Perhaps we all need a little tragedy in our lives to realize how good people are- how wonderful they can be and interestingly enough, what you mean to people. What you stand for in their lives and what kind of legacy you are preparing to one day leave behind.
Soon after news of Zoya’s death got to people, I received hundreds of messages on facebook. Messages that I could not even bring myself to read properly for those first few days because it was all too unreal, I was all too distracted by needing Leila to be just fine. I would at the end of the day skim through them and I became adept at spotting the social ones ( “so srry ab yr loss”) against the more painful ones. I call them painful because they were hard for me to read, they hit chords I wasn’t ready for just yet and they were obviously written with care, with love, with some sense of thought to making me feel better in them. I heard from people I have not been in touch with for 10 or 15 years, writing things like how only someone like me would be able to turn something like this into a life affirming turn. That my strength inspires them. Through blurry teary eyes, I read mails which said some amazing things to me- things I don’t want to repeat because they embarrass me in their love and praise of me- and I was amazed each time round to see myself through other people’s eyes at this time when I felt I could barely keep it together. It makes you feel stronger, this belief that other people have in you and yet at the same time it also made me feel isolated- like I couldn’t- shouldn’t- break down infront of anyone because so many people expected me to be strong- and believe without wavering for a second that this was God’s way and for the best.
In those early days, I remember simply praying, and reading a few of these message over and over again because I drew physical strength from them. I loved reading the one sent to me by an A level friend where he mentioned a quotation abodrew ut how angel babies are too beautiful for earth. I drew great strength form the Hadith that talked of these children being their parents’ spokespeople on the Day of Judgement. And mostly I just absorbed the warmth that emanated in these words- and revelled in my role to be all this that people said I was, all that they believed I could be. Graceful, strong, inspirational.