Day of Friday, February 11, 2005: Departure of Asma
It was the morning of Friday, February 11, 2005 when Allah Subhanahwatala had taken Asma back.
I came home after dropping my 16-year old sister, Aysha, off to school around 8:00 AM. I was about to go jump in the shower and get ready to go to school as my father and mother were sitting by Asma giving her nebulizer treatments to help her breathe. She also had an oxygen tube at the tip of her lips to help her breathe.
I came home and sat on the couch near Asma's bed where she was 24/7.
I asked my dad, "How is Asma doing?"
He just shook his head and shoulders implying that she wasnt doing well. It was becoming a part of the routine where she would get these treatments twice daily. She would cough for six hours straight many times.
Once my father told me that she wasnt doing well, I looked over at her and noticed she was taking shallow breaths and struggling to breathe. Thats when I figured that something was up and I immediately started to feel nervous and scared. I decided to stay home with Asma and my parents.
She hadnt slept for the last three nights. She spent her days coughing with no end in sight.
She was recieving fluids through IV to keep her hydrated. In fact, she had a new line put in two days prior, on Wednesday. We were all surprised on how well she did during the surgery. The doctors werent very confident and told us that she may not be able to survive the surgery.
Anyhow, my father turns to my mother and I and says, "Shes on her last breaths."
Even though I didnt say anything, I was torn and worried inside. Allah only knows what my parents were going through. I cant even imagine.
It was around 10:00 AM when she ordered my parents and I to get out of the family room (where she used to sleep). We thought she wanted to sleep because she was exhausted and was being disturbed from the noises we were making. So we all walked over to the living room.
Of course, we couldnt leave her alone, we tried to take peeks at her and checked what she was doing. After several seconds, she calls my dad into the family room.
She began to turn her head and look around the room as if something was present. She never moved her head that way partly because she was very, very weak and partly because of her condition. She was laying straight on her back as she always did because of her condition. Without getting up, she made this circular motion by turning her head over and over without saying anything. She would look to her right, left, up, and down. She would try to look at the whole room. She would then look out the window and at the top of the T.V. stand.
My father noticed that there was a Quran sitting at the top of the T.V. stand with the picture of the Kaba on it. He thought that she was being distracted by it and started to move it away. Asma quickly shook her head and finger implying to leave it there. She would then turn her eyes at the window and then at the Quran and did this repeatedly.
After a few seconds, she said, "Daddy aap ka naam kia hai?" ("Daddy, what is your name?")
My dad at first thought she had a stroke or was going into a coma because she was losing her mind.
My dad says, "Mein aap ka daddy ho." (I'm your daddy.")
Asma says, "Nahin, aap ka naam kia hai?" (No, what is your name?")
My dad getting consfused, says, "Mein Asma ka daddy ho." (I'm Asma's daddy.")
Asma getting irritated, said, "Nahin, aap naam kia hai?" (No, what is your name?") as she raised her voice a little out of frustration.
Then finally, my dad replies by saying, "Mein thumara daddy ho, Zia...Zia ul Haq." (I'm your daddy, Zia...Zia ul Haq.")
After he answers her, Asma turns to my mom was standing next to my dad and Asma.
Asma asks the same thing. She said, "Ummi, aap ka naam kia hai?" ("Mom, what is your name?")
My mom says, "Mein aap ki ummi ho." ("I'm your mommy.")
Asma then says, "Nahin, aap ka naam kia hai?" ("No, what is your name?")
My mom then said, "Mein Asma ki ummi ho." ("I'm Asma's mommy.")
At this point, Asma was getting frustrated and asks again, "Nahin, aap ka naam kia hai?" ("No, what is your name?")
Finally, my mom says the same thing as my father, "Mera naam Shaheen hai." ("My name is Shaheen.")
Asma then turns her head back to the normal position. When Asma was asking my parents their name the whole time, she had her hand up towards each of them when they were being asked. Her hand was shaking because of the lack of control and due to her weakness.
She then gives her hand to my father so he can hold it. My dad then holds it and massages it and kisses it. He asked her if she had said the Shahada/Kalimah. Asma nodded her head.
He asked Asma if she can forgive him for anything and everything that he did wrong. Asma said he didnt do anything wrong and she forgives him.
Asma, with her big, beautiful, sparkling eyes looks at my dad as if she wanted something. My dad automatically knew she wanted him to hold her and hug her.
My dad then held her in his arms and hugged her. Asma took her last breaths while he held her as her soul was being taken out.
My mom was standing to my dad's left and I was standing to my mom's left.
My dad moved his back so that my mom couldn't see and nodded his head to me implying that she was gone.
I had this sense of shock inside of me. I was confused.
My dad tells my mom to removed the IV. My mom thought that my dad wanted the IV to be removed because it was done.
My mom said, "Ok, give me needles and the other stuff so I can flush her line out."
My father and I exchanged stares and felt sad and didnt know how to break it to my mom.
My dad told my mom that she wouldnt need to flush it (because Asma had passed away). However, my mom didnt understand what he meant by it.
As my mom was removing the IV, my father and I started to remove all the medicine and the medicine table away from the area. He then called the doctor to inform them of what had happened and what the next step should be.
As he was removing all the medicine, it started to sink a little that she was indeed, gone.
I felt as if I was frozen inside...as if I didnt have any concept of feelings. I was numb.
We told my mom that Asma was gone. She didnt seem to want to believe it.
My dad told me to cover Asma with the blanket that she used to use. I did. I moved the blanket up from her toe to her head.
My mom yells out, "Nahin, nahin, utaro isko! Wo abhi saas lay ri hai." ("No, no, take that off! She is breathing right now.")
Again, my father and I exchange stares filled with sadness and the feeling of helplessness.
I hugged and kissed Asma. I held her in my arms. I still was numb.
As I was looking at her beautiful face and kissing her, I realized two things about her:
1. She had a smile on her face. It was clearly a smile.
2. She had this very nice, newborn-like scent coming from her as soon as she passed away. There was no doubt about it.
We made sure her arms and leg were all straight because usually the deceased person becomes very stiff shortly after.
At around 11:05 AM, the paramedics and the Woodridge Police Department had arrived. There were about 15 Police cars if not more, an Ambulance, and a fire truck. All were lines up all along the streets. We live at an intersection inside the subdivision so there were cars at both streets. Literally, no place for more cars.
Even though my father and I full well knew she had passed away and wasnt coming back, the paramedics by law had to recessitate her. They asked for a "DNR" form which stops them from recessitating her. We didnt have it.
Well after about 15-20 minutes, they stopped and she wouldnt come back.
At this point, my younger bro, Zeshaan, came home with Aysha. I had called Aysha's school shorty after Asma passed away and told them what had happened and to allow my bro pick her up.
When Aysha came home, she ran inside the house screaming and crying and ran towards the family room. The police wouldnt let anyone come near Asma until the investigation was done. She just cried with my parents.
We called the Islamic Center of Naperville (masjid) nearby to make arrangements for Asma's funeral/Janazah. They contacted the Brust Funeral Home to make arrangements. Once we talked to the funeral home as well, they came to our house to pick up Asma.
As they were going to take her, my mom told the to wait so she can clean up Asma.
"Whenever I used to send her out of the house, I always used to do her hair and clean her up and make her look nice. Well, I want to do her hair and clean her up and make her look nice before I send her out of my house for the very last time," said my mom while crying.
So my father, mother, and I cleaned her up. We took the catheter and bandages out. My mom cleaned and washed her up and did her hair. After we did all that, the funeral guys brought the stretcher over by her bed.
I didnt want anyone to pick her up because no couldve done it safely. The funeral guys would be rough and wont know how to do handle her.
As I was picking up Asma, I heard the fluids in her lungs move. We think that may be the main cause of her death.
I proceeded to lift Asma. Since she was lifeless, she had no control whatsoever over her body. It was loose. My dad held her foot and my mother held her head. I moved her over to the stretcher and laid her down. They covered her up and zipped up the body bag.
That was probably one of the hardest things to see ever. To see you baby sister get zipped up in a body bag, took the life out of me. I was torn inside. It was starting to set in and finally realized what was happening.
Well, they made their way out of the house towards the hearse (funeral car).
Asma left my house for the very last time. She isnt coming back. Shes gone for good. I wont get to see her again in her bed. She will never call me and tell me to do things for her. I will miss all that. Actually, I already do. :(
As they put Asma in the hearse and started to drive off, my mother started to run after the car. My dad had to go by my mom and stop her.
Subhan 'Allah, it was such a sad sight. It breaks my heart even now when I think about it.
It was about 1:05-1:10 PM and almost time for Jummah. My father, Zeshaan, and I got ready and left. My mother and Aysha were home. I was afraid for my mom because of her health. I made sure that Aysha would watch over my mom and stay with her.
Imran Baig, President of ICN, made an annoucentment informing others about Asma. They made dua for Asma and my family.
Afterwards, both random and people who knew us came and embraced us and gave their condolences.
Shortly afterwards, we went home. We didnt want to be anywhere but home. We just wanted to be with our family.
I was told to call people and inform them of what had happened. It was a hard thing to do. I didnt know how to break it to them. I didnt know how to speak. However, I managed to do so.
People were shocked. They couldnt believe it. Some started to cry on the phone. I didnt talk much. I just informed them and said I had to go. I had no interest in talking.
My brother had gotten home from work which was about an hour, hour and a half away. I had called him soon after Asma passed away. No answer. I left messages at various places and he eventually called back. My dad broke the news to him. He was schocked as well. He came straight home.
About 10-15 minutes later, people started to come over. We had nothing but feelings of emptiness to share. We exchanged glances of sadness. We were speechless. We just hugged and weeped.
More and more people were coming over. Phone calls after phone calls. People from the around the world were calling...literally.
It was becoming dark and the day was heading into the night. It was cold. The house was full. People whom we didnt even know were showing up. The streets were full of cars. There was no end in sight.
It was becoming sad and depressing. First night without Asma. :'(
Most people were there until about midnight. Some were even there till 2 AM. Eventually they all left except for my cousin, Kashif. He slept over.
I slept upstairs. Didnt want to sleep. Scared of living my life without her. Sad for missing her presence. I wanted to yell and scream and weep and break things, but I had to stay calm for my parents.
I fell asleep around 3 AM. I kept thinking about how and Asma would be doing at the moment. I kept thinking what Asma's soul be doing.
That was my very first night without Asma in my life.
The depression had begun to set in...
She was the doll of the house. She brought joy and happiness to our lives. It now almost seems like a dream that lasted for 12 years and now its over.
Words cant describe how I feel.
I miss her and love her so much...