A few days ago, I decided to show a friend of mine pictures of my wedding. She’s someone I met very recently and doesn’t know much about my life pre-widowhood. As we sat looking through these old pictures, I pointed out our family members. And I came across this picture of an uncle I had seen my entire childhood. “He passed away a few years ago”, I told her.
And then I came across a picture of my friend’s father, who battled cancer and passed away around the time Rube was diagnosed. “And he passed away since then also.”
“Oh but wait”, I told her. “…..Rube’s gone, too”.
Here were 3 men, from all different paths of life, of different ages and health conditions. One left behind 3 teenagers. One left behind a handful of grandchildren. And one left behind his baby girl. And perhaps the only thing they really had in common is something we all have in common….that we too, will one day leave people behind.
Death is something that frequents my mind, especially with the deaths of Deah, Yusor and Razan. They were so much younger than me but had accomplished so much in the little time that they had on Earth. It makes me wonder…what were the last thoughts on their mind before it all went down? Surely, there’s a reason that they died together. Did they know that they would leave behind such amazing legacies? I’ve heard that a person’s true colors becomes apparent after their passing. And mashAllah, what bright colors these young people have.
It crosses my mind that it could’ve been my sister and I who died alongside Rube. It could’ve been that my friend Asmaa died next to her husband Amr, who was shot by a sniper. It could’ve been that my friend died alongside her sweet, 4-year-old son, after a battle with cancer. Truthfully, it could’ve been any of us. And it wasn’t. But one day, these could’ves will be would’ves.
And what colors will show up when we pass? Will they shine bright, like the glistening of the sun against a crystal window? Or will they shine dull, like a black t-shirt, washed one too many times?
And the true question: what legacies will we leave behind? Or will we leave behind any at all?