The experience of losing loved ones or family is the hardest part we might encounter in our lives. I know the feeling because I experienced it many times. Aside from my father’s death, another painful lost I experienced was when one of my closest cousin died. She’s the one who influenced me to try my luck in another country. She’s always there for me while living in Dubai. After staying for so many years in Dubai, she left for Syria because she married her destiny who’s a Syrian national and decided to settle on her husband’s home country. I was still in Dubai that time, but our communication stayed strong. She used to tell me everything’s happening to her in Syria and how her in-laws treated her nicely. Though I was a little worried because that time, Syria was in chaotic situation. But she assured me that she’s perfectly fine and her in-laws love her so much. I knew then that she’s happy and contented in her new life. After months of living there, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Though I’ve really wanted to visit her that time, I couldn’t because of work. So we just made a plan to have a vacation together in the Philippines to personally introduced her husband and daughter to her family back home. And that planned of ours never came true.
One afternoon as she called me, she was admitted in the hospital because of headache she felt for almost a week. Our conversation was just normal though her voice was not that lively as before. She underwent a series of laboratory test and wait for the results. She also reminded me not to tell about her condition to her family in the Philippines because they might worry. Our conversation ended assuring me she’ll be discharge from the hospital after getting the test results. I never expected that, that would be our last conversation. Her husband who’s in Dubai that time called me the following day and told me my cousin had a severe seizure and needed to transfer in the ICU and she’s already unconscious. Her husband asked me to talk to my cousin’s doctor to fully explain what really happened to her. My cousin suffered from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by viral infection. She already experienced symptoms long time ago without telling anyone, but ignored them that’s why it triggered when she gave birth as her immune system got weaker. I called to the Philippines to tell her family the very sad news and we decided that I should go to Syria with my other cousin who’s also in Dubai and then they will find a way to follow us there. I never had a second thought of taking a leave from work and apply for a Syrian visa. I didn’t even consider the risk of flying in a strange war zone country, my mind was occupied of getting to my cousin’s side as soon as possible. We got our visa one day late because of some situation in the Syrian embassy. We were dealing with time, it’s a matter of life and death. I prayed hard while we were on board, the three hours flight seemed a very long day for me. My cousin’s husband who’s with us started to cry quietly, he cried also after receiving a call just before we checked-in at the airport in Dubai. He told us he received a call from his father, my cousin’s life line ended just an hour ago. I didn’t know what to say and how I feel. We were already on the way to her, how come she didn’t even wait for us, I thought.
She’s already lying in the morgue when we arrived in the hospital. I bravely touched her very cold but still soft body while tears kept falling down my face. I whispered on her ears to rest and don’t worry about her daughter. I didn’t know how to deliver the very sad news to the Philippines, I lost the courage. I let my other cousin to do the difficult task. We didn’t had the chance to arrange the shipment of her body going back home due to very long process. My cousin was already converted to Islam, and as respect to her husband and in-laws, we let her bury in Syria and I know it’s also what my cousin wanted to happen. Her family back home didn’t got the chance to go in Syria because that time there’s a strict banned in visiting the country because of the chaos. My sympathy all goes to her daughter who was only four months old then, too early to lose a mom.
It’s been twelve years had passed and I always remember her whenever I see her daughter on social media. My cousin is surely happy wherever she is right now seeing her daughter grows as a pretty nice girl, happily living with her dad in Sweden far away from their broken country.