A BRIEF PREAMBLE
I am today, 25 Dec 2015, transferring my real life stories which I had originally posted on Squidoo.com. These lens’ I wrote were transferred early this year to Hubpages. I wrote a total of 16 Lens’. To my dismay only four were migrated. The rest I have lost. The touch and the feel I wrote them I cannot do that again. I cannot feel the same intensity. Despite my best efforts, I could not retrieve them. I have now decided to post them on my Blog here. I will cut and paste the comments which I got on them for the benefit of the readers. I am posting them as they were I wrote these two years ago. I would be appreciative of your comments. Please feel free to write whatever you feel.
THE PAIN STOPS BUT THE GAP NEVER CLOSES
“You’ll get over it…’ It’s the cliché that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life forever. You don’t get over it because ‘it’ is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not erased by anyone but death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no one else can fit. Why would I want them to?” ~ Author Unknown
Why Must I Write? – About The Letter!
For many days now I have been only writing and nothing else. I have been doing that since all my life but this phase is very different than ever it has been before for me. There are always triggers which change course one has been following in life. Some do not realise when they happen, but in hindsight when events have sped past you, you take stock of your life; sit in one quiet corner of your house delete the cache of your mind and you realise how much is there to select, rewind and restart. It was exactly 13 days after my son’s 5th death anniversary I was reading a heart wrenching story of a bipolar case. That triggered a chain of thoughts so powerful that I could not help but to immediately sit with a pen and paper and decided it’s time to take a very bold step and open myself. It started with About Me, then within 6 weeks I wrote Time, Bipolar Affective Disorder , Wisdom , The Interview , Unique Birthday Gift, Bipolar’s Gift . The list of people visiting to read has steadily grown and I realised that ordeal of hundreds and thousands across the globe has to be shared in every possible manner and trust me it will effect some one some where in the world for better. I realized in Pakistan there are many suffering but I could count them on fingers, not because they are not there but because the taboo and stigma of depression, mental illness, bipolarity, being possessed and other labels it carries have plunged so many into depths of despair and struggle. It is a painful experience to have known about their stories. There are some who have even failed to confront this disease, others have remained in the closet some even have no idea what ‘Bipolar’ is. There are others whose parents have just brushed aside the reality their children are facing till it was late, till it will be late.
Never in my life time I have actually read a dying letter of a person who has died of suicide. Yes I have known a colleague who committed suicide few months back. His death has left many questions unanswered. That itself is trauma for those who knew him and his family. The answers are all speculative and all those who mattered for him will NEVER know his last thoughts before he took his life. I have put myself in that shoe and the mere thought of not knowing the real “WHY” would have been afflicted me with every passing day of my life. The ‘Last Letter’ I believe has taken care of it.
Today I will share only the crux of the letter. I wanted to share that in full, however it seems it has been on net some where else and I have been asked to make alterations in my module to allow this to be published. I have tried to explain the purpose but unlocking may not be forthcoming hence I am altering my original text. I have absolutely no doubt it will help many families to understand the true meaning of the importance of their presence, support and care for all those effected in and around their life. I hope I will as a result of this sharing will be shared with candid thoughts especially by those who are suffering. Thank you very much indeed.
Breaking the News
I landed in Monrovia on 4 May 2007, the last day of my 25 Days leave. Monrovia City is about 85 Km from the airport. Little I knew that very soon this would be my longest 85 Km journey. I sat in my car and changed the SIM. No sooner I did that my cell phone rang. My son-in-law was on the other side and he said those unforgettable words which no parent would ever like to hear ” Agha I have very bad news. Moody is no more. He shot himself. He sent you an email which says everything.” This was a short call and I did not ask any question. I did not really know what to think, my mind just froze for few moments. I had tears in my eyes and the driver realised something was very wrong till I told him and then made a couple of calls. Those were excruciating moments. I thought of my wife and her condition, my other children and wondering what was happening at home right now. Moody’s life kept on going to and fro in front of my eyes. No picture really stood still for me to see. Then I tried to capture his last frame. His last words, what was he wearing, how did he look, why I did not see him when I left home, why I did not hug him like I always did when I left home. So many whys. I had lost a piece of me forever. I reached home and first thing I did was to read his mail; his last letter. No amount of water is enough to flow under the bridge and ease the pain and trauma for me, my wife and my children. Things have never got back the way it used to be. I am thankful as a father after his passing away that he wrote that letter.
“There is some comfort in dying surrounded by one’s children”. Ann Radcliffe
Moody’ Last Letter – The Gist
Nasir Mahmood 21 March 1975 ~ 4 May 2007
After reading Moody’s letter, I would like to bring out his thoughts at that point of time when he was writing his last letter and till he took his life. He seemed to wander directionless and the intensity of his thoughts overcame his better judgement. He justifies taking his own life with an argument that he is saving us from spirits which have been haunting him, controlling his mind and body to an extent that he is unable to take his own rationale decisions. He, in fact believed if he left this state to prolong it will not be long that these would start influencing us his close family members. This thought was pushing him closer and nearer to the precipice and point where he seemed to see the right rationale and justification of taking his own life to save ours. The two spirits which he repeatedly talked about for months and especially when these thoughts surfaced in Australia while he was in Canberra doing his Masters in Accounting. I did not believe him and presumed incorrectly that he cannot do his Masters and now seeking a way out, knowing well that he had made me spend quite a sum of money so to make an excuse. This was a crucial error of judgement on my part. The time was the critical factor and both of us did not realise how fast he was being allowed to slide down. He was unwell so I would not blame him now, the fault had been mine which I had sent him as warning in my letters. Poor Moody still would not like to let me down and continued till it was beyond his control.
He remembers his memorable times and praises me and his mother for making a man he was and our complete support for him. Since he read a lot his thoughts on critical subjects like philosophy, poetry and Sufism and works of other eminent writers brought to surface his own philosophy which he wrote in his devastated frame of mind. These became so strong that he started to believe in them and that they were the ones controlling his destiny. It only dawned to him that the control was so powerful and clutching that they started to drive him against his own wishes.
Once he decided that he will take his own life from that point on I think now he was just waiting for the right time. I cannot for sure say how he determined that it was the right time. I have my theory which may be wrong. While at home he would stare at things and get lost somewhere, he would smile in presence of own family and they also did not notice the severity of these actions. One day when he was with a friend in a gathering he did the same and smiled being oblivious of the surroundings till some one from the crowd laughed at time maybe in a ridiculing gesture, and there he realised his ‘disability’ is now noticeable. He told this to his mother as I was in Liberia and from then on for next 8-10 days did not go out till he died. Other factors which may have also contributed was the girl he loved married and may have ( I am not sure) spoken to her, the exchange must have triggered his reaction. She had a child and sadness and heart-stricken and depressed as he was, did not give any more space and will to, live notwithstanding what all was going in his head.
He knew that, ‘suicide’ is a sin in Islam, but he mentions that since the spirits are so overwhelmingly strong that the only way out to get rid of them was to take his own life. He does state very clearly ‘ my judgement for the sanctity of spirits is different from Arabs’ meaning the religion of Islam at this point. He believed that what he will do and take his life will not be judged sinful by God. He also was convinced that what ever he was about to do was not wrong. He said he knew exactly why and what he was doing and that we will one day judge him as a brave man rather than a person lost in life. He did not really believe that the treatment will help him. He avoided taking medicines, and his mother used to powder the tablets and give him in coffee. A drink he liked to take. He urged me to take care of his mother and explain him in detail why he had taken that step. he wanted me to get married his younger brothers sooner than later. Forbade us to find solutions for his death in books. Told me that every one should avoid reading poetry especially Rumi.
He also mentions what must be done after he is no more. His savings to go to charity. The car to be returned to the company he was working for. He laid out things neatly on his made up bed. A DVD – Last Temptation of Christ – which I think he watched more than once. Finally, most painful for me in this whole letter was that he realised he will be causing lot of pain to us and yet he was sure in his mind what he was suffering was much more than we were about to go through. He was also spot on when he said that we would face a silent condemnation of such a demise which would bring host of speculations. He was right, when Chief of Military Intelligence dropped in with his wife asking idiotic questions with Moody’s dead body lying in front of his mother. I was very much pained for that. Moody visualised correctly knew the situation after he was gone and there fore in the last line pleaded that we must not cry or feel remorse on his passing. He finished his letter writing God is The Greatest, Allah O Akbar and like always never failed to miss to write Your most loving son Moody.
Some Selected Comments