Body is washed and ready if you want to say your final goodbyes to her", One of the body-washing socialites told us. I get up, and my dad gets up, and we head again for the room. The Body is laying wrapped completely, cocoon-like, except the face, awaiting our final kisses and goodbyes. The Table she is laying on is musky, smelling of Jasmine and rose water, and so does her body. The room is full of people, and they are all trying to catch the final glimpse of her before she is gone forever. At that moment, her two maids had heard the news and arrived, one has been with her for 20 years, the other for 50 years. They start wailing, kissing her feet, screaming about how she is finally rested and at peace, given how much she suffered with doctors the past few months. The situation becomes too intense, people start crying again. My aunt gets up, and covers her face. Now the body is completely covered.

Then the discussion begins:

"How are we going to take her down?", my aunt asks.

" I don't know. I don;t think A. (My dad) can carry her. Hell, all of the men here are over 60, except for Sam. Y. is traveling, T. Can;t leave work, M. just found out and is coming from college. Maybe we can wait for him?", My author aunt says.

"I will Carry her", I said softly.

As if they didn't hear me, my first aunt continues, "No, we have to catch the Noon prayer, he will make it to the mosque but not here on time. Maybe I should get my driver to come up?"

"I will carry her!", I repeat.

"Well, if you do, bring the Bawab as well and the car from the funeral car", my other aunt continues, also ignoring what I said. I am angry now!

"DO NOT BRING YOUR DRIVER OR THE BAWAB OR ANYBODY. SHE IS NOT A PIECE OF LUGGAGE. NOBODY IS TOUCHING HER BODY. I WILL CARRY HER", I scream at them. Seeing the look on my face, taken back, my aunt reiterates "But You can't possibly carry her by yourself!"

"Yes, I can and I will."

"We are on the fifth floor and this is a dead Body!"

"That's my problem and not yours!"

"You are not going to be able to do it!"

"Watch me!"

"Why are you being difficult?"

"Because she is about to leave this house and NEVER COME BACK. EVER. If someone is to carry her out of here, it has to be someone who loved her, not someone who is treating her like a piece of Baggage. I am the only person here who loves her who can do it, and if you imagine I will let anybody else lay his hands on her, you will have to go through me!"

I could see the calculations being played in my big aunt's mind. She knows me. She knows how much I've loved that woman and how crazy I get when it comes to her. She decides to let it go. Resigned, she tells me: "Fine. You carry her down!"

"Thank you", I respond. "Now please leave me alone with her for a minute so I can say goodbye to her."

They look at each other, not knowing what to make of this. No one has ever made a request like that before. I don;t give them a chance to respond. I authoritatively say"Out. Now. I will only need a minute". They look at each other again, and then they scamper outside, mumbling about how crazy I am acting. I ignore them, as I sit on a chair next to the table, and rest my head on the table next to her wrapped feet, taking the whole thing in. 

Grief, I believe, is such a private thing, but not so much in our culture. We seem to like to grieve collectively, with everybody seeing everybody else at their worst emotional moments. You are not allowed any private goodbyes. No moments alone. No chance to make your peace with the event. Somehow that is not important or logical in our culture. So I knew that I had to do this. To act crazy. To kick them out. Otherwise they wouldn;t leave me alone with her.

I raise my head from it's resting place at the side of the table, and I get up, and kiss her head, and then kiss her feet. "Thank you for everything", I say fighting back tears. No time for that now. I get up, I open the door, and I go back to the table. I put my hands underneath her body, and I start carrying her out of the room. 


A lot of people asked me how I managed to carry her down. Not the physical aspect of it, but the emotional and psychological aspect of it. The truth is, I didn't think about it at the time. That I was carrying her dead body in my arms. At this moment in time, you don't think complex thoughts. You just think Baby steps. I will carry her down the hallway. I will get out of the door. I will walk down the stairs. 1,2,3.

As I carry her out, the women start the final wailing and lamentation. This is now for real. Her final journey begins. They seem to come from every room in the house. I walk past them. They don't matter right now. Nothing does, except getting the body into the coffin.

I don't remember how I walked down those 4 flights of stairs carrying her. I didn't feel any pain or discomfort, or well, anything. I became robot-like. I had a task to complete and I was completing it.

I reach the ground floor, and the driver is awaiting me with the coffin. I place her inside, we close the lid, and we place a green piece of cloths on it. You then proceed to carry the coffin to the car, when suddenly everybody is running to carry the coffin with you. You don't mind the help this time. You put the coffin in the car and you get inside. It's time to go to the mosque. It's time to finish this! 


At the Mosque, by the time we arrived, there was a full fledged circus taking place. Over 70 cars parked all over the place. I counted 3 current government ministers, at least 7 captains of industry, and people whom I have just met in passing. They all left all that they were doing and came to pray for her. The street was blocked. People were asking who died exactly, and nobody had a sufficient answer amongst the by-standers. But they sensed it was somebody important, so the scene that played out once people saw the coffin in front of our building moments ago played out again. Poeple going inside the mosque see the coffin, they run out to help us carry it. Imagine a coffin with 15 pallbearers, all pushing and shoving one another to be able to carry part of the coffin. One of them was my cousin M. , finally here. I was incredibly glad to see him. 

We place the body inside the mosque, and we sit down. This is my first time in a mosque in over 4 years. We pray for her. I hadn't also prayed in 4 years. Never felt the need to. This time I did. For her.

"I can't believe she is gone", M said.

"I know", I respond!

"She is better off now. She was really suffering those past few months", he says.

"I know, I know!", I say sighing.

"You just know she is going to Heaven though. I mean, if she doesn't get in, who will?", he looks at me. Smiling. Thinking of her. Thinking of Heaven. 

"Well, she better be in Heaven, or else God will have a serious problem with me when Judgment Day comes.", I respond to him.

"Don't say that. That's Blasphemy!" He looks at me, half scared at the thought of Blasphemy being said in the mosque.

"I am just saying. She better have a place there."

The call for Prayer saves us from this conversation. We get up and we pray. 


The praying for the soul of a dead person always happen in a separate prayer after an official time for prayer. The moment the group noon prayer was done, I awaited the Imam to start the prayer. He instead steps up, and says in the Mic: "We are about to start the prayer for the deceased lady. Can her closest of Kin please come upfront and lead the prayer for her soul?"

A wave of confusion sweeps the crowd. Everyone suddenly seems uncomfortable, not knowing who to turn to. The closest of Kin is my father, but he prays using a chair due to his back problems. I look at him, and he looks at me back. Suddenly everyone is looking at me. He is her only male son. I am his  only male son. That makes me next in line.

So I step upfront next to the Imam, give my back to everybody, and think to myself: "The things I would do for you, granny. The things I would do for you!" …

…And I lead the prayer! 


I have agonized for months on end on this blog over the Islamic culture of death. How much I've hated and resented it. But I didn't have anybody that close to me die before and for me to have such an important role in their funeral. Being in that situation, I have to say that I have developed a small appreciation for it. 

Ignore all the Jihdy crap. Ignore all the emphasis over suicide-bombers and terrorists. Ignore the 72 virgins, the paradise and all of that crap for a second. Just ignore it. And look at how the people act. The respect and reverence given to the occasion. The ladies fighting over who gets to wash her, the people fighting to carry the coffin, the amount of people who have left their jobs, their vacations, their lives, on a 1 hour notice, to come pay their respects to you. That's..It's overwhelming. And also incredibly sweet. The people coming together. The appreciation they have for the deceased and the sense of duty and love that brings them together to do this. I keep going back to the word reverence. No other word describes it more accurately.

It's hard to explain…. 


You drive away from the Mosque, with the body, and you realize that the car is not heading towards the family burial ground. I ask my father what's going on. He tells me that he was just informed that my grandmother had bought a separate burial ground for herself away from the family one, and only told my aunt. The same way she only told my dad about the obituary, and my other aunt on the location of her closet key. She gave each one of them a piece of the puzzle, so that they would have to come together when she dies. "You know how she was like", my dad says again. 

Yeah, Yeah..I know!

I found out later that she was originally supposed to be buried next to my Grandfather, but apparently right after he died, all of his brothers died after him, and they hadn't bought their own burial ground, so they all got buried next to him. And then their wives died, so they all got buried with their husbands, and now their sons are all like "Well, my dad  and my mom are buried here, so I will be too". I asked how come we are not telling them that they can't be buried here, and that they need to get their own burial ground. I was told that you can not turn people away, especially not  family, if they needed to bury their loved one in your burial ground. You just didn't. 

So, my granny, seeing how crowded it was getting over there, chose to buy her own burial ground, just for herself. When I think how she arranged all of this while being that sick. How she wrote the obituary, bought the plot of land, paid everything off, I can't decide whether to think what an amazing Lady she was, or what that says about her confidence in us. I was always told to never second-guess the dead. I now know why. 

Once we get the coffin out, we open it. The way Muslims bury their dead is buy building an underground room. Like a basement. And you walk downstairs with the body and you lay it in there, and you personally lay dust on it with your hands. The room is then sealed, only to be opened when another person dies and needs to be buried next to you.

At that moment my cousin S. had finally showed up. He missed saying goodbye to her and the prayer in order to have the obituary reach the paper and get printed in tomorrow's edition. He was a mess. Repeating how "I didn't get to say goodbye, I didn't get to say goodbye!". I hug him, and tell him that he, and no one else, is carrying her down there with me. That calms him down a bit.

I carry her with him, we both walk down the steps slowly and carefully. She still smells like roses and Jasmines. We lay the body in the corner of the room. We put the dust on it without hands. We get out, look back, and he finally breaks down. Almost 50 years now, and he knew her all of his life. She was to him, like me, the mother he wished he had. I hold him and we walk out.

The caretakers start putting large blocks of stone to block the entrance. Each block makes a thumping noise and and covers a piece of the view isnide that room. They then put sand and cement on the blocks and start mixing them with water, sealing the place forever. The women and men are all crying now. You can hear the Koran being played in someones cassette in a distance, the voice of the Koran reader sad and agonizing. This is it. It's really over. She is gone. Soul and Body. You will never see her again, you will never talk to her again and you will never hear of her again. Death, in many ways, is like a really bad break-up with no second chances. It's really stupid like that.

The cement hardens, the Koran stops playing, and the people start to leave. Her two maids leave roses on her grave. They've lost the means of their livelihood now, but they don't seem to care about that right now. Out of all of the people there, those two broke my heart the most. You expect this kind of love from family, not from strangers. But to them she was family, and that made them family to me as well. They were the last two to leave besides me and my father.

We walked out, we took a final look, we closed the gates, and we drove away.


That night, I called her and told her what happened. I don't remember the conversation, but I remember her doing her best to console me. She listened to me. She wasn't uncomfortable with the conversation. She didn't say the usual bullshit. She just listened. It was all that I needed.

She told me that after she hung up with me she couldn't help herself from crying. She never heard me like this. She understood what I was going through. She especially knows.

I figured I should thank her here. Some of my best friends couldn't handle it like you did, some even brought in some heavy drama in my life right when I needed their consoling the most. You were there for me.

Thank you!


Two weeks later. Today. Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" on repeat, replaying endlessly in the background. I am finally able to write this post. So much has happened in those two weeks. So much.

I am still not dealing with it, especially because I've been dealing with a lot of problems and drama in work and in my personal life at the same time, and not the everyday bullshit either. Some intensely heavy shit. I feel like I am long overdue for a nervous breakdown, and I could probably use it, but since I am not allowing myself to have one since that day, I am not going to worry about that now.

My father has been staying in the family house ever since, which has turned into a House of ghosts with her gone. Nobody's visiting or coming up anymore. You start worrying about Ramadan and all the Holidays. The first ones will be the hardest, and you know that everyone will try to make the extra effort and come in order to show that we are as strong of a family as we were when she was alive. But we all know that after that first year, we won't try that hard anymore. She was the glue that held us together, and without her we will start to unravel. It already started on some level.

On the insistence of cousin S's mother, my eldest and craziest aunt, they opened my Grandma's room 4 days after her burial. My aunt wanted some things, and while we begged her to wait at least a week before doing this, she wasn't hearing it. She even started to complain to people that we are preventing her from her mom's stuff. So we agreed to open the room, give her whatever she needs and have it over and done with. When my father told me about this, I told him that there is one thing that I wanted from that room.

"What is it?", he asked.

"Her wedding ring from grandpa. That's all I want!", I responded.

He got silent for 10 seconds, and then told me, "It's yours!"

And that day I got that ring.

As I held it with my fingers, I looked at the inscription inside of it. It had my name on it. My first and Last name. It made sense, I am after all, named after my Grandfather. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I held it.

This was a symbol of their love. A love my Grandma carried for over 70 years, 56 of which after his death. The kind of love that we can only dream of having one day. It was at that moment that I decided that whomever it is that I am going to marry, I am going to marry her with that ring. Needless to say, that's going to complicate things for me considerably in that department. I can not just marry anybody i feel like marrying anymore. I have to find someone worthy of this ring. Someone who will understand what it means. That our love will have to equal theirs…

I will find her. One day I will. And I will love her the way she deserves to be loved. After all, in this life, what else is there?

RIP grandma. I will never forget you! 

0 comment on The Body

  1. Mohamed Ahmed
    August 16, 2007 at 6:48 am

    Al baqa2 lellah. Allah Yer7amha wa yataghammadha be ra7meto we yeghselha bel talg wal ma2 wel barad we yewassa3 manzalha fel Ganna In Sha Allah.
    I couldn’t help with my tears going down after I read that.

    I ask Allah for forgiveness, guidance and peace for all.

    Reply
  2. raafat
    August 16, 2007 at 7:45 am

    ina lelah wa ena elayah rag3on.
    god bless her and rest her soul in peace inshallah.
    Just pray for her

    Reply
  3. Bruce Hill
    August 16, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

    May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

    May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Reply
  4. savtadotty
    August 16, 2007 at 9:02 am

    What Bruce Hill (#4 above) said. Now you’re carrying you Grandmother’s torch. I’m on your cheering squad.

    Reply
  5. salam
    August 16, 2007 at 9:29 am

    May God give you the strength to live with the pain and overcome it.My your memories with her be vivid forever.
    That was beautiful.
    I really did not need to read this and start weeping in the office:)

    Reply
  6. Roba
    August 16, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Il ba2eyeh bi 7ayatak SM.

    Reply
  7. Memz
    August 16, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Welcome back Sam. My deepest regrets at the same time.

    Reply
  8. Drima @ The Sudanese Thinker
    August 16, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I’m not going to lie and tell you I understand how you feel. Because I don’t. Not fully at least. But I will say, I know how it’s like listening to Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek endlessly after someone you love dies.

    Alfi ra7ma tinzil 3aleeha ya Sam.

    Reply
  9. Abu Kais
    August 16, 2007 at 11:30 am

    SM, I was also raised by my grandmother. I wish I had your courage when she passed away.

    My condolences.

    AK.

    Reply
  10. mika
    August 16, 2007 at 11:50 am

    i’m speechless. i dnt kno wat to say other than this is a side of people u barely ever see. it was an honor to be able to read this, understand it, nd kno that this post will forever change my view on life, death, nd all thats in between. i wish i had something productive to say, but i dnt.
    all i can say is this.. thank u

    Reply
  11. Al-Zarwani
    August 16, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Allah yaharmha, SM. She sounds like an amazing woman. Let me know if you need anything.

    Reply
  12. xerocool
    August 16, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    my condolences……..I lost my father’s mother 7/5/07 as well its never easy

    Reply
  13. Lynn
    August 16, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  14. lisoosh
    August 16, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    So very very sorry. What a wonderful vibrant woman, I hope you will write more stories about her life and find comfort in them.

    Reply
  15. Pheras Hilal
    August 16, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    El ba2iyeh fi 7yatak man, sorry to hear so, death is really what brings humans together. It really makes us realize just how fragile we are…

    Blessings,

    Reply
  16. Who-sane
    August 16, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    that was very touching … it made my eyes teary … may she rest in peace now … Allah yir7amha

    Reply
  17. K from Oslo
    August 16, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Dear Sam,

    I send my deepest condolences to you.
    I have been in your situation, though it’s a few years ago. I still miss my grandmother, almost every day, but more than grieve her death I am greatfull for having had her and my other grandparents in my life.

    Kind regards form Kristin

    Reply
  18. sillybahrainigirl
    August 16, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Sorry for your loss, SM. May Allah rest her soul in peace. Remarkable woman to the end.

    Reply
  19. 7aki Fadi
    August 16, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    May her soul rest in peace.

    This was very touching.

    Reply
  20. Me
    August 16, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    There will never be a time, no matter where I am, who I am with, or what I am doing, that I won’t be available to you when you need someone to listen. You never need to thank me for that. I was honored that you came to me. I know what she meant to you and I mourn with you.

    You’re right about the ring…and love. Any woman lucky enough to receive the two from you will be truly blessed.

    Reply
  21. sherif nagib
    August 16, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I couldn’t help myself from crying either. Allah yer7amha we ye7sen eliha we yeg3al mathwaha elganna ensha2allah.

    Reply
  22. Qwaider قويدر
    August 16, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    انّا لله و انّا اليه راجعون
    May hey soul rest in peace and may you and your family have patience.

    Please accept my deepest condolences

    Reply
  23. jeremy
    August 16, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    That was a beautiful entry… I hope it helped you. My sincere condolences on your loss.

    Reply
  24. Madas
    August 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    wow

    man you did not leave any detail. Il ba2iyeh fee hayatkom. I know it does not dsound approppriate but i hope you will find the right girl to wear the ring one day.

    Reply
  25. tedders
    August 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Deepest condolences for you and your family, we are all here for such a short period of time, love and acceptance are the only important emotions we have to offer each other.

    Reply
  26. AF
    August 16, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    elb2eya fe 7ayatak.

    Reply
  27. tedders
    August 16, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Touching story Sam, she’s out there waiting for you and needing you just like you need her. Go find her.

    Reply
  28. gypsygrrl
    August 16, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    sandmonkey,
    this was aboslutely beautiful… thank you for sharing this part of your life, and especially for allowing us to know your grandmother thru your words and stories. my granny died a little over 7yrs ago, and this post brought up those old memories. as well as someone i love very much lost his grandfather this week. i am glad you had her in your life… everyone should have someone who gives them that happy secure place. you have my sympathies and prayers in your loss…

    sincerely,
    gypsygrrl

    Reply
  29. Jane
    August 16, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I am very sorry for your loss. My grandmother passed this summer too and my sorrow will last a lifetime. I never had the closure of saying good-bye. She had made the decision to donate her body to the local university and they came and took her body within hours of her death. So now it still doesn’t seem real. My heart goes out to you.

    Reply
  30. Craig
    August 16, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Sandmonkey. May your Grandmother rest in peace. I’m glad you were able to grieve. When my Grandparents passed away a few years back, it didn’t even sink in for a while that they were actually gone :(

    Reply
  31. Highlander
    August 16, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Sandmonkey,

    Allah yirhamha .

    Hugs
    H

    Reply
  32. skippystalin
    August 16, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    My father died suddenly just before Christmas of last year. I was in the room when it happened, so I know how hard this is for you.

    Please accept my deepest condolences and may peace be with you.

    Reply
  33. ws
    August 16, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    elbaqaa lellah,

    you don’t know how much your story has touched me,you know why, because I am waiting for my grandmother to die,the doctors told us that she has only few weeks and she will die ,(http://egyptoz.blogspot.com/2007/02/be-ready.html) , although she is very active and fit now and does not know about her near death , but when I was living with her the last couple of weeks in the Egyptian north shore, alone, I had so much fear that one day I will wake up and find her dead, and I am alone, and I don’t know what to do in a situation like that.
    Thank god that it did not happen , but I am still waiting with fear.
    I know it is something inevitable, but I had no idea of what to do.

    Thank you for that post,these true feeling, all what you have gone through, it gave me strenght , and an information, that we just have to take little steps until all sad things are gone, and again, I am really sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  34. rositta
    August 16, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Sandmonkey, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I just lost my mother three months ago and know how difficult it is to day goodbye. Please watch your health though, I am now suffering with heart problems caused by stress. I know this is very hard, but try. The part about her maids was touching. my mom’s care helper spent the entire night with me at her bedside, we both held her until she died. She had been taking care of her for 10 years and loved her like her own mother. We were alone together that long night because I’m an only child, there was no one else. You will find that woman who is worthy, the big and lasting love will come your way, no doubt…take care…ciao

    Reply
  35. Hamzeh N.
    August 16, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    لله ما أخذ و له ما أعطى و كل شيء عنده بأجل مسمّى. إلى جنة الخلد إن شاء الله

    Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences.

    Reply
  36. Skidude
    August 16, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    So sorry. She lived a good life. When my father died we tried to make the funeral a celebration of his life rather than grief of his death.

    Reply
  37. Nomad
    August 16, 2007 at 10:00 pm

    my condoleances and my amical souvenir to you, we miss you so much too

    Reply
  38. Egyptchick7
    August 16, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Sorry you had to come back to blog under these unfortunate circumstances.

    This post was truly touching and beautiful. I am emotionally preparing for my grandfathers death soon and it will most likely be my first funeral. I don’t know what grief from death is. Thank you for being brave to share your experience.

    May Allah grant her Jannah ( you know he def will :)

    Reply
  39. Meg Q
    August 16, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    God bless you, Sam, and may your grandmother rest in peace. My father’s mother, also a true matriarch, died 22 years ago, when I was 14, and although I was blessed with a secure home and happily-married parents, she was a huge influence on me and it was so hard when she died. It hurts less now, though I still think of her often . . . I like to recall her lessons to me, and think, “WWGD?” (What would Grandmother do?). Thank you for sharing her story – and your reaction.

    Reply
  40. The Libyan Warrior
    August 17, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Sandmonkey that was EXTREAMLY deep dude.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss, may Allah grant your grandmother paradise. Remember this is not the end of the road dude.

    Much Condolences.

    Reply
  41. The Libyan Warrior
    August 17, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Oh P.S bro, just in case you do return to the Mosque(I know I have), the bit about the 72 Virgin’s is only narrated in Imam at-Tirmidhi’s “Sunan” and it has a extreamly weak chain of narrator’s. Hope I didnt bust your bubble.:)

    Nothing in the Quran, or in Bukahri, Muslim, Abu Dawud, ect.. Its really strange how BIG the myth has become. Not that I wouldnt mind 72 hottie’s, that would totally rock, but its not happin. But no one said anything about 72 V shaped Dean DIME edition guitar’s wouldnt hurt either.

    Reply
  42. The Libyan Warrior
    August 17, 2007 at 1:19 am

    Hey dude, I dont know if you are into comic books. But I just picked this up yesterday, and I couldnt put it down. It may help you cope with the pain and what not. Check it out.
    pickedhttp://www.amazon.com/Mother-Come-Home-Paul-Hornschemeier/dp/1593070373

    Reply
  43. Steve
    August 17, 2007 at 3:51 am

    Because I could not stop for Death,
    He kindly stopped for me.
    The Carriage held but just ourselves
    And Immortality
    ~Emily Dickinson

    Reply
  44. Karen
    August 17, 2007 at 6:13 am

    I’m sorry. I know how you feel. I lost two very special grandmothers in the past 9 years. I will miss them forever. The passing of time makes it easier; so do the memories, the pictures, the letters and possessions of hers that you have acquired.

    Reply
  45. kinzi
    August 17, 2007 at 6:52 am

    Sam, what an incredible post. Cutting straight to the heart. Not only the loss of an incredible woman, but of your life story.

    I believe your beloved Grandmother passed on not only a ring that raised the grade for your future bride, but she has also passed on a mantle of her own integrity, persistence and generosity that you will now carry into your generation. What a gift, what a responsibility.

    Sam, I pray for you every time your gmail ‘note’ changes. I lost both parents 3 years ago, and the layers of grief need support in their own way. May God provide himself and people to comfort you each step.

    Reply
  46. Rania
    August 17, 2007 at 7:27 am

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Your post was truly touching.
    May her soul rest in peace.

    Reply
  47. Spellz
    August 17, 2007 at 10:00 am

    May Allah bless her soul. She was a gr8 woman. Z incedence of u leadin z prayer was a sign that she wanted z one she loved z most 2pray 4her. She didnt leave u her kind soul &gr8 deeds will guide u
    Accept my deepest condolences
    Fl ganna InshaAllah. Hugs!

    Reply
  48. Katia
    August 17, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    El ba2eye b7ayatak SM

    Reply
  49. Chellebelle
    August 17, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    I check the blog every few weeks in hopes that you are back. All I can say is Wow.

    What a wonderful memorial you have left.

    God bless you.

    Reply
  50. Sue
    August 17, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Monkey,
    I don’t have any deep clever words to say, nor something valuable to offer..
    Your grandmother gave each one of you a piece of the puzzle, yours was to share her story, whether you know it or not..
    Look over all these comments, and you will know what i mean.
    You’ve honored her, the way she knew you would…the way she wanted you to…perhaps many details were taken care of in her will, but the ones that weren’t, well..she knew you’d fill them in yourself..
    If i believe there is a better place, i believe its for people like her
    I love you.

    Reply
  51. Gary Gluon
    August 17, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Sam – I’m sorry that when I happened to check in after a long absence, your entry was about your grandmother’s passing. From previous posts, I know she meant the world to you. My deepest condolences. She sounds like she was an extraordinary woman, and even though you’re still filled with sorrow, I know that in months and years to come, you’ll find her wisdom and strength will remain with you to guide you.

    Reply
  52. Andrea
    August 17, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Sam,
    My deepest thanks to you for sharing with us. I know this piece will touch many and help us to deal with our own losses.

    I was inspired by reading about your grandmother. Her story has helped me to remember that the most important — indeed the only important — thing in this life is to exercise selfless love and seek wisdom from our Creator. It seems that your grandmother expressed God’s love to you and those around her. I am an ambitious businesswoman – but I want to be remembered someday as a caring, warm, wise woman and not for any secular accomplishments. I want to be loved as you loved your grandmother.

    My sincere condolences and prayers are with you in your great loss. But hopefully soon you will see that the greatest tribute possible to your grandmother is to live your life fully, freely and well.

    Reply
  53. Melissa in NorCal
    August 17, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Truly, we are all the same in our hearts. It is good to hear from you and I offer you a cyber hug. Take care of yourself Sandmonkey.

    Reply
  54. mtmama
    August 18, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Sam, you have my sincere condolances.
    What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother!

    I have been hoping against hope that I would see another post by you some day. What a surprise to see you today but also very sad.

    Please come back! We need you.

    Reply
  55. Hal
    August 18, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Allah Yer7amha. I wish I can just give you a hug at least. I wouldn’t know what else to do, but I wish I can offer you a place where there are just a few seconds of comfort and consolation. :(

    Reply
  56. John Cunningham
    August 18, 2007 at 8:49 am

    SM, sorry to meet after all this time under these circumstances. The older you get they’ll come more frequently until finally it’s your turn.

    Reply
  57. Lurker Rita
    August 18, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    My love and sympathy for you and your family. Sandmonkey, I miss you and I hope someday your blog will resume.

    This is my first comment to any blog and I read a lot of them.

    Reply
  58. Jan
    August 19, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Sam, beautifully written. Tears and hope.

    Reply
  59. Jackp1ne
    August 19, 2007 at 1:04 am

    My sympathies on the loss of your grand mother,I’m sure she is in a better place.

    Reply
  60. Rancher
    August 19, 2007 at 3:13 am

    My condolences, I recently lost my Mom, life is tough. Your fond memories are a wonderful testament of your love for your granny, thanks for sharing them.

    Reply
  61. tommy
    August 19, 2007 at 5:18 am

    Sorry about your loss, Sam. I feel for you.

    Reply
  62. nihal
    August 19, 2007 at 7:47 am

    ….

    she was a great woman

    Reply
  63. Louise
    August 19, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Sam, what a moving post. You have more than the gift of your grandmother’s wedding ring. You have the gift of a storyteller. My condolences on the loss of your dear grandmother and please consider writing as a career. I too came back to your blog many times, hoping against hope that you would return. Now that you have, even if it’s only this one time, I am so glad to know that you are alive and well (as well as can be expected under the circumstances). You, sir, are an ambassador. And I don’t mean in the political sense. All of us who have read this post can see that you have the power to show us just how much we have in common. Take care and I hope you find a good woman to give that ring to and I hope you can influence others the way your granny influenced you.

    God bless.

    Reply
  64. Valerie
    August 19, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    Hugs and tears.

    You have given your grandmother a beautiful monument. The way she handled her own exit reminds me of my own grandmother, and a much-beloved friend of the family.

    Reply
  65. Nader
    August 19, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    El baka2 lellah Yaser. I hope you will get over this and be fine

    Reply
  66. original.jeff
    August 19, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Sandmonkey,
    I am so sorry to hear that your grandmother has died. What a lucky person you are to have had such a kind and loving relationship with your grandmother.

    Reply
  67. Khalid Jarrar
    August 19, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    I cried my eyes out :*(

    3a`6ama allaho 2ajrakom o `3afara li mayyitikom o 2a7sana 3aza2akom.

    I wish i was blessed to know her during her life, may her soul rest in peace…

    Reply
  68. frank
    August 19, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    hope she rests in peace… after reading your post last thursday, my grandmother passed away 6 hours after…

    Reply
  69. The Gippo
    August 20, 2007 at 10:06 am

    SM,

    It is not easy losing such a close person but time and writing will ease the pain.

    Just live by her principles, you should acheive a great life this is how you will make her live.

    You are a great inspiration to me…..

    Reply
  70. Red Tulips
    August 20, 2007 at 3:32 pm

    SM,

    I was very moved reading this post, perhaps your best ever. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I do not know what to say, what you wrote was so beautiful, perhaps your best post. I almost feel I knew your grandma over the years, just in how you described her.

    The world lost a great woman.

    Reply
  71. Nearly Normal
    August 20, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Sam,
    What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. She was a remarkable woman who was very wise in the ways of humans. She obviously loved you and your family.

    Thank you for sharing your story and your grandmother’s. It was most telling of the great relationship you had with her.

    May you find that very special woman to share your life.

    Reply
  72. Eve
    August 20, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Sam,
    Elba2eya f 7ayatak. Your post brought tears to my eyes and helped me see the real things in life. Thank you.
    May she rest in peace and I will pray for her.
    Take care of yourself

    Reply
  73. Wishbone
    August 20, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    My condolences to you and your family at this time Sam.

    Reply
  74. Rick
    August 20, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am a thousand winds that blow
    I am the diamond glints on snow
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain
    I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    of soaring birds in circled flight.
    I am the star that shines at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry.

    I am not there, I did not die.’

    Author Unknown

    Reply
  75. Diana
    August 21, 2007 at 3:22 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your dear Granny. Your post brought up so many wonderful memories of my beloved Grandma who passed away over 10 years ago at age 90. Sometimes my memories of her are so strong that I could swear she is still alive and in the next room. Although, I have been blessed with a great relationship with my parents, my Grandma knew my heart completely. I pray that your Granny will stay with you like my Grandma still stays with me.

    Reply
  76. jukers
    August 21, 2007 at 6:35 am

    may any life unlived by her be added to yours, sm.

    Reply
  77. Al-Ayat
    August 21, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    If someone who is one of the closest is aging you should get used to thinks about his becoming death. You should but you couldn’t and when this moment appears you’re shocked and sad. Death is a part of life – bearing and death – the same natural cycle.

    However I’m not a muslim, I’ll pray for You and your family today.

    Reply
  78. ella
    August 22, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Your grandmother is dead, but she won’t be truly dead for as long as someone remembers her. And through your writing we will remember her too.

    “Say not in grief that she is no more
    but say in thankfulness that she was
    A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
    but the putting out of the lamp
    because the dawn has come.”

    Rabindranath Tagore

    Reply
  79. Mark Krauss
    August 22, 2007 at 2:44 am

    condolences to you and yours, and what a great post on love.

    Reply
  80. Leah Vaks
    August 22, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Thank you for the candor of your writing. It was fascinating to learn the details of Muslim burial practices. Very similar to Jewish rites. Your grandmother’s story is truly inspiring. May God bless her soul with joy in His presence. May you find comfort and consolation in passing on her memory.

    Reply
  81. Chance
    August 22, 2007 at 11:20 am

    I am sorry for your loss and wish her peace and you and yours comfort and strength. You writing is full of emotions and I appreciate and thank you for sharing your feelings with us.

    Reply
  82. hwy93
    August 22, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    You are in my prayers. You are fortunate to have had someone so special in your life and truely blessed to have been able to honor them at their passing.

    Reply
  83. Shahira
    August 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    El baqa2 lellah SM. Please accept my deepest condolences and may peace be with you

    Reply
  84. dick
    August 22, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Sam:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You are such a fine writer, and so honest, that I have tears in my eyes, and share just a fraction of your heart break.

    The Native Americans used to say “we are all related”. Your words have always illustrated the truth in this, perhaps never more so than now.

    I hope that one day you’ll be back, sharing your wit and insight with us. In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. God bless your grandma, and you too.

    Reply
  85. Stu
    August 22, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    Weeping here in Florida. May God comfort you and give you solace. And thank you for sharing with us, that we can in some way help you carry your sorrow.

    Reply
  86. Repenter80
    August 22, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    Dude, better places for better people. Allah rest her sole, she is being taken care of right now, I know you believe that.

    Just remember that she believed & lived the life of a Muslim & is being taken care of by the one true God of your people. The same God of all mankind, the same God of the victims of Palestine who you so readily have turned your back on. May God guide you back to your sanity & show you solace. My condolences.

    Reply
  87. "G"
    August 23, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Holly Shit..OMG!

    This post has really touched a nerve with me man. This has got to be your greatest post to date, good luck tryna top this one dude.

    Your grandma rocks. The part about her giving the plaque that says “God is Great,” as a gift to that relative who opened a bar was a mountain mover, making me feel guilty about all the Margarita’s I have been drinking lately in this terrible heat.

    Your journey is a learning process and I have watched you develop mentally as well as spiritually believe it or not through out these years. Slowly, steadily but surely.

    Remember the letter I wrote you last year that you posted as “Email of the Month” that described me as INITIALLY having a despicable hate for your blog which later developed into a love hate relationship because I could relate. Later considering into a much needed breathe of fresh air to a people that are capable of so much better things. Ultimately you could be destined for great things as you are becoming a bastion of reason, a much needed equilibrium, again, slowly but surely.

    Does this mean that you are back again. If so, I like the way you put aside all the negative things about Islam in order to pluralize its good points like the overwhelming reverence and appreciation. This could be a template for future blogging endeavors. Praise the current regime for such and such, then wreak havoc on the points you wish to address. In the end, it all evens itself out. The only concern is worrying about past posts if they could be considered detrimental to your health. Who knows it just might work.

    Your granny is proud of you just as you are of her right.

    Keep on rock’n in the free world!

    Reply
  88. Eugene
    August 24, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Hi. My name is Eugene Gershin. I’d like to welcome you to Obadiah Shoher’s blog, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict.

    Obadiah is a pen name of a politician. He writes extremely controversial articles about Israel, the Middle East politics, and terrorism.

    Obadiah advocates political rationalism instead of moralizing. He is economic liberal and political conservative.

    Google refused advertising our site and Amazon deleted reviews of Obadiah’s book. Nevertheless, Obadiah’s is the largest Jewish personal blog, read by more than 100,000 people monthly. 210,000 people from 81 countries downloaded Obadiah’s book. The blog was voted the best overall in People’s Choice: Jewish and Israeli blogs Awards, received Webby Honoree and other awards.

    Please help us spread Obadiah’s message, and mention the blog in one of your posts, or link to us. We would greatly appreciate your comments at http://www.samsonblinded.org/blog

    Best wishes,

    Eugene Gershin

    Jewrusalem.net – Israeli Uncensored News

    Reply
  89. Ahmed N. L.
    August 24, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    May she rest in peace Sam. This post is so overwhelming, she must’ve been an exceptional lady.

    Reply
  90. brooklynjon
    August 26, 2007 at 6:21 am

    SM,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. May she rest in peace. I hope you and your family are well. May G-d comfort you and your family, as he comforts all people of good faith. Hopefully in the future you will return to blogging with happy news.

    bj

    Reply
  91. LaRoacha
    August 26, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    SM, my condolences. I lost my grandparents when I was very young, and they lived in a different state, so I never had the opportunity to properly say goodbye to them. At least you can take solace in the fact that you could give your Grandmother a proper and respectful send off.

    Best of wishes buddy.

    Reply
  92. munkii
    August 26, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    i’m with Repenter80, sandmonkey you haven’t shown any sort of emotions, what so ever, towards the innocent people who died in Palestine, Lebanon or Iraq, and now you want us to sympathies with you? and for what? a rich woman who died comfortably on her bed at age 90? tough! i feel more sorry for the aborted babies who die on israeli checkpoints everyday. so please keep your grieves to yourself.

    maybe if i didn’t know you are a genuine heartless motherfucker i’d be able to feel more sympathy. but your emotional crap just shows that your a selfish prick who only cares about what happens to him, and fuck everybody else!

    anyway, i don’t believe in any god(s) so i wont be able to tell you “allah yer7amha” or “God bless her kind soul”. so just dump the bitch and get on with your life, if you have one!

    my condolence.

    munkii

    Reply
  93. dksg
    August 29, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I’m so terribly sorry for you loss. I lost my father this year, and it was devestating. In time, the grief does become less of a stabbing pain and more of a dull ache. “Talk” to her when you miss her. She’ll hear you.

    It’s funny how universal the customs surrounding the deaths of loved ones are. They span cultures, nationalities, religions, political parties and melt into one instance of grief that everyone can understand.

    Peace to you and yours.

    Reply
  94. Bonnie
    August 29, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Dear Sandmonkey, death is so hard. I wish I could say something meaningful and comforting but you have already said it all and in such a beautiful way, too.

    What a great lady she was. Thank you for telling us about her and the wonderful love story that was her life.

    Reply
  95. MT
    August 30, 2007 at 12:04 am

    Rejoice that you were fortunate to be her close confidante. She would be glad that her life resonates so strongly in your soul.

    Reply
  96. Shoufa
    August 30, 2007 at 7:13 am

    you know that post made me cry, my grandma died too,
    el baka2 lellah

    Reply
  97. Suzanne
    August 31, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Dear SM, don’t listen to people like munkii who try to put an incorrect stamp on you because you dont follow what they believe in.

    My greatest condoleances concerning the loss of your grandmother. Take care. I wish you all the strength of the world…..

    Love,

    Reply
  98. Liza
    September 3, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    My deepest condolences on your loss. What a beautifully written post. Judging by your actions during this difficult time, I’m sure that your grandmother must have been very proud of the person that she’d helped you to become.

    Reply
  99. badriya
    September 3, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I just came across your blog while doing a google search for “donkey egyptian slang” as I am trying to figure out the meaning of the Saad song Bahebak ya Hmar. I have no idea how that search led me to your blog, but i am glad that it did. My grandmother also passed away this year at the age of 93. She was a strong woman who just kept on going, despite cancers and injuries through the years. She became a widow before I was born, so I never knew my grandfather but she loved him very much, that I knew without ever meeting him. She left me a pearl necklace that he bought for her when they didn’t have any money, just because she said she liked it one day after seeing it in a shop window. She also took care of all her post-mortem arrangements, the funeral, the obituary, making sure her will was as she wanted it. She wrote her own memorial service, and it was clear that the minister of her church would never have dared to change a thing about it, partly out of respect and partly out of the possibility she might show up to yell at him in front of everybody if he did anything wrong. I am not a religious person at all, I was raised without any, but I took comfort from being at that service and knowing that it was exactly as she wanted it. Her personality continued to affect us all after she was gone.

    I’m sure our grandmothers were very different, and might in some ways have disapproved of each other, perhaps each sure the other was going to hell if nothing else–my grandmother was Southern Baptist, a rather conservative Christian sect. But in many ways, it seems they were similar, and as another bereaved grandchild I send you my condolences.

    Reply
  100. Lee McDaniel
    September 4, 2007 at 12:08 am

    Important post. My view of Islam had been declining for some time.
    You made me wish I had known her.
    My condolences

    Reply
  101. Gabriel
    September 5, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    That was very moving. May she find eternal peace and love from up above.

    Reply
  102. Cairene
    September 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    El Ba2eya fi hayatak SM.

    Reply
  103. michele
    September 6, 2007 at 3:47 am

    Sam — I’m so sorry for your loss. And I hope that you find peace. m

    Reply
  104. John C. Randolph
    September 6, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    SM,

    Your account of your grandmother’s death and funeral are very moving, and I hope that you and your family will quickly move on from the pain of your loss to happy memories of the time you had with her. 90 years is a good, long run.

    -jcr

    Reply
  105. Roman Kalik
    September 7, 2007 at 7:57 am

    SM, thank you. You shared with us much more than I would ever consider sharing, and you gave me a great deal with this post.

    You have my condolences, man. May the soul of your grandmother be forever woven in the weave of life.

    Reply
  106. Beth
    September 7, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Oh, Sam…I’m so sorry I didn’t know sooner.
    You are a good son and a good grandson; you must make your family so proud.

    I pray you’ll find peace and strength, knowing that she has completed her work on earth, and *is* now at God’s side. May God bless you and your family!

    Reply
  107. Avidbuff
    September 7, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Sam, I am so sorry for your loss, and so honoured that you chose to share with us such a personal part of your life.

    God Bless.

    Reply
  108. Z
    September 9, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I know what it’s like to be raised by your grandmother and will soon know what it will be like to lose her but you said it better than I ever could.

    Reply
  109. LouLou
    September 10, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Allay Yir7amha ya Sandy. Very sorry to hear about your grandma.

    V.Happy to see you back but I wish you’d come back on a happier note.:)

    Reply
  110. Faith
    September 11, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Al baqa2 l allah ya sam . i’ve been praying 4 ur grandma for over amonth now since i got ur message . i really hope ur holding up and i’m sure she’s in paradise atm happy and beautiful as she always was.

    Reply
  111. JRL
    September 12, 2007 at 12:05 am

    Whew! Well written, SM. I was alone with her in the room when my granny died. Her final words were “Thank you, darling,” and then she died. When I got home I was grieving pretty hard when the light bulb in the lamp on the dresser started flashing on and off. It was afternoon, and the light was definitely switched off, but here it was flashing excitedly, I kid you not. I don’t think our loved ones ever really leave us. I’m glad you’re writing here again.

    Reply
  112. elengil
    September 13, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Only just saw you were back. I wish it could have been with better news. I’m so sorry.

    Reply
  113. Prodicus
    September 27, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    I just looked in to see whether you were back yet and… this. A brave and eloquent post. My condolences on your loss and my humble thanks for a window on your world which will stay with me.

    Reply
  114. Atilla
    October 13, 2007 at 3:48 am

    That was a really moving post, it had me close to tears because I know exactly how you felt. I’m Jewish so I don’t know the Islamic way of saying this: I wish you long life.

    Reply
  115. Angel
    August 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    el ba2eya fi hayatak

    this is such a touching story and i hope she is in Heaven and resting in peace.
    stay strong you’re an inspiration to me and im sure to many others.

    Reply

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