Despite all of our advances as a society, all of our wisdom, and all of our accomplishments, finding some sense of meaning in death still seems elusive to us. Regardless of the God we worship, death remains one of the few great unsolved mysteries of life. So, like most people, I have been trying to make sense of my son’s death – of death in general – from the moment I knew how this one would end.
It may well be that, in our eternal quest for meaning in all things, we have overthought the meaning of death and it simply “is what it is” – the result of tragedy, or age, or illness, that is meant to be gotten through or past with no additional take-aways. That certainly seems to me the easiest explanation, but it leaves much to fate and little to the heart.
It may well be that death comes once we have fulfilled God’s unspoken plan for us. I find this idea to be soothing, it still leaves the question of just what God’s plan is for each of us. We cannot always know that, of course, and while God may know it still may be a mystery to those of us left behind. For those deeply rooted in faith, the knowledge that God is ready to accept the departed may be enough. I think it was enough for my son. From a faith perspective, I know that Hamed had reached the point where he believed he had fulfilled God’s plan for him, even though he may not have known what it was, and that he believed that he and God were ready for him to take the next step in his journey. For me, I believe that to be true; yet, I still seek meaning.
It may well be that death serves simply as an opportunity to gather together and review our memories, hopefully latching on to one or two that are so special that the thought of them will sustain us through times of sadness or uncertainty. I have so very many of those memories, myself. I remember his patience with his brothers. I remember his grace and fortitude in dealing with some of the curveballs that were thrown his way. I remember his laughter. I remember the looks of joy and love in his eyes as he hugged his cousins. I remember his wisdom in advising his brothers along their own path into brotherhood. I remember his honorability, the way he was able to let many of us know with great truth that there were always two approaches to every problem – God’s way, and the wrong way. I remember so many things that many of you may not know: his deep love of animals, and just how far he came on his own personal journey toward contentment over the course of the last 15 years. So many of you were kind enough to share some of your memories of Hamed with me and before I conclude I would like you to just take a moment and find those few good memories of my son that you will latch onto and keep in a sacred place.
For me, these memories will serve to sustain me through the grieving that is to come, yet still I seek meaning. At the end of the day, I wonder if death – this death – is not simply a reminder for the living to live our lives with greater attention to some of the principles we all know to be true. My son was a very reliable and trustworthy young boy who always followed through on his commitments; perhaps we can use this as a reminder to bear up under the weight of our own responsibilities in a more positive and giving manner. My son certainly took care of his health; perhaps we can use this as a reminder to treat our own bodies and minds with greater respect so that we may keep the vessels of our spirits in good shape for years to come. My son was honest, sometimes shockingly so, but always forthright and authentic; perhaps we can use this as a reminder to be truthful and direct, to avoid pettiness and gossip, and to treat others – and ourselves – with the respect and compassion.
But perhaps I have been looking at this all wrong. Instead of searching for meaning in his death, maybe I should be searching for meaning in his life, for clearly his life was full of purpose and meaning.
I will not forget you Hamed ,you will keep growing in my heart. I will keep saying happy birthdays to you, I will keep praying for you more than ever, I will keep telling you my secrets. I will keep calling your name. I will keep asking you for help as I used to ,I will keep waiting for you to visit me in my dreams, I will keep being ready to meet you when you miss me. I know that heaven was created for angels like you only, but I promise I will not let you down.
I love you Hamoodie, I love you my angel, forgive me for not being there for you .forgive me for not being able to protect you, forgive your mom for leaving you alone, It was not my choice to let you go my love, as it was not your choice to leave . I know you are not feeling lonely where you are; but I am. I miss you so much, when you miss me you know what to do.