Monday, November 23, 2015


In my mind, 2011 will always be the year that my grandmother died, not the year of the revolution. After that, everything changed, and change hurts. We lose so much when it happens. Things that I couldn't imagine living without were lost forever. How could somebody I'd only spoken to a few days ago not be there when I call anymore? How could they have been breathing in the same room I stand in a day later and now be no more? The first night is always the hardest because you know that one of your own is not in the house, not in bed, sleeping, warm, where they should be. It hurts because you know that they are out there, in the cold earth. It's not natural. It's not supposed to happen, not to somebody you love. The senses scream outrage at this transgression even though you know that it is the "way of the world" and we are told that "God wills it". After she died everything came apart so quickly, like prayer beads scattering when the string breaks.

Yesterday another relative of the older generation passed away and Damascus feels cold and empty. On hearing the news last night, my mother said, "Everybody I know is going away. I feel alone". That word, alone, sums up all our lives right now. If and when we go back home, us exiles, who will still be there? Who will we tell our stories to? Who will tell us of what it was like? The safety net of having elders is being pulled away and our own mortality stares us in the face. It brings with it the chilling realization that it will be our time next, that it will be our turn to listen to the stories of the younger generation, to watch patiently as they make their own mistakes, and then to quietly fade away. It's such a terrible thing to feel lonely.


Unknown said...

Hey, I have some questions I think you could answer (I'm doing some soulsearching here). Is there any way I could contact you?

Anthony said...

Quite beautifully put. We all go through this -- I am now, as well -- we all know it is inevitable. But it still hurts.