Is this it? It feels so surreal. One minute I was laughing with him over the phone as I drove, the next minute I’m here. Here. What is here? Everywhere is so dark. Is this the end? This can’t be. I just got married last week. I have a dinner date with Mama next week. I still have that project to turn in at work next month. I have dreams yet to be accomplished. Oh my. This is really it.
There is so much crying. Everyone is just wailing. Why is that colleague of mine making so much fuss and causing a scene? Everyone knows we were rivals at work and she hated my guts. Why then is she wailing like she loved me!? Bleh…. Mama is uncontrollable. I want to cry as I watch her roll on the floor. But I can’t cry. I guess that’s one of the things that happen when you are dead. You can’t cry. My sister tries desperately to console her, but she herself needs consoling. I want to hug her but I can’t.
I look around for him. I can’t find him. I hope he didn’t forget my funeral just like he had always forgotten my birthdays. Well because if he did, there won’t be any ‘makeup birthday outing’ (he always came up with after remembering), because well, I’m dead! That was supposed to be a joke. A dry joke, I know.
Ha, there he is. He is so unrecognizable. He looks like he is about to drop dead. Wait, no, he looks like he’s dead and has been through hell and back. I feel pity for him. He is so going to miss me no doubt. I watch him nod and stand as the imam calls him to come wash me (as part of the Islamic burial rites). I know it’s so hard for him to bear but he masks it with a sad smile just like he had always masked his pain.
I close my eyes trying to remember what my Islamic tutor had taught me about life after death back when I was younger. I’m dead but my spirit is still alive. I know about paradise and hell and I know this is my abode till that Day when I shall account for my deeds. My deeds. These words cause a sudden jolt in my heart. I haven’t been the best person on earth. Oh Lord. Fear grips me. Now, hereafter feels so real.
As the imam starts the Ṣalāt al-Janāzah (Islamic funeral prayer), I know in the next few hours, everyone would converge at our house. Aunty would serve ‘puff puff’ and drinks. People would talk about me for a while, definitely nice things. No one would talk about how I cheated on my ex. No one would mention the fact that I bribed my way through the university. No one would talk about the fact that I’m self-centered and selfish. Everyone would say nice things only, till evening when they all depart to their various homes, leaving my family to continue mourning. By then I will be left alone here, in this grave, just me with my deeds to either console or depress me.