Monday, May 18, 2009

In Memory of Our Sister

May 18 marks one year since we said goodbye to our sister, Rihab. The video below is a tribute to her memory, mostly in photographs, but including words and even a little video clip. The songs speak to who Rihab was. Music touched Rihab's soul and songs she loved always evoke memories of moments spent dancing, singing, or relaxing together in Melbourne, New York, and Khartoum.

After her death, I spent time in a state of shock, disbelief. Though I watched and listened as she took her last breath, the next moment I still didn't believe it was true. And the next week, and the next month. And even now, a year later, I sometimes forget that I can't use the number still on my cell phone. I wait for her to pop up on Messenger. I look for her to post new pictures. I check in at her page, leaving notes sometimes. I wonder if I will ever believe that she is gone.

I also couldn't write or draw for some time after saying goodbye. But eventually, I had to. Had to put pen to paper and creating a record of my feelings and thoughts:

Don’t know where to start
how to alleviate this pain in my heart
you were strength defined
strong body and mind

my big sister…
you taught me my name

Take the shackles off my feet
so I can dance
broke my chains
now I can lift my hands

there was so much I didn’t understand

so many conversations
we never got to have

half my life I lived without you
and half with you
and now there will be
the time after you

you are at peace
and still
at last

no more anger
or hurt
or tears
after so many years

only Allah will ever know
the pain you endured

There wasn’t enough time
Years would not have been enough to
be ready to lose you

But 43 hours?
Not enough time
to gather my thoughts

to say everything I should have said
to get it through my head

that I will never hug or kiss you
that every day of my life I will miss you

that every smile will be tempered with sorrow
because I can no longer share it
with you

Who would I be if I hadn’t met you?
No one who knew you
will ever forget you

Rihab or Shereen…
Nubian Queen