Written by Arwa Tawfiq

Loss. //
To no longer know the warmth of your hands
To forget the lines in your face that I traced as a child
To lose the scent of your clothes from mine as the years pass
That is the tragedy I fear
That my young one may never look into your aged eyes
That you will never meet the generations of leaders that you have bore
That they will step forth into the world without your hands guiding them so
I cry for the nights they will fall asleep to songs you cannot sing
I regret that your future family will not know you like I did
That you will only exist in stories I sit proudly and recite around the dining room table and in the corners of coffee shops
But your soul will remain on the mantle as a voice of support and of reason in the dark nights I spend awake with no sleep in sight
Answering the questions I wish you could hear
And I will ask myself
How did this come to be
How did I become so lucky to grieve you
Why am I filled with certainty
That the pain of losing you was worth the joy in loving you
And I will realise yet again that although you have said your final goodbye
I know you did not choose to leave
That your book ended abruptly
But I hope you left knowing that you built a suit of armour around me
That you have enveloped me in blessings whispered into the sky as you said your midnight prayers
And most of all
That you have taught me that I should give without questioning why
That I should listen before I let words escape me
That I should provide a room for each voice hoping to find a home
That faith in humanity is the only way you can create a brotherhood
And I will use those lessons as string when the fabric tears
I will use them as a balm to heal the wounded
I will use them as a welcome when the doors begin to shut between friends and strangers alike
And while I know that a piece of you lives in everything I see
I will remember that what I see are the best parts of humanity
To allow the moonlight that shines on the shattered pieces to help ease the ache of your absence
And remind myself that what I know to be infinitely true is as follows
Your life was a blessing in this temporary world
And reuniting with you in the afterlife is the biggest gift God has planned for me to receive
When shaking hands with you after a life well-lived will abolish the pain of a thousand suns that have set without you in their shadow
When the strength of our embrace will wake the mountains and shake the floors of the oceans
Reminding us that we must erupt so that we can rebuild in the life yet to come
That we must forget the sleepless nights spent in the clouds
Remember the glimmer of hope bestowed by the stars
And step forth into the abyss
Knowing there are hands to catch us as we fall

Photography by Dana Mahmoud @dana.mahh

Thank you Arwa, for allowing us to experience these incredible words with you. May we all find comfort in them.

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