Yama and I during Hasibs’s engagement.

In the name of God, the most merciful.

Tonight, I will write the ending to the Yama series. I come to you all with a heart filled with love and compassion. It is the holy month of Ramadan and I am blessed to be able observe the month of fasting once more.

Yama and I were very close. We spent a lot of time together when I was growing up.

HE taught me a lot and he was an amazing big brother. I always felt protected just knowing that he was my big brother. He was my shield. My protector.

He bought me an abundance of pets along with my brother Omar. I have a love for animals because of Yama and Omar. They would buy me chickens, birds, quails, ducks. peacocks, dogs, cats, bunnies and fish.

Yama took me to my first movie, Rugrats in Paris.

He helped me with all my medical papers when I needed eye surgery as a child…even fighting for me to get a different doctor.

We loved Halloween and we celebrated every year. Yama would buy me costumes and take me to knotts scary farm.

When I failed my drivers test the first time..I cried..and he couldn’t take my pain…and kept offering to buy me a new pet. LOL Because he knew pets made me happy. He helped me learn how to drive by falling asleep next to me in the passenger seat and letting me drive in rush hour traffic. LOL

Losing my brother changed my life.

A piece of me died with him.

I never thought my brother would die from alcoholism….never in my wildest dreams. I never realized how bad it was. I didn’t realize I was loosing him. I was young and dumb. I was distracted and I didn’t want to deal with his drinking. I didn’t want to put myself in that situation so I took myself out.

I distracted myself with work and school. I would visit him in the hospital but my mind was only half there. Its kind of like being in denial. I kept thinking that he would be fine. So many people drink in my extended family and they are all fine…so he will be too..that’s what I thought. I was impatient and selfish. I would snap at him easily.

I should have done more even though it probably wouldn’t have made a difference but at least he would have known I cared.

When he died…it was a shock for me. I spent a lot of time trying to keep the same routine. I tried to act as normal as possible. I got up in the morning, I went to work and school.

I hated being alone yet I hated being home. Home felt like this dark hole and every time I went home.. I felt suffocated…I didn’t like being around my family,,,it was just a reminder of my brother’s death. I knew my parents needed me but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle their presence..it was easier just to keep busy.

But, as busy as I was…I still had a lot of moment of complete and utter darkness. I felt alone…so alone…so desperate for friendship…so desperate for happiness…a feeling that I had forgotten.

I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was a workaholic and a full time student. Yet, the little time I had free..was unbearable.

2013 was the worst year of my life…and it kept getting worse as the year proceeded.

Aaron and Tracy were two people that walked back into my life during that time.

I hadn’t spoken to both of them for a year at that time for different reasons. Aaron had just disappeared and wouldn’t get back to me…(he was going through personal things). Tracy and I got into some stupid fight and we had stopped talking. Honestly, at the time, I thought both of these people were out of my lives.

One night I was feeling especially miserable…so I called Aaron and left him a voicemail about what happened…pretty desperate move on my part…but I needed a friend. He called back and we have been family ever since.

Tracy found out about my brother’s death and she called me, which was big of her. Because Tracy is stubborn but she put her pride aside and called. Tracy and I have always had a complicated relationship but I was grateful for her friendship during that year.

I was grateful for Tracy and Aaron because 2013 was hardest year of my life…..and when it got really dark…one of them was there to lighten it up…even if that meant that we would get into a fight or something. I don’t even think they knew how they helped me. But, they did…and whenever I think of that miserable year…I also remember the fun memories with those two. There were moments where I didn’t even want to live anymore…of course I don’t have the balls to kill myself but I would think about how death would be better than this pain. I turned twenty one in 2013…I was so young and it was like life was piling up on me. Everything kept going wrong…my brother died..my cat died…I was being harassed at work….my cousins and I stopped talking…my family was going through hell…some very special people in my life..walked away from me….and the list kept going.

One day it was so bad, I literally cried on the phone for two hours to my boss, Karen. I couldn’t control myself…its embarrassing but it was real. Sometimes your in a hole so dark…you just don’t know how to pull yourself out. The pain I felt…was like nothing else…I spent nights just crying ….my heart felt…so ….dead…so hopeless…like a hole was in me…I was bruised in so many different ways. It wasn’t just about Yama’s death…it was so much more. Truly, when it rains…it pours.

For a while, every night when I would drive home from work… I would hear my brother’s voice in my head..I felt like he was in the car with me…and I would feel scared..which was dumb because it was just my brother….

I feared that one day…I would forget his voice…I hated saying that I have three brothers now…instead of four. I kept thinking about the future…and how he wasn’t going to be there for so many things. The future generation wouldn’t even know who he is. I knew time would pass and he would be forgotten and it hurt so much to think of that.

Our family was so broken and I don’t think anyone noticed how broken I was.

I lost a lot of weight during that year because I would eat half a pretzel and a coke all day….and that was it. I wish I was that skinny again but I was far from healthy. Its crazy because I never resorted to drugs or alcohol. I just felt what I felt…and kept going. I spent a lot of time swimming too. It was the only place that brought me some peace…I would just float in the water for hours…the coldness of the water felt good…if I close my eyes.. its like I could still feel the peace from the water.

At some point in that year, both Aaron and Tracy got tired of me LOL (there are no hard feelings LOL), and I realized that I needed to learn how to be alone…which is when I picked up swimming. I also found a new hobby…shopping. I would go shopping once a week…if not more than that. I worked at the mall…so I would just keep buying. Retail therapy is real. Clothes made me feel good. I would wake up each morning and put on an outfit that made me feel good…and I would try to fix my hair. I was thin too so..I felt super confident in my looks LOL.

When I look back…all I see is a lost girl…I mean I’m still lost but that was a different level of lost.

One thing that trips me out is that most of the people that were in my life back then…aren’t anymore. People that I thought would be here forever….people that I trusted and loved. God truly does have a purpose for everyone and I guess their purpose in my life was done.

When friendships or relationships of any kind end…it really does feel like the death of a relationship…and I think when each person walked away from my life that year… it was like I kept remembering death. Does that make sense? Like…I was being triggered and all of these dark thoughts would come in my mind.

It has taken me a long time to move on from the chaos of 2013. That year gave me a life time of wounds that still open up from time to time when I reminiscence. Honestly, writing this entire Yama series was very triggering. I spent nights recalling all of the memories from that year and it was difficult but it wasn’t as bad as the past. In the past, when I would try to write about Yama…I couldn’t…I would just be able to get parts of it out. But, it has gotten easier.

Once you experience death…well, life has a different meaning…trust me you won’t understand until you have experienced death…it sucks that we just stop existing…and the fact that I will some day die…or I will have to experience someone I love die again. Does that make sense? Life is so much better when you haven’t met death because once you do…life just changes.

I don’t know if you have ever imaged someone you love die? Well, I have..even before Yama died. I know that sounds weird…but I know I can’t be the only one lol…but I would cry and imagine how it would play out…but once I lost my brother…I realized that it was definitely a lot worse.

It’s crazy because I feel like my identity changed after Yama died. I can’t even describe it. Its like everything that went wrong in my life, I blamed on loosing Yama. I don’t even know if that makes sense.

In the end…we belong to God…and we shall return to God. Who am I to be upset about it? Who am I to tell God not to take back what is his? God is something that is beyond human understanding. I don’t know why God did what he did but I have to accept it because one day I will be leaving this Earth too.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (Arabic: إِنَّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ‎, ʾinnā li-llāhi wa-ʾinna ʾilayhi rājiʿūna) is a phrase mentioned in verse 2:156 of the Qur’an meaning “Verily we belong to God, and verily to Him do we return.”

Yama will always stay alive through me. It brings me peace that some day we will reunite. It gives me peace to know that he isn’t in anymore pain.

There were so many versions of this last post about Yama in my head..but I kind lost a lot of it because I took a break from writing.. I guess I got out of the zone because of Ramadan and quarantine. Honestly, I just didn’t want to think about all of this.

So I don’t feel like I did the ending justice…

Thank you everyone who stay with me and my 22 posts. Trust me I tried being short and I even cut a bunch of post out LOL. It means the world to me. Thank you again.

Thank you God for giving me Yama for 20 years of my life.

I miss you every day Yama. Every day. I love you big brother.


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