An Eulogy

Dear friends,

This has been a sad fortnight.  Two dear friends in Dubai passed away.  

All I’m left with are their memories. Memories that I clutch on to dearly. Reliving them, over and over again. The words, gifts that they shared have become extra special. Their advice even more profound. Their contributions cherished even more deeply.  

I remember the first time I volunteered to wash the dead, to have it ready for burial. As I kept lifting the cold body, while someone else poured the water to wash it, the lifelessness is so real & stark, I couldn’t help but question:

“What happened?  Why is this body not moving?  Why is it so helpless?  His limbs and organs all here.  So what’s changed?  Why won’t he just get up and move? This very act of washing, at one point, this person could have done it himself. Not very long ago. And he would do it in a jiffy.  Yet now it takes four of us to bathe him. And over an hour to do it.”   

Also, how is it a person with a name, a personality, a family, is now no longer to by his name? Now it’s just “the body”.

When are you lifting “the body” ?  

Have you finished washing “the body”?  

Where is “the body” being buried?

He’s still here just like he was.  All of him.  So why is it just “the body” now?  Is it not worthy of a name anymore?

The worth of one’s soul.  If we only understand it while we think we are still in possession of it.

My friends, Syed Murtuza & Lakhi Sawlani.  May your kind souls rest in peace.

You are more precious than heaven and earth;
you know not your own worth.
Sell not yourself for so little a price;
being so precious in God’s Eyes

~ Rumi

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