I lost my grandfather on the 4th of November last month. He died of health complications due to old age. He was 77. That day I was at the hospital. It was my turn to stay for the night. My mother and my youngest brother were in the ward just about to leave when he asked my mother for a glass of water. Then he looked at my brother, touched his face and passed away with a smile.

I spent twelve years of my childhood living with him. I remember him taking me to the mosque for Zuhur and Asar prayers each and everyday after school. I even remember eating his Rothman’s cigarette buds from his porcelain ashtray when I was four. Because of that incident, he quitted smoking. The first time I was caught skipping Ramadhan fasting was by him. The list goes on and on.

Even though his condition is poor, he insisted on going to his annual Umrah last Ramadhan. That was when he fell. He fell while he was walking to the Masjidil Haram. He spent last Eid sitting in his lazy chair, ignoring the guests. Once in a while he would take a glance at the main gate, hoping to see his eldest son. But it didn’t happen.

At his death bed, he still asked for my uncle. His only son, which never came.

I’m stopping right now because if I continue, tears will fall. My tears. May Allah bless his soul.