Tag Archives: Death

To Preserve Another Dream

Last night I dreamt that my dad died. 

I have had dreams like this before but usually the people who died in my dream had already passed on long before.  This is the first time that someone still alive had died in my dream.  And this is the first time a person from my immediate family had died. 

I am not sure how my dad died.  All I remember was that I showed up home and his body was already at the mosque ready for burial. 

I remember that I could picture him in my head wrapped in a white cloth.  I tried to picture what his face was going to look like when I saw him.  Oddly, my mother and my brothers were calm and collected.  Nobody was crying. 

It’s been a few hours since I woke up from this dream so I am trying to recall all the small details.  All I remember now is that we were living in a bi-level house.  I remember I had a calm sense of relief knowing that I had a job and I would be able to support my family. 

I remember I went downstairs to my room.  I was getting ready for my dad’s funeral.  That is when it started to hit me that he was died.  I would spontaneously break down into a few seconds of crying and then remind myself to keep composure.  I would tell myself that I will cry at the Mosque, not at home. 

I got ready and went upstairs to the entrance of the house, where we put our shoes and coats.  I remember looking at the time.  It was around 12.30 in the afternoon.  The sun was shining through the windows of the house.  I remember telling my mom that it was too early to leave the house.  We still had an hour and half until we were supposed to be there.  My mom, still calm and composed, told me that it was alright, that she wanted to take her time and relax on her way to the Mosque. 

I told my mother OK, and I was on my way back downstairs to my room.  That’s when I saw my Dad, who I thought was dead, coming down the stairs.  I couldn’t believe it.  He started walking down the stairs wearing this blue ski jacket that he always wears; the one where the zipper is broken and the only way to stay warm in it is to simply button it up. 

I remember feeling this incredible feeling of joy, a type of happiness that I have never ever felt before in my entire life.  It was almost a complete sense of utter inner peace.  As he’s coming down, I remember him getting slightly mad and giving me a 20 dollar bill.  He didn’t exactly hand it to me, rather he let it go and it kind of fluttered in front of me.  I let it fall to the ground. 

He then preceded to come downstairs.  He began to smile.  I remember that in the back of my head I knew that he wasn’t real.  That I was just seeing him in my head.  But I was still overjoyed nonetheless.  I tried to tell my mom that my dad was here.  But her back was turned to me and I couldn’t manage to grab her attention. 

He came down the stairs smiling.  He said something to me while going down the stairs.  He said it in Urdu.  He said it in two parts.  The first part, I can’t really recall what he said.  And in the dream,  remember asking myself what it meant that he said.  They were words in Urdu that are beyond me.  The second part he he said, he said as he walked past me and attempted to open a door.  He said something along the lines of, (in Urdu) “…with money” or “with this money, you” or “we will be able to pay off this house.” 

That’s when my eyes opened.  When I woke up it was sunny.  I never blinked for a good minute.    The sun was shining brightly through my window.  I have an odd feeling that I woke up at 12.30 in the afternoon because when I decided to look at the clock, it was about 12.55 in the afternoon.  I was so scared when I woke up because I actually thought the dream was real.  I layed there for for what seemed like a good chunk of time trying to remind myself that it was just a dream.  I also wanted to go upstairs and check of my dad was in fact alive.  But I didn’t. 

I have always heard that when someone dies in your dreams it means they will have a long life.  I don’t know if its actually true or not.  But I kept telling myself that this dream is a good sign and that he in fact will have a long life, as a means of comforting myself and trying to overcome the fear I was experiencing. 

I really don’t know what this dream means.  I am not sure if I want to know.  Maybe it means nothing.  All I know is that I am glad my dad is alive right now.

Remembering Raminder Dhadda

Raminder DhaddaIt was on this day today two years ago that a young woman of the age of 24 lost her life.  She was run down by a van that was heading down a one way street.  She was the city’s first Fatality of 2006.  She would have been 27 this January.  I didn’t know her.  In fact, when this terrible accident happened, I wasn’t even in the country.  I only learned about this tragedy when I got back home a month or so after the new year.  The nature of this incident rocked our city.  In a heartbeat, to every mother and father, she became a daughter.  To every brother she became a sister.  And to every sister, she became another sister.  To those that were blessed with an abundance of friends, she became a friend.  And to those that were friendless, she became a friend.  On January 1, we all became one.  Through the leaving of her soul, we were all connected and came together.

I feel compelled to write about her because more and more we hear about people that die on a day that is supposed to be one of joy and happiness.  It signifies the end to old ways and habits.  It signifies a fresh new start, a new beginning for everyone on this planet; serving as a sort of landmark on our journey in this life.  A day like today should not mark the death of a life, especially as one as vibrant as Raminder’s was.  We should all be mindful of the fact that life is something that is inherently fragile.  One minute our bodies could be full of life, full of ideas and energy.  Our blood could be flowing, heart pumping, neurons firing, cells going through mitosis and meiosis.  We could still be in the process of growing both mentally and physically and intellectually.  We could be making a difference in a person’s life without even knowing it.  We could love and be loved without even knowing it.  There could be so much going on that is connected to the rest of the world.  And it could all be over, just like that.  Thus is the brittle nature of life.

Let Raminder’s life be a reminder to us all that this new year, and every subsequent new year after, live the life that has been given to us to the fullest extent.  It is only because Raminder lived her life to the fullest everyday that it is here on this cold December night that a stranger, someone who did not know her is thinking of her.    

I know that a central tenant in Sikhism is reincarnation.  Let us pray that her soul in a new being makes as much a difference to the world as it did in her old being.  May she be united with God.

Raminder K. Dhadda –  January 29, 1981 – January 1, 2006

Rami Dhadda