Sunday morning, after Han had left early, my grandma received a call that my cousin Nurul had passed away in a motorcycle accident. It was heartwrenching when I first heard it from my grandma, her voice was breaking and she was trembling and I couldn't bear to hear it.
Atiqah and Shahida stayed and kept me company for a while before they left.
My sister Lyssa is currently on a short holiday in Melbourne, and it's sad that she didn't get to send Nurul off, as the two of them were really close. Lyssa wrote something about Nurul.
I saw a few other posts on social media about Nurul's passing, from my cousins who were closer to her, and her best friend.
She was my closest cousin. She was young. She wanted to save lives. She was fearless. She was a dancer. She was a daughter. She was a friend. She was strong. She was awkward. She was hilarious. She was curious. She called herself Nat. She was perfect. This couldn't have been a better timing. My tp is coming up soon & how she passed is terrifying. She wanted to ride, I will ride for you. I love you. RIP
Hazwani and I were together at the hospital and also pretty much all of the weekend, and whenever we saw or heard news of it, we'd each start tearing up. We're both such crybabies and we needed to rely on each other for strength.
We had to wait a day for post-mortem to be done on her body, as it was a road accident. When we went to Wak Imah's house (that's Nurul's mum), I hugged Wak Imah and she started breaking down again. She sobbed and, in heaves and breaks in her voice, she whispered in my ear to forgive Nurul of any wrongdoing she'd ever done to me, which was honestly one of the saddest things ever.
As a mother, she wanted her daughter to be sent off in peace, and she asked for forgiveness from everyone who came to pay their last respects, from her friends to her ex-teachers to basically anyone. It was just so, sad. I can't even come up with any other word apart from extremely sad. It just gutted you, hearing such a tone in a mum's voice. How could you ever convey that there's nothing her daughter's ever done towards you, that you'd miss her daughter too?
Yesterday was the burial. As we are a Muslim family, before the burial, the corpse has to be bathed and prepared in the Muslim manner.
When they carried her to the living room for everyone to give her a last kiss and say their prayers for her, her three brothers broke down and her father fainted and Wak Imah's grief was audible, it was palpable. To see four grown men and a middle-aged woman try to hold onto her, and to convey as much love and longing as they could, everyone else in the room was of course floored, and started bawling as well. It was inevitable.
For Muslim corpses, the body is usually wrapped up to the neck, and the face is exposed for the family to kiss. For my cousin, some of her facial injuries and scars were visible, so it was covered up to above her nose. I implore you to be safe on the roads. If you're riding, please, please try to ride as safe as possible. If you're driving, please drive slower, to prevent such accidents. You could save a life.
Nurul was only 19, she was so young and most of her cousins were older than her. We saw her growing up, and she hadn't even reached an age where you would be a full-fledged adult, knowing what you'd wanna do in your life. It was sad that she hadn't achieved her potential.
Her mum was crying because it was just sudden and unexpected. It's real, it's true, you always think it's something you read in the papers, someone dying young and tragically, and it doesn't happen to you, and then it does. Her mum was struggling with the little things, like in the recent week when Nurul was trying to be manja (affectionate) and asking for hugs, and Wak Imah thought she was just kidding and gently rebuffed her requests.
I feel so bad that she regrets such things, but it could have happened to any of us. It happens with everyone. We all do it sometimes, and we never know whether it could be the last time. Sometimes when I try to hug my mum, she says things like "what have you done now?" or "how much money do you want?" when all I want is just to show I love her.
When you love someone, show it. Show it as often and as deeply as possible.
Yesterday evening, after we'd buried her body at the cemetery, Hazwani said the same sentiments that I had:
Nurul was from one of the family units in my extended maternal family that used to have quite a bit of strife and conflict (one of the other unstable ones is my own), although they were steadily solving things, just like my immediate family too.
Like my own family, she also grew up not being financially privileged, although if I think I've got it hard with my divorced family situation and money problems, I must say even I was luckier than Nurul, in some senses.
However, like my mum, her mum also strived to provide anything Nurul and her siblings would want, that the kids in our generation could afford. Despite being on the receiving end of some of the toughest cards life could deal, Nurul cared so much about her family,
This next photo was from the time we were at the JB house last year, and she was filling us in on A'an's latest legal issues. She cried while telling us the recent plight, because she was very close with her brother, and she missed him while he was away.
I was thinking back on that occasion: what a turn of events, that her brother is now distraught over her passing.
During that family sleepover, Nurul was the highlight of the night. It started with her telling us a joke, and none of us laughing, at which she asked why nobody laughed, so we said the joke wasn't funny, and she earnestly said "okay, okay, I try harder" and her tone was so pitiful, we thought she was so cute and laughed for a good long while.
We tried to reenact the joke-telling scene but as expected, this time, everybody seemed to find everything funny, so we kept laughing at her joke even though we initially hadn't. Rubbish leh my family. :')
Then there was the other time, even longer ago, the girls hung out together:
Nurul was on freaking point while rapping Super Bass by Nicki Minaj.
You can also see snippets of her from the same night we karaoked.
I went through some of the photos I had of her....
Kak Dila's and Kak Ina's wedding...
And all the past Eid celebrations....
I wasn't the closest to her, but I know, seeing from her family situation, that she was a strong girl. She was inquisitive, she was caring. Early last year, when I went through some guy issues (as I tend to do), she showed her concern and support, and she expressed it in such loving and loveable terms. She said she liked to read what I write, but she'd like it when I cheered up and wrote more positive things like I usually do, and it really touched my heart. I want to thank Nurul for being so close to Lyssa, to give my sister a chance at witnessing her strength, her hopes and dreams and passions, and for Lyssa to play the part of advisor and counsellor. Nurul Atiqa, if you can somehow know our thoughts and sentiments now, your family love you very much, and you were such a light to those who knew you. I hope and pray, that wherever you are, whenever you need, you are given the light that you shone on us when you were around. We love you, and now we know God loves you more. You are so blessed.
Smol bean bbgirl Nurul Atiqa, so adorable. One of my memories of her was when she broke her arm (it should have happened around the time this photo was taken, it was when she was really young), and when her arm was in a cast, I remember her asking her mum whether anyone would marry her. It was the most random thing you could think about with a broken arm. Oh Nurul, may you be surrounded by love now, and may God pardon all your sins. Rest in peace, baby girl. Your cousins and aunts and uncles and parents and siblings will pray for you.