“– كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ الْمَوْت — Kullu nafsin zaiqatul maut. Every soul shall taste death.”
– Quran, Surah 3 (Al-Imran) Verse №185.
You may wonder how many seconds you can fit in that time: 150 seconds, to be precise.
I will share a story of the last 150 seconds of a friend of mine. I will share how we went through many stages of grief in such a short period.
We all have heard about the five stages of grief, definitions extracted from Wikipedia:
- Denial:” The first reaction is denial. In this stage, individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken and cling to a false, preferable reality.”
- Anger:” When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals.”
- Bargaining:” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, an extended life is negotiated in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.”
- Depression: “During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors, and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.”
- Acceptance: “In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or inevitable future, or that of a loved one, or other tragic events.”
I was blessed to be with him in his place in Dakar, Senegal. We have known each other as far as I can remember. I feel like we have known each other forever.
I was blessed enough to be with some of his family members in his home in those last moments of his life.
The following events are my interpretation as I see them unfold.
T — 150 SECONDS — DENIAL — The day before, he had some “Ataya” or Senegalese tea with his childhood friends, including myself. Fast forward to the day after.
He is lying in his bed, unable to move and barely speaking. He had been the…